The PassOnIt team has heard a LOT of reasons for choosing not to start using Tobacco, or to break out of the habit once it has started. But the only reasons that really matter are the ones you define for yourself and that are unique and connected to the qualities that make you who you are.
We hope you will consider writing your top five reasons to say, "I'll pass" when it comes to tobacco, and to share them with us for publication on the Pass On It website, either in your name or anonymously. To participate, just click on the button at the bottom of this page. It will take you to a fact page where you will find the submission button.
As you consider your own reasons, here are a few examples we've heard from other young adults' personal experience, Please take a look at our facts section to research your own reasons to pass on tobacco. No matter what marketing geniuses tell you about "vape culture", Whether smoking, vaping, or chewing, it's still the same addictive beast: Tobacco.
- I didn't have a clue about his reasons until a few months after he broke it off with me, but I heard from his friends that he thought my vaping was gross. Frustrating that something I started because it seemed kinda cool actually made me unattractive to the guy I really liked. I'm working on quitting.
- At first, I thought smoking and vaping couldn’t be that unhealthy because my friends did it and they seemed fine. I later learned that the consequences don’t happen overnight but in fact over a long period of time. Eventually I did start to notice the consequences for both my friends and myself within a year's time. Some of my best friends would lash out angrily at me during their unpredictable mood swings, which I’ve read nicotine addiction can cause. Eventually, we decided to quit as a friend group because we realized how we all influenced each other in some strange collective addiction. So I don't want to smoke because I don't want to influence those around me to make the same mistakes I made. And… I really do not want to get mood swings.
- I have anxiety. I try not to let it hold me back. Sometimes I think I can harness my anxious energy and channel it into productivity. I’ve learned that a lot of my friends struggle with anxiety as well. We’re living in a very fast-paced world and its hard not to be on edge or at least a little stressed out most of the time. I started using Tobacco to help relieve my anxiety. At first, I thought it was working well, but I ended up relying on it. It actually tripled my anxiety to the point where I couldn't turn the weakness into a strength. I felt defeated. Fortunately I was able to quit. I want to find new ways to deal with my anxiety, like exercise and meditation, ways that don’t come with such grueling side effects.
- I've read the impact of addiction. I really don't want an addictive habit like smoking Tobacco to change who I am. I value the control I feel over my own life decisions and I don't want something to limit that freedom for me. Addiction can feel uncontrollable at a certain point. I don't need that.
- I love playing sports. I honestly love feeling the reward of years of practice paying off in my game. It might sound simplistic, but I really don't want smoking/vaping to limit my endurance and slow down my progress as an athlete. I’ve read about the effects long-term smoking can have on my lungs and heart and I think I’d rather pass.
- Even though smoking is legal, I'm actually skeptical about the details of its legality because I’ve read that Tobacco lobbyists are persuading politicians to make policy decisions in favor of the Tobacco industry, which doesn't seem fair or in the best interest of our country’s individuals. I’d rather believe what the scientific research is telling me, not what businesses that want my money are putting out there.
- I never considered myself a cigarette person, but started smoking hookah as a social thing at parties, sometimes cigars as well. My friends said that hookah wasn't as unhealthy as cigarettes because the water filters “clean” it. I wasn’t skeptical early enough. Now, I’ve read the facts on hookah and am certain it can be even more dangerous for your lungs and can lead to other Tobacco habits. It only took me a few long nights with the hookah for my brain to think it wanted cigarettes and dip too. Fortunately, those days are over.
- I used to inconspicuously vape in between classes in school because I thought it was helping me stay focused. It actually would give me a nice buzz at first, but once it became a recurring habit, my attention problems actually increased. I struggled to buckle down during class or when doing homework because my brain kept jumping to the thought of another hit.
- I want to be a professional actor and voice-over artist. I also love singing in school/extracurricular theater and practicing weird voices when doing improv comedy. I’ve read that smoking can limit my vocal range and performance endurance. I plan to make a career out of my talents and so cannot afford to stunt my development as an artist.
- I've read about my role models who chose to quit Tobacco or never start in the first place. We are so privileged to gain input from those with more experience and I don’t want to take that for granted. So I’ve listened to the generation above me. After all, how can we progress without learning from the mistakes of our history.