|Smoking: Peer Pressure
If a friend or classmate has ever pushed you into doing something you don't want to do, then you've experienced peer pressure. This is how many kids start smoking. If a popular kid offers you a cigarette, you might think that you'll become popular if you do what he or she says. When a close friend starts smoking, you many worry that you'll lose the friendship if you turn your buddy down.
There are many ways to handle peer pressure. First, remember these two things:
But let's face it: saying "no" isn't always easy. Most of us worry about fitting in and what others will think of us. But if you're worried that you'll lose your friend over a peer pressure situation, you may want to take a closer look at the friendship. A true friend will respect your decisions, and someone who ditches you for not taking orders from them was never a friend to begin with. Also, you may discover that some of your other friends secretly feel the same way you do!
If a friend or classmate tries to pressure you, keep in mind why he or she might be doing it:
If a simple "No, thanks" won't do the trick, here are some other tactics for turning down someone who offers you a cigarette:
Whatever you choose, do what feels right for you. Remember: most young people don't smoke, so you're in good company! If someone won't stop pressuring you, it's okay to call for backup. Talk to an adult you trust, like your teacher, guidance counselor, your parents, or an older brother or sister.