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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.