My teenage years were like most other folks. At one point or other, people in my circle of friends either tried, or started, smoking. Being a youngster that wanted to fit in as much as the next kid, I tried it a few times. And somehow, by the grace of god, never actually full-on started smoking.

Considering what an addictive personality I had as a kid, no one is more surprised than I am, that I didn't start. Somewhere deep down, I knew it was kind of a useless battle. Plus, at that time, the risks of smoking were well known. In my mind, there was no real incentive to start. If looking cool meant dying of cancer, I wasn't interested.

And of course in this day and age, there's vaping. People convince themselves it's better for them, but it's pretty much been proven at this point that it's not. But that's a whole other article full of opinions.

What's important right now, is that the state has cracked down on vaping, by prohibiting it on school grounds, starting on September 19th. According to WABI TV-5, over 30% of kids have at least experimented with vaping, and some 15% vape regularly. It's become the most common form of nicotine use among teens. Even the CEO of Juul thinks teen vaping is bad.

There have been countless reports recently, especially concerning teens, about horrible side-effects from vaping. Even fatalities. And that's why the Maine CDC has been actively trying to reduce the number of vaping teens. Adults too, but getting teens on board early is key to prevention.

I'm never one to infringe upon anyone's rights, and if adults want to hurt themselves with vaping, that's their choice. But, you aren't likely to stop a teenager from trying something they have their minds set on trying. At least limiting the number of places they can do it out in the open is a good start.

So put down that silly nicotine flute, and try breathing some good-old fresh air. While you still can.

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