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Dear Alice: I know I’m not supposed to, but I’ve been smoking cigarettes for a while. But I know it’s bad for me and really want to quit. My friends all smoke as well, so it’s hard for me not to smoke around them. How can I quit without looking like a wuss or making my friends mad? -Smoking Situation

Dear Smoking Situation: You’re right; smoking is really bad for you. Not only can it cause different types of cancer, it also stain your teeth and makes your breath smell. Quitting can be tough, but there are many ways to do it: cold turkey and weaning yourself from them are the two simplest ones. I have a friend who quit cold turkey, and to fight the cravings he chews on flavor soaked toothpicks. Gum, jolly ranchers, mints, and anything else you can eat for a long time will help you forget cravings. If you don’t think you can do that, try the weaning method. Everyday have one less cigarette than the day before, until you no longer have any to smoke. If you combine this technique with the food one, quitting will be much easier. As for your friends, tell them any story you like. A good one is, “Dad smelled the smoke the other day, I have to quit or he’ll kick me out.” Or even, “My girlfriend/boyfriend hates smoking, if I don’t quit she’ll/he’ll hate it.” Try not to be around your friends when they smoke, and ask them not to smoke around you. Hopefully they will understand, but be prepared if they make fun of you for quitting. All you have to remember is that when their teeth are stained yellow and their skin is leathery, you will be smoke free and healthy. -Lots of Love, Alice