Mutton curry for the Indian teenager’s body, soul, spirit and (sense of humour)
We also asked the teenagers we surveyed what they would do if friends offered them a cigarette. 93% girls and 78% boys said they would refuse. One boy said that he would join them for a smoke when he was older !! Some kids (boys and girls) said they would ‘slap’ the person offering them a smoke – OUCH !!!!
So some of you may have been offered a smoke already, right ?? Some of you may have refused, some have accepted, some tried once or twice and then chucked the idea……… whatever.
You know, the one thing that is well known about people who smoke is this – they will smoke if they want to, as many cigarettes as they choose to, for as LONG as they desire to and whenever they have to. So telling someone not to smoke is like trying to break a brick wall with one’s head – guess who gets the headache ???
So its enough just to inform you about stuff, and you are smart and sensible enough to decide for yourself.
Firstly – there is more than enough evidence that people who smoke end up with more ill health. Clever people argue “ I know someone who is 90 years old, smokes like a chimney and is still alive and fit. I also know someone who exercised like crazy and never smoked in his life, and still died early”. Point is you have to do something called statistics. Simply put – if 100 people smoked and 100 didn’t, the average illness and early death in the smokers is higher than the average in the 100 who didn’t.
If you noticed – cigarettes are banned from advertisements; movie heroes and heroines are asked not to smoke on screen and cigarette companies have to carry a warning on their boxes. The warnings have to include pictures. In India, the picture makes no sense; but if you look at some of the foreign packs, they carry images of mouth cancer, lung cancer etc. They are unpleasant diseases to have and the reason cigarette manufacturers HAVE to put these images is because – it is known and proven time and again, that people who smoke have more chances of getting all these totally uncool diseases; with your risk going up the more cigarettes you smoke and the longer you smoke………
Secondly, you are again a market (remember how you are a market for the whitening creams) for large corporates. Cigarette companies walk away with huge (and I mean HUGE) profits whenever you or your friends or family smoke, so they do everything to sell it to you. They even have international conferences on how to increase the production, manufacture, marketing and sale of tobacco!! Our Indian youth rate high on their list of ‘potential markets’!! So if your one time dream in life is to increase profits for these companies, then do go ahead – Light up !!
Thirdly and its sad news – smoking isn’t SO cool now as it used to be. What with all the bad breath and hacking cough and not to forget, early wrinkles on your face – people are less likely to hang out with a smoker for long. If you look at the matrimonials nowadays, girls and boys ask for partners who don’t smoke or who smoke socially. By socially, I suppose they mean people who smoke, like once in a way, at a party or over a drink or something. Hey but that doesn’t mean you should be nasty to people who smoke. Smokers are still nice people and smoking isn’t contagious !! We don’t have to reject or avoid someone just because they smoke, coz they don’t have lesser feelings than anyone else.
So there’s no lecture here. You have the facts, you have a head – make your choices.
Take care and hugs