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John Safran: Puff Piece


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Cigarettes are rapidly falling out of favour with everyone from policy-makers to smokers themselves. Philip Morris – the company behind Marlboro – have made ‘a dramatic decision’: they are ceasing operations as a cigarette company and relaunching as a health enterprise, dedicated to convincing the one billion smokers of the world to quit. Enter the ever-curious John Safran, the writer and filmmaker who always gets in too deep for his own good, to find out what on God’s green earth is going on.

In his new book, Puff Piece: How Philip Morris set vaping alight (and burned down the English language), Safran discovers a company up to brand new shenanigans, desperately trying to keep their tobacco business alive by pivoting to vaping and manipulating language to suit their needs. 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’? 

Join Safran for a wild, hilarious and thought-provoking look into Big Tobacco and the vaping industry, and how words can be literally a matter of life and death. Prepare to be dazzled. Or, at the very least, befuddled. Hosted by Tony Wilson.

Presented in partnership with Macedon Ranges Shire Council

The online bookseller for this event is Aesop’s Attic


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 Industr... Read more

Tony Wilson

Tony Wilson is an author of more than 20 books for all ages and several genres. His picture books Hickory Dickory Dash and The Cow Tripped Over the Moon were bestseller and both were selected as National Simultaneous Storytime titles. His most recent book for adults is 1989: The Great Grand Fin... Read more


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