Charting Juul’s Face-Off With Legislators and Watchdogs

Interesting things come out of teens’ mouths all the time, but one of the most controversial things to emerge recently is the wispy tendril of nicotine vapor from a Juul, a compact and discrete vaping device. Legislators and the FDA have been slow to move on the vaping craze, which has left the door open for companies like Juul to advertise and position themselves without the oversight many feel is necessary for products that have been proven to be physically addictive. Juul’s platform in particular has taken root in our youth culture thanks to its popularity among influential internet celebs. All of this has led to a chaotic marketplace that’s benefitted the vaping startups but made things rather sticky for everyone else. Nitasha Tiku joins the show to walk us through the weeds.

Some notes: Read Nitasha’s latest story about Juul’s relationship with regulators and legislators. She also recommends the New Yorker article on vaping from May, and Recode‘s story from July about the scrutiny faced by Juul’s investors. Nitasha’s first story about Juul from 2015, published at The Verge. David Pierce wrote about Juul for WIRED at the same time.

Recommendations this week: Killing Eve on BBC America, “Cult of the Machine” at the de Young, and the Hario ceramic coffee mill.

Send the hosts feedback on their personal Twitter feeds. Arielle Pardes is @pardesoteric, Nitasha Tiku is @nitashatiku, and Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. Our theme song is by Solar Keys.

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