James Monsees and Adam Bowen were two ambitious graduate students at Stanford, and in between puffs after class they dreamed of a way to quit smoking. Their solution became the Juul, a sleek, modern device that could vaporize nicotine into a conveniently potent dosage. The company they built around that device, Juul Labs, would go on to become a $38 billion dollar company and draw blame for addicting a whole new generation of underage tobacco users.
... not a sweeping business narrative. But Ducharme provides a balanced, methodical account of how an addictive new smoking product with unknown health hazards became ubiquitous in American high schools ... While most investigations of cigarette companies have clear villains and heroes, Big Vape presents Juul’s founders as conflicted figures who defy easy moral judgment ... conveys the forces behind a powerful social trend that undercut public health while also offering a case study in how to squander the riches of a rocket-fueled tech company.
The author begins the book with a story line that she follows throughout, making for an interesting read. The narrative is enhanced by Ducharme’s accessible writing and her time lines of events in the quick rise and steady fall of Juul ... Ducharme grabs readers’ attention early on. This is not a scientific book, but rather a social examination of the rise of the vaping industry.
[Ducharme's] well-researched account is easy to read, and features information based on interviews with advisors, insiders, Juul employees, doctors, investors, and more. This book will appeal to most audiences and especially to teens. It also could be a cautionary tale for innovators looking to market the next big thing.