I remember that first whiff of cigarette smoke at school. Some girl locked in a bathroom stall, maybe a couple of them, giggling as they took a drag. At the time, I thought it smelled gross and didn't understand the appeal. However, I eventually got addicted and spent years trying to kick the habit before finally becoming smoke-free. It's on my list of regrets for sure.
Apparently the 'cool' thing to try these days are E-cigarettes. According to the CDC, about 2.4 million middle and high school students were current users of electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, in 2014. E-cigarette users inhale vapor rather than cigarette smoke, so many users think they are healthier because they lack many of the chemicals cigarettes have. However, according to the CDC, most e-cigarettes contain nicotine, which causes addiction, may harm brain development, and could lead to continued tobacco product use among youth.
The other component? The ads. The CDC says an estimated 69% of middle and high school students see e-cigarette ads and exposure to e-cigarette advertisements may be contributing to increases in e-cigarette use among youth.
The CDC offers all kinds of information and resources here.