Monday, February 4, 2019

Juul - A Real Gem

I've smoked since I was a teenager. Started smoking my mother's Kools. About 20 years ago I quit for a year before getting a job as a phone fundraiser. Within about 2 weeks I was back to 2 packs a day. Every day, all day. I'd get up in the middle of the night and light a smoke on the way to the toilet. Took more smoke breaks at work than I'd care to admit. Before dinner, while making dinner, after dinner. Sometimes I'd get wrapped up in something and get two smokes going at once. 

My budget always included cigarette money. A lot of cigarette money. Running out of cigarettes was out of the question. 

Not only did I taste like an ashtray according to various taste-testers, but my clothes reeked. My coats still do. I couldn't tell. Der Bunker smelled like there was a recent fire. That I noticed whenever I left and came back later in the day.

I'm nearly 60 and haven't been exactly rigourous in my self care. I have heart problems, among other things. 

And still, after a stint in the hospital, there I am, huddled off in a corner trying not to be noticed by the Smoking Nazis, looking like some stray refugee lighting his first cigarette on free land.

Granted, I'm not as smart as I pretend to be but how smart do you have to be? 

Then I got 2 cats. We've grown pretty close. It didn't take long before I started feeling guilty about making them smoke, too. Guilty enough to spend ridiculous sums on air cleaners of questionable effectiveness and leaving windows cracked open to let some fresh air in. Even it was 10 below zero.

I've tried the nicotine gum, patches and Chantix (yikes!). None of those things helped me get over the hand-to-mouth habit.

During a smoke break I noticed some buddies hitting an e-cig. I had tried vaping and failed, a story for another day. But my friends were pretty enthusiastic about the device they were using, a little rectangular tube that you actually 'hit' like a cigarette called Juul.

A few days later I ordered a Juul along with some 'pods', small, snap-in modules containing nicotine salts suspended in a liquid that can be vaporized.

I'll make one point that's only important to cigarette smokers. You don't hit this thing like a vaping device or a joint. You hit it like a cigarette. No billowing clouds. 

Also, no removable batteries, no coils, no elaborate steampunk devices... it's not like joining a fraternity or starting a new hobby. 

The Juul device is rechargeable. The batteries are not replaceable. The pods are sealed but are 'hackable'. I haven't messed with one yet, I'm happy enough with them as is.

The pods come in various flavors but I've stayed with the Virginia Tobacco pods. I can't taste it. Best of all, no one else can smell it. I was in a car with a friend and asked if I could hit my Juul and he said sure. I asked if he could smell it and he said he couldn't. I've tried with a few other non-smoker friends and they all said they couldn't smell a thing.

I haven't smoked a cigarette in 5 months. I've had one or two smoking dreams and from time to time miss that horribly beautiful taste of burning paper, tobacco and chemical refuse and the sensation it causes in my poor, old, tar-soaked lungs. 

I don't really feel much better. I've been depressed but I think that has more to do with other 'issues'. My blood pressure has gone down but I think that's more to do with cutting back on caffeine.

And I have gained some serious weight. 

No taste-tester but the stink is mostly gone. And no more huddling like a refugee. No more scheming and planning my day around cigarette breaks. No more sneaking away. No more hiding from Smoking Nazis.

I am absolutely thrilled with these things. They have 2 different levels of nicotine, 5% and 3% so I can 'step down', taper off and work on the hand/mouth habit. Right now I'm happy enough with no smoke. YAY! 

You can search for Juul to get one online or get one at a gas station. 

I haven't been compensated for this but if you're from Juul (or anywhere else, for that matter) and want to compensate me, feel free. 

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