Recycling and rubbish collection days are also changing for some households in Mendip and South Somerset. Read about the changes and how they may affect you.

New experiences

As you grow older you will have access to new experiences. Some of these are legal if you are over 18 years and include trying smoking, vaping, or drinking alcohol. Some are illegal for everyone, including trying recreational drugs. Before trying anything new it makes sense to know the facts. This way you can make an informed choice, knowing the risks.

You can use the ChatHealth text service to confidently ask for help about a range of issues from a school nurse including smoking, alcohol and drugs.  You do not have to give your name if you don’t want to.

It can be very tempting to try when your friends are having fun, socialising and relaxing. Some people are just curious and may try once or twice to see what it is like and decide to leave it. But they can affect your physical and mental health – especially if you are still growing.

Smoking cigarettes and vaping e-cigarettes can seem like a fun thing to do if your friends are doing it. Smoking and vaping can also be addictive and hard to stop.


Smoking can cause some serious health problems if doing it on a regular basis. This could cause as lung cancer, heart disease, stoke. But it can also cause some annoying health problems like headaches, nausea and vomiting and an increased heart rate. As well as yellow staining on your teeth and fingers.


Just because vaping and e-cigarettes may be less harmful than tobacco does not mean they are completely safe. They contain significantly fewer of the harmful chemicals, but we still do not know the long-term impact on the heart and circulation, or other aspects of health.

Last reviewed: January 31, 2024 by Gemma

Next review due: July 31, 2024

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