My family had a Juul intervention for me during Thanksgiving dinner. You could say that I was asking for it by Juuling during Thanksgiving dinner, but in my defense, my 17-year-old brother had dared me to and I feel like it’s my older sibling duty to prove that I’m no pussy. In fact, it's a categorical imperative.
In all seriousness, my family’s admonitions really got me thinking. It’s been fun being A Girl and Her Juul, but my Juul habits are becoming borderline obscene. The literal highlight of my day is the moment when my alarm goes off in the morning and I immediately hit my Juul. The six-hour tolerance break of sleeping really does wonders: I’m a newborn baby taking the first Juul hit of her life and I am swimming in a river of glorious serotonin. I am God.
But, considering the fact that my pod consumption rate is quickly becoming financially unsustainable, I’ll admit, I have my doubts about my long-term relationship with this nicotine USB drive. I’m starting to realize that I spend more time Juuling in the bathroom during class than I actually spend in class. And if I want to get my money’s worth from this #IvyLeague education, I should probably start hitting the books instead of hitting the Juul.
So, with my best Carrie Bradshaw impression: I couldn’t help but wonder… how do you know when you need to quit the Juul?
If your mom is addicted to Juuling because you got her a Juul for Mother’s Day, it’s time to quit the Juul. It is true what they say: A family that Juuls together, stays together. But when your mother becomes your biggest nicotine addiction enabler, it’s time to think about the decisions that have led you to this point in your life. Rummaging through your mom’s purse for half-empty pods because you’re hella fiending? That’s a low point, dude.
If you’ve ever dropped your Juul in the toilet and, without thinking twice, plunged your bare hands in there to rescue it, it’s time to quit the Juul. (On a definitely 100 percent unrelated note, my Juul is stuck on party mode indefinitely—does anybody know how to fix that?)
If the FDA bans your favorite pod flavor (mango) and, without skipping a beat, you convert to a flavor that you notoriously despise (mint), it’s time to quit the Juul. OK, OK, I’ll finally admit it: The mint pods are kind of refreshing… I GUESS. Not like I really had a choice in the matter, because I just don’t hate myself enough to buy tobacco-flavored Juul pods. Sure, I hate myself plenty—just not that much. (Mango, if you’re reading this, I didn’t mean what I said about those other pods; please come back to me, baby. I miss you.)
If the main motivating factor behind your wanting to hook up with someone is because they Juul and therefore won’t a) ask to hit your Juul or b) judge you for hitting the Juul during sex, it’s time to quit the Juul. It’s really difficult to explain that you’re sorry there’s just someone else when that someone else is your Juul and you’re actually not sorry at all. It’s like the hackneyed sentiment “It’s not you, it’s me,” except it’s, “It’s not you, it’s my Juul.”
If you find yourself worked up over the decision to spend your last $20 on either tampons or Juul pods and you pick Juul pods, it’s time to quit the Juul. Wondering why the free feminine hygiene bins in Butler always seem empty? It’s because a desperate nicotine-addicted bitch was there before you. Respect the hustle.
If the only other people you see hitting a Juul on the street look like they're still going through puberty, it’s time to quit the Juul. The anti-cigarette, counter-culture appeal of Juuling becomes tainted when you realize that you share the same bad habits as a bunch of 14-year-olds who hate their parents and are probably running late for AP Bio.
If you’ve ever considered busting open a Juul pod and gum-hitting the nicotine juice like a sick freak, it’s time to quit the Juul. It doesn’t even matter if you have actually done this one or not. If the thought has ever crossed your mind, ever, you gotta quit. You just gotta.
So it’s apparent: My Juul’s days are numbered.
But if y’all think I’m about to be fiending during finals szn, you are sadly mistaken. Like the procrastinator I am, my plan is to lump Juuling into the long list of habits that I need to kick before I graduate college and enter the ~real world~. As my time at Columbia comes to an end, I’m starting to realize that this list is really, really long: ghosting, only washing my sheets once a semester, spiraling in public restrooms, eating Duke Ellington Deli bacon cheeseburger deluxes multiple times a day, going to Mel’s, and showing up blazed to, well, basically everything.
In my imagination, graduation is going to be this moment of instant transformation. I’m going to wear that blue bathrobe, get that degree, and give up my childish ways. I’ll be Adult Anna™ with super self-control, a working knowledge of the Western canon, and a bunch of emails from Columbia asking me to donate money. A physical dependence on nicotine? IDK her!
I’m well aware of the fact that quitting the Juul is going to be insanely difficult. But I love a challenge, and if that dinky 17-year-old from the New York Times can do it, then, dammit, so can I! Maybe I’ll try to give up Juuling for Lent. Choose your fighter: my raging Catholic guilt versus my undeniable addiction to nicotine. I guess I’ll just have to make these last few months count.
Anna Lokey is a senior in Columbia College studying philosophy. She sings “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out” by The Smiths to her Juul every night before bed. Direct your fan mail or death threats to email@example.com. A Girl and Her Juul ran alternate Fridays.
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