Bloomberg News reporter Lauren Etter goes behind the scenes of the vaping industry, following the rise of Juul from its nascence at Stanford University to a $12.8 billion investment from Philip Morris—a giant in the very tobacco industry the company claimed to want to disrupt—while government regulators and furious parents mounted a campaign to hold the company's feet to the fire.
... deeply reported and illuminating ... This is not a short book, nor an easy read; so many characters, details and side-trips are packed into its over 400 pages that it overwhelms at times. Still, there is a rich narrative that rewards patience. The story of Juul’s rise and fall teaches us something about greed, capitalism, policy failure and a particular cycle in American business that seems destined to repeat itself.
Writing with an objective clarity and dishing like an insider-hipster, Etter offers a powerful indictment of both sides of the same corrupt coin, delivering an eye-opening account of an industry shamelessly gaslighting customers, employees, investors, and government regulators in pursuit of profits over principles. Encyclopedic in scope yet intimate in appeal, Etter’s timely exposé uncovers the Machiavellian intrigue, greed, and arrogance at the core of one of America’s most lethal industries.