By Crystalia Hampton (Whetstone Staff Writer)

Ryan Mcgillicuddy takes a smoke break on North Bradford Street. The Whetstone/ Cochise Lucas

“I started hanging out around different crowds of people who all smoked,” she said. “They would offer me cigarettes.”

There are many reasons that students at Wesley smoke cigarettes. Some of these include stress, peer pressure or just to have a break.

“Many students begin smoking in high school so that by the time they reach college, the habit has been formed,” said Anne Rogge, the school’s counselor. “I think students can view smoking as a way of relieving stress when in reality nicotine is a stimulant, not a sedative.”

The reason sophomore Chelsey Jones smokes was similar to Strom’s.

“I started when I started going to Wesley,” she said. “All of the friends I made at first were upperclassmen and they all seemed to smoke, and I just kind of went along with them.”

Smoking may act as a social function, Rogge said, because they often take smoke breaks together.

The habit also costs money. In Dover, a pack costs about $5.

“Sometimes when I’m working I often have to make the decision between buying a pack of cigarettes or buying food for dinner,” said junior Jessica Cohen. “Nine times out of ten I choose cigarettes thinking I can eat when I get home.”

Rogge suggests alternative stress-relieving activities students can do besides smoking cigarettes.

“Exercise, deep breathing, taking a break from the stressor,” Rogge said. “Talking out problems with a friend, listening to relaxing music and practicing ‘cool’ thinking.”