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  • Published: 31 August 2021
  • ISBN: 9781760144869
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 368

Puff Piece




Wild, hilarious and thought-provoking, Puff Piece is a probing look into Big Tobacco and the vaping industry, and how words can be literally a matter of life and death.

The folks that bring you Marlboro – Philip Morris – are wheezing, slowly dying. Cigarettes are out of favour with everyone, from world governments and investors to, increasingly, smokers. So, what’s their plan?
Prepare to be dazzled. Or, at the very least, befuddled.

Philip Morris has announced they will shut down as a cigarette company, and relaunch as a health enterprise, dedicated to convincing the one billion smokers of the world to quit.

The ever-curious John Safran leaves his apartment to find out what on God’s green earth is going on. As he starts digging away he discovers a company up to brand new shenanigans, wangling their way into unexpected places, desperately trying to keep their tobacco business alive by brandishing a mysterious new doohickey called an IQOS.

And not only that, now they’re upending language itself, changing the meaning of words. Will they slip past bans by convincing governments they don’t sell ‘cigarettes’ but rather ‘HeatSticks’, and that these don’t emit ‘smoke’ but ‘aerosol’? Can John get the real story out of them without his life catching fire?

Wild, hilarious and thought-provoking, Puff Piece is a probing look into Big Tobacco and the vaping industry, and how words can be literally a matter of life and death.

  • Published: 31 August 2021
  • ISBN: 9781760144869
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 368

About the author

John Safran

John Safran is a writer and filmmaker who always gets in too deep for his own good. His debut book, Murder in Mississippi, won the Ned Kelly Award for best true crime. His follow up, Depends What You Mean by Extremist, found him lost among radicals and was shortlisted for the Australian Book Industry Awards. His wild and hilarious documentaries, such as ‘John Safran vs God’ and ‘Jedis & Juggalos’, have received accolades from the Australian Film Institute and Rose d’Or Festival. His latest book is Puff Piece: How Philip Morris set vaping alight (and burned down the English language).

Also by John Safran

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Praise for Puff Piece

An important book . . . [Safran] explores profound questions about the nature of evil, guilt and complicity and manages to stay funny the whole time.

Mark Dapin, The Weekend Australian

Safran, in his trademark schtick of cheekiness, good research and an underlying fury that burns with the toxicity of a HeatStick, rips into the hypocrisy and flagrant flim-flammery of Big Tobacco’s flailing attempts to save itself from well-deserved oblivion.

Pat Sheil, The Age

An enormously fun investigation of a really dirty, bad business . . . the effect is that we feel we’re there with Safran as he makes his discoveries – and frets about what they mean.

Nick Miller, Sydney Morning Herald

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