So why is the government waging war on Juul, a product that helps smokers like me?
When I first met Michael Moynihan, more than a decade ago now, he pretty much always had a cigarette in his hand. I know I’m not supposed to say this, but he did look cool.
Back then, we worked together on book reviews he wrote for The Wall Street Journal and also on some scoop-ey stories, like this one for Tablet.
Now Michael is a co-host of The Fifth Column podcast and a national correspondent for Vice News. He quit his favorite vice—smoking—as you’ll read about below. He’s still cool, and hopefully will be around much longer now that he gave up on the cigs. — BW
In 2017, after an adulthood of joyful and guiltless tobacco consumption, I abruptly quit smoking. This was an improbable outcome; I rather enjoyed smoking and rarely made threats to give it up. But having seen enough friends and family members die with a vigorous assist from Big Tobacco, I decided that upon publication of a book review in The Wall Street Journal, in which I praised an obscure German writer’s memoir of nicotine addiction and reluctant abstinence, I would try my hand at teutonic discipline and finally ditch the smokes.
In that review, I hinted at the inevitability of cessation, explaining that “when I conquer smoking it will be equally in response to the devastating health effects of the habit and the unrelenting social pressure.” It was time to quit because society told me so, not my lungs. And while I opposed the dreary moralism of the anti-smoking crowd, I had to acknowledge that, on the macro level, they had a point: Death was perhaps too high a price for the occasional pleasure of a cigarette.
Michael C. Moynihan – Common Sense – 2022-07-31