I will never understand why my generation thinks it's okay to smoke cigarettes and chew tobacco. With a variety of programs growing up, like Red Ribbon week and D.A.R.E., it's been beaten into our brains how bad smoking is.

Showing us pictures of smokers' lungs and mouth cancer patients, we've understood the grave consequences smoking has for the majority of our childhood. Smoking cigarettes are no longer considered fashionable, thanks to the majority of research done surrounding first and second-hand smoke.

Although the use of cigarettes has decreased, there has been an increase in the use of e-cigs, juuls, and hookahs. Are these alternatives any better than smoking cigarettes?

Approximately 13% of adults between the ages of 18 and 24 smoked cigarettes in 2016. This is still more than adults aged 65 and older, a generation that embraced the cigarette smoking trend.

Approximately 11.7% of high school students have used or currently use an e-cig within the last 30 days. Many believe that e-cigs are less harmful than cigarettes. However, they can lead to a variety of health issues and can be a gateway to other addictions.

The human brain does not stop growing and developing until the age of 25. When it is exposed to nicotine, found in smoking products, before maturing, the long-term effects include mood disorders, the permanent lower of impulse control, and how synapses are formed.

The use of products with nicotine in them lead to the use of other tobacco and nicotine products, as well as alcohol use to cope. Do you really want to risk it?

You may be reading the facts and saying, "That's not me. I only smoke once in a while or at parties." Of those that admitted to occasional use of nicotine products, 70.5% consider themselves "nonsmokers". This habit can still lead to heart disease, cancer, and addiction.

I just have no idea how my generation still has the nerve to smoke, even with all of the information and tools we have been given over the years. Because e-cigs, juuls, and dab pens are so new, there hasn't been enough research done. However, we know what nicotine and smoking does to our bodies.

So, why do we blindly trust a product because "everyone else does it"?