DR. WALLACE: I don't smoke tobacco cigarettes, but I have tried vaping and marijuana, and I kind of like both. But I'll admit that I cough a lot, and my chest hurts often. I have the ability to power right through a few coughing spells to get down to some smooth smoking satisfaction.
I do think I look cool when I exhale smoke or vapor; I've even gotten some nice compliments on my smoke circles.
Be honest. All the fuss over teen smoking is quite a bit overblown, isn't it? I feel this is especially true for teens who only plan to smoke occasionally for a year or two and then quit once they enter their 20s, which is what I plan to do. So, give us smoking and vaping teens a break. A year of two of inhaling won't mess up our lives. — Fan of Vaping and Toking, via email
FAN OF VAPING AND TOKING: All inhaled smoke, whatever the source, contains toxic chemicals that are harmful to your lung tissue. Your lungs are delicate organs. My advice is to lay off vaping and inhaling marijuana and to plan to enjoy a long, smoke-free life.
I could go into great detail about the thousands of letters I've received over the decades from lifelong smokers who thought in their teen years that they would only smoke for a short while and then quit. I'll spare you the details, but I will tell you that if you are already proficient at blowing smoke rings, you've smoked enough to be hooked already.
You may plan to quit at the drop of a hat someday, but I can promise you that every consecutive day you continue to vape and/or smoke, you will compound your inhaling habit, making your ultimate efforts to quit much more difficult and unlikely.
WHAT SHOULD I DO?
DR. WALLACE: My best friend of 10 years is just like a sister to me. We just graduated from high school and will be attending the same great university together in September. She had been steadily dating a guy for over a year, but they broke up about a month ago because he actually said to me that he found her to be too bossy toward him. He is now dating another girl, and this is making my best friend very upset, especially because her ex and his new girlfriend are also going to the same university.
This guy is not my type, but we are friends and have always gotten along whenever we were in each other's company. But now — get this — my girlfriend wants me to call and ask her ex-boyfriend out!
She said she'd rather have him go out with me than the girl he is now dating. Somehow, she thinks she could get him back if he was dating me because he'd then always be around her. I think he would probably go out with me, but I'm not sure I want to get involved in all of this. It sounds complicated, and as I said, he's not really a guy I'm interested in romantically. I don't want to upset my best girlfriend, but I don't want to lead this guy on when I already know I don't want to date him. What do you think I should do, given the strange situation I'm in? — Stuck in the Middle of my Best Friend and her Ex, via email
STUCK IN THE MIDDLE: Your girlfriend's scheme sounds like another example of why he broke up with her in the first place! When bossy people don't get their way with the direct approach, they tend to become manipulative. She appears to fit squarely into this category, as she's still trying to control his life.
You are quite correct not to get involved with this ludicrous plan. It is dishonest, and the results could be unpleasant for everyone. I doubt there is any hope for the two of them to get back together, with or without crafty, selfish plans emanating from a person worried more about her agenda than harming a friendship through this scheme.
Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. Email him at [email protected] To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
Photo credit: realworkhard at Pixabay