The lesson is that as much as cigarette smokers crave nicotine, they yearn for other things, too: the hand-to-mouth motion, the primordial pleasure of sucking on something, the organoleptic experiences of flavor and mouthfeel and “throat hit,” the visual cue of exhaled smoke, the ritual of ignition, the embattled/defiant camaraderie of the smoke break. These vital accoutrements of nicotine addiction were the promise of e-cigarettes, but early models had failed to deliver on it.
Cherish your solitude. Take trains by yourself to places you have never been. Sleep out alone under the stars. Learn how to drive a stick shift. Go so far away that you stop being afraid of not coming back. Say no when you don’t want to do something. Say yes if your instincts are strong, even if everyone around you disagrees. Decide whether you want to be liked or admired. Decide if fitting in is more important than finding out what you’re doing here. Believe in kissing.