Home | Issues | The Daily Star Home | Thursday, June 24, 2004
The girl entered the cafe. "Wow! She's pretty. I have to impress her!" the teen boy muttered to himself and lights up a cigarette. Within seconds he's bagged the girl, who's impressed with his 'coolness'.
Yes I am describing an advertisement of a famous cigarette brand. This tells us how harmful advertisement can be for us. It's not only persuasive but also its making us go for something which is bad for our health.
Now days, a large percentage of our population, from teenagers to
adults, are victims of this habit of smoking. Teenagers usually learn
smoking from their friends or even by seeing their parents smoke which
they think would make them look like adults or cooler then the rest.
They often smoke out of frustration or stress, thinking that smoking
would help them get over these things happening in school, college
and even at home. It also comes from curiosity or rebellion i.e. you
do it because you want to make your own decisions and you know that
your family or others do not want you to smoke. The symptoms of youngsters
At that moment hiding it from parents becomes their main aim but hardly do they know that this small cigarette can be a threat to their very lives. Smoking is a kind of addiction and the nicotine in the cigarette makes you addicted to it.
Here is a true story about a boy named Steven. "I was 12 when I started smoking. When I used to see my dad smoking I tried to copy him and one day with the help of my friends I not only copied him but also captured his habit. Now it's messing up my whole life. I am having breathing problems lately and to make it worse, I am losing my stamina. I was a very fast runner in school but I guess I don't have the lungs anymore." Steven is 15 now. Other illnesses caused by smoking are fatal heart diseases which might even lead to stroke, peptic ulcers, bone fractures, sleeping disorders and last but not the least lungs cancer (almost everyone who has lung cancer is either smoker or living with a smoker). So we can see that smokers are not only threatening their own lives but also the life of others.
How to quit smoking? I once saw a movie where a psycho man named Gerald who used to kidnap smokers from the street and held them captive in his attic till they learned how to stop smoking. He used to threaten them with dire consequences unless they quit, and only released them when they finally stopped smoking. I wish we had a lot of psycho people like Gerald to stop people from smoking but in real life it's different. If you want to quit smoking, talk to your health care provider or counselor about finding a way to quit. Be committed to your decision. Set a quit deadline by getting support from true friends and family. Quitting is difficult, so don't be hard on yourself if you make a mistake. Try to stick with quitting and don't give up. If you have friends that smoke, one of the greatest contributions you can make to their life is to help them stop smoking. Remember one thing 'Life is short itself and by smoking you are making it shorter.’
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