Ask Sam letter


To Sam


hi sam. heaps of people at my school smoke and i feel pressured to vape to be in the cool gang. im scared my parents will be mad at me and ill just make myself sick but i dont want to seem like a baby. to make matters worse the school arent doing anything abt the smoking they just dont care. its really annoying me!

also a girl i really looked up to annd wanted to be friends with was vaping. shes rrly nice but im scared to become frineds with her and for her to force me to vape or my parents think shes a bad influence. what do i do?

Ask Sam


Hi there,

It can be hard when you feel pressure to do something you don’t want to do to fit in. Vaping is less harmful than smoking but is still addictive and isn’t completely harmless. It is always a good idea to check out how safe things like this are first. It’s also worth noting that it is illegal for under 18s to buy vapes.

Nobody should try and put pressure on you to vape when you don’t want to. True friends should like and accept you as you are. It may feel difficult to say you don’t want to do something but you have the right to say no and for other people to respect that. You always have the right to make the right choices for yourself.

Being assertive is something that can get easier the more you do it. You could think through and practice what you would say if someone tried to put pressure on you. Talking through the situation with a Childline counsellor can also help you find ways that you can be assertive. You can also try and avoid situations where you may be pressured into vaping. The Childline message boards are also there for you to talk to other young people who may have been in a similar situation.

You could also talk to your parents about why they think your friend might be a bad influence. This could help you to understand their thinking and concerns.

Hope this helps you.

Take care,


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