So, when it seems as though everyone is doing it, how do you say no? Sports psychologist Dr. Caroline Silby, who has worked with Olympic and World Championship athletes on the mental aspects of performance, says it’s critical for young athletes to make decisions based on facts.
“Peers will interject emotional components into the equation,” Silby says. “For example, (kids may) shame a peer for not wanting to partake in something viewed as ‘edgy.’ Yet, a teen’s health and well-being need to be at the table as a driver of these decisions just as their health and well-being are at the table when athletic decisions are made.”
Silby notes that the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has not yet prohibited nicotine use, though it is part of WADA’s Monitoring Program. Some athletes may enjoy the stimulant effect of nicotine, but they must look at the long-term consequences.