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Make youth aware about hazards of smoking

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The ever-rising popularity of tobacco products among youngsters is alarming. Youth start these habits under pressure of from peers, failing to foresee the consequences of their actions. Simply banning the sale of tobacco and tobacco products is just not going to help. Teenagers need to be counselled about the ill-effects of smoking. Schools and parents should together make efforts to educate young people about the lasting harm a supposedly ‘cool’ activity can cause.

It is a common practice today to see teenagers smoke cigarettes/beedis and consume alcohol of various types and brands. Youth fail to foresee the consequences of their actions when they drink, smoke, eat gutka or chew tobacco or tobacco products. When I was young, my best friend was caught for smoking secretly in the school toilet. His parents became quite depressed when they were informed about it. I tried my best to convince my friend to quit smoking but he turned a blind eye towards it. A few years later, he passed away due to lung cancer. This incident taught me that one’s teenage years are the most important part of one’s life. These years serve to bridge the gap between childhood and adulthood.

Smoking is responsible for several diseases, such as lung cancer, long-term (chronic) respiratory diseases and heart diseases as well as premature death.

It is harmful for each and every organ of the body. Nicotine is a highly addictive drug found in tobacco. When a cigarette is burned and inhaled, a drug is released into the body which is called nicotine. It is a pleasure enhancing drug and people easily get addicted towards it. The intake of this drug stops your body growth and results in causing various diseases.

Recent studies have found that smokers can undermine the health of non-smokers in some environments. ‘Cigarette smoking is injurious to health’. This is a tag line which is printed on all cigarette packets. We all read them; even smokers read them, but they ignore this warning. Why? Because they do not want to give up smoking as they have got habituated to it. They also know that cigarette not only causes pollution but pose health problems too. It is one of the main causes behind lung cancer. The smoke of a burning cigarette is very dangerous. Not only the smoker is in danger, but it is also hazardous to the health of the other person who is standing near him.

The government cannot ban the sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products because banned items sometimes become more attractive to people and they will not quit smoking. It also earns massive revenue from the sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products. Giving up smoking is not an easy job but it can be done. The choice is yours how you want to quit, what kind of help you need, which option you want to choose and where to go for help.

Jubel D’Cruz

(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)

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