As a long-term smoker who has tried unsuccessfully to quit cold turkey, one of my biggest victories came in early 2019 when I picked up a Juul for the first time. It was love at first pull and, after a few days of formaldehyde clouds, I even lost the desire to pick up another cigarette altogether. The smell of cigarettes began to bother me, a sharp change from the warm nostalgia they used to hold, something I attribute to my extended Italian-American family smoking in front of me as a child. They now felt harsher, too tar-like, heavier. While a cigarette would make me feel sleepy, I could hit my Juul and be running on the treadmill the next hour. Even better, I could Juul discreetly indoors whether at my job, on the subway platform, or in the comfort of my own home. If it felt too good to be true, that’s because it was.
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