Buckle up, because we’re going to show you what’s really behind the smokescreen.
What’s the Deal with Cigarettes and E-Cigarettes?
- Cigarettes: Imagine tiny toxic torches. You light ’em up, and they become a cocktail of chemicals that mess with your body. Sounds kind of gross. Cigarettes can kill too: 5.6 million kids under the age of 18 alive today will ultimately die from smoking1.
- E-Cigarettes: Picture this – you’re vaping from a gadget, thinking it’s all good, but that vapor might be loaded with nasties. Like an invisible cloud of poison! The vapor produced by these devices is NOT water vapor — it is a toxic aerosol that contains cancer-causing substances2.
The Real Dangers
- Health Hazards: When burned, cigarettes contain over 7,000 chemicals. Many are poisonous, and at least 70 are known to cause cancer.
- Secondhand Smoke and Vapor: Smoking’s not a solo act; it affects your crew too. Think about it, if you’re inhaling all the above through a cigarette filter, what’s not getting filtered is getting inhaled by everyone around you. Secondhand smoke results in nearly 50,000 nonsmoker deaths every year. https://www.hse.ie/eng/about/who/tobaccocontrol/kf/
- Nicotine : Nicotine is the trickster here, playing games with your brain and draining your wallet. It tricks you into thinking you like smoking. Not only is it highly addictive, but once it’s got you, it’s tough to break free. It negatively affects the brain, nervous system and heart, and too much can result in poisoning, particularly in young children and pets. It also causes blood vessels to contract, increasing your blood pressure and pulse rates. After just 10 seconds of taking a puff from a cigarette, the chemical reaches your brain, and regulates your feeling of pleasure. When this effect wears off, it causes you to crave more, which makes it difficult to quit smoking3. Did we mention the nasty smell?
- Brain at Stake: Your brain is your superpower, still under construction. Smoking messes with its blueprints, affecting your performance. Don’t let it win! A smoke-free brain turbocharges your memory, giving you the edge in exams, mastering new skills, sports, and epic adventures.
- Money Talks: Smoking is a cash-burning habit. Imagine those dollars stacking up for epic adventures and dreams. Staying nicotine-free means more cash in your wallet for your sneaker collection, tech gadgets, or concert tickets. https://www.flavorshookkids.org/vaping-dangers/
No to Peer Pressure
Real friends respect your choices and support your health. Be the trendsetter, not the follower! Be the guardian, strengthen your bonds, and score major cool points with your friends.
Mastering the Art of “No”
- Be Confident: Lock eyes and drop the line, “Nah, not my thing.”
- Give a Reason: Drop some wisdom about caring for your health and leveling up in life.
- Positive Peer Pressure: Suggest killer smoke-free activities – shredding the skate park, hosting a movie night, or jamming in your garage band.
The Exit Plan
If you or your buddies need a hand with quitting, there’s a squad of heroes ready to help!
- Talk to a Trusted Adult: Let your mentors – parents, teachers, or school counselors – in on your game plan.
- Quit Programs: Communities offer pro-level programs with the tools and support to kick the habit. Unleash your inner superhero!
- The Squad: Join forces with other quitting champs in support groups. Strength in numbers, right?
The Final Boss Battle
Your health is the real deal. Smoking is like dealing with a sneaky villain. Say no to smoking, keep your cash, save your brain, and inspire your crew!