Blowing Smoke

Week of:
Jan 15, 2021

Friends say, 'Smoke!'

Dear Alice,

Hi! Your site is very helpful. I have a few friends who smoke. We are friends since the past four years; they started smoking about a year ago. They tell me to smoke, I don't do it, so they call me a jerk. I have never TOUCHED a cigarette in my life.

  1. Should I smoke?
  2. If I smoke one cigarette about once a week, will it harm me in any way?
  3. Will it make me a chain smoker?
  4. Which is the safest brand of cigarette, health wise?

Very Confused

The birth control pill and smoking

Dear Alice,

I've been on the pill for nearly 3 months, and although I've been a social smoker for slightly longer than that, the habit's beginning to get heavier. I need to know if smoking stops the pill from working, or if it reduces its efficiency. I want to stop smoking, but for my own ease of mind, I need to know if my smoking is putting me at risk of getting pregnant now by short-circuiting the pill.

— very worried teen