The Future of Vaping After the Collapse of Juul

Even if you were have never taken a puff of an e-cigarette in your life, you know about Juul. At the company’s peak in 2018, e-cigarettes were among the most recognizable consumer devices on the planet, and Juul Labs was worth $38 billion. Just a few years later, after being squeezed by government regulators and tobacco prohibition advocates, Juul’s value plummeted and its market share evaporated.

The story of Juul—and its thousands of imitators—is presented in Backfire: The Vaping War, a new nine-part podcast from The Opening Project. The show traces the history of e-cigarettes, nicotine vaporizers and synthetic nicotine by following the path of Juul and thousands of competitors as vape companies win public acceptance, fight gain market share and confront government agencies. It’s a fascinating ride filled with new reports, so even if you’ve read and heard everything about Juul and vaping, you’ll hear some shocking new information in this series.

This week on Utility laboratorywe talk to CounterproductiveThe hosts are Arielle Pardes and Leon Neyfakh.

Show notes

Counterproductive is an audible original, so please visit listen. Also, check out Louise Matsakis’ story about the next generation of Cheap, illegal vapes comes from China.


Arielle recommends Timeshifter Jet Lag App. Leon suggested Yoto Player to engage kids in podcasts. Lauren suggested Bee stingby Paul Murray. Mike suggested Secondary swimming poola game of hole creator Martin Jonasson.

Arielle Pardes can be found on social media @Missionary. Leon Neyfakh is @leoncrawl. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snack wars. Bling main hotline at @UtilityLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar key.

How to listen

You can always listen to this week’s podcast through the audio player on this page, but if you want to subscribe for free to watch every episode, here’s how to do it:

If you’re using an iPhone or iPad, open the app called Podcasts or just Click this link. You can also download an app like Overcast or Pocket Casts and search for Gadget Lab. If you use Android, you can find us in the Google Podcasts app just by Mining here. We are on Spotify as well. And in case you really need it, This is an RSS feed.


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