POLITICO's Pulse Check

The rise of JUUL, with Tevi Troy

Episode Summary

Why a top government health official decided to go work for an e-cigarette company.

Episode Notes

Tevi Troy helped lead the nation's health department under President George W. Bush. Now he's helping steer JUUL — the nation's most popular e-cigarette company — through the Washington policymaking process and public health scrutiny.

"Using a JUUL is worse than doing nothing," Troy acknowledged on the podcast. But"if we can get people to switch away from [traditional] cigarettes… there's a potentially huge public health benefit."

In conversation with POLITICO’s Dan Diamond, Tevi explains why he joined JUUL and how he sees the company’s mission (starts at the 2:00 mark), why JUUL has a special responsibility given its market-leading position (6:00), the public health risks of e-cigarettes and resulting FDA scrutiny (8:30), the politics of vaping (15:30), the New Yorker’s article on JUUL (18:30), why opening a JUUL feels like unboxing an Apple iPod (20:00), and Tevi's views on the current HHS, having served as deputy HHS secretary during the George W. Bush administration (24:00).

Then in the recurring “Steal My Job” segment, Tevi talks about how he became a published book author and offers tips for anyone interested in writing a book (36:20).

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Have questions, suggestions or feedback? Email ddiamond@politico.com.


Some of FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb's March 2017 comments on e-cigarettes. https://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm601690.htm

Jia Tolentino's New Yorker article on JUUL. https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/05/14/the-promise-of-vaping-and-the-rise-of-juul

Tevi's books, "What Jefferson Read, Ike Watched, and Obama Tweeted: 200 Years of Popular Culture in the White House." https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00APDG0VK/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

and "Shall We Wake the President?: Two Centuries of Disaster Management from the Oval Office."