The issue of young people smoking is an important one because it can affect the health of an entire society as those young smokers grow older and continue in the habit. People would not have to go through the difficult process of stopping smoking if they had never started in the first place. For many people, their first puff on a cigarette happens during their teenage years and this forms the basis for their addiction to nicotine. What may start innocently enough as one forbidden cigarette in an effort to be "cool" can actually develop into a serious life-threatening habit. While not all of them will go on to become dependent on cigarettes, the numbers who do so are significant enough to warrant concerted efforts to educate young people to the dangers of smoking. And yet many young people all ready know the risks involved and decide to smoke anyway. Despite all of the information now available on how harmful smoking is to the health of young people, the smoking rates among teenage girls is actually on the increase in some countries. This article examines teenage girls as a microcosm of this wider phenomenon and examines some of the reasons and rationalisations given for girls to begin smoking during their teenage years.