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Big Vape: The Incendiary Rise of Juul

Jamie Ducharme

A thrilling look at the rise and fall of Juul and the danger of e-cigarettes.

The story begins with two students who want to quit smoking and culminates with 48 dead and nearly 2,300 injured and counting. The real question is: how?

Some say vaping is a public health revolution that could help save millions of lives worldwide. But there is one big problem: teenagers. Instead of catering to adult smokers, the e-cigarette industry appears to overwhelmingly target non-smoking youth.

Big Vape uses the dramatic rise and fall of Juul to tell a larger story of big business, public health and youth culture. It shows how scientists can present opposing facts, and even the soundest studies can be means to questionable ends; how lack of regulation can be deadly and the wrong regulations can be just as bad; how marketing communications can reverse steady national trends, and how an epidemic can break out in just a puff of smoke. 

This is a story of ambition and greed: two starry-eyed grad students set out to change the world and end up at the helm of a $38 billion empire. 

This is a story of boom and bust: Silicon Valley darlings pitched as world changers who end up on a nationwide apology tour as their business falls apart at the seams.

This is a story media manipulation: young people adopting an unlikely product and making it a cultural phenomenon.

This is a story of our time. 


Jamie Ducharme is a staff writer at Time magazine, where she covers health and science. Her work has won awards from the Deadline Club, the New York Press Club, and the Newswomen's Club of New York. Originally from New Hampshire, Jamie now lives in Brooklyn. Big Vape is her first book.

Category:  Fiction
ISBN:  9781529345797
Publisher:  Hodder & Stoughton
On sale:  June 2021
Format:  Paperback
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