I remember the first time I smoked a cigarette.
It was brutally cold, a below-freezing winter in Minnesota, and I had just turned 18. Before this, I had never drank or smoked.
But, smoking had just became legal for me, so why not try it?
My friends and I, all equally as innocent, snuck out of our ridiculous, madrigal-themed high school choir concert to go buy cigarettes.
As I walked up to the man behind the counter of the gas station, I clammed up. Even though my stepdad had smoked for years, I had no idea what brand to buy.
I ended up choosing the most appealing colored pack.
To our delight, these happened to be menthol cigarettes. There was a little kick of mint to mask the tobacco.
It was like we were smoking a hotel pillow mint!
We drove all the way up to our mall's parking lot and lit up our menthols. (My friends weren't 18, so they didn't want to get caught.)
The experience was fun, and sneaking a cig felt mischievous, even though it was legal for me to smoke one. I felt cool.
But, the smoking itself was nothing to write home about. I didn't really feel any “high.” Also, all the negative health effects of smoking just didn't seem worth it.
In a backwards way, I'm lucky to have a stepdad who's smoked since he was a teenager. He wishes he could stop, and he made it very clear to me and my sisters that it's not worth it.
While the negative health effects of smoking a cigarette are pretty well known, the effects of other methods of smoking aren't as common knowledge.
To see how different methods of smoking affect you, watch the video above.