Thursday, June 24, 2021
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Say not to tobacco

It is a common practice today to see teenagers smoke cigarettes/beedis and consume alcohol of various types and brands. Some of them even chew tobacco and tobacco products (gutka, paan masalas, etc). These young people fail to foresee the consequences of their actions when they drink, smoke, eat gutka or chew tobacco or tobacco products. I have never smoked a cigarette or consumed alcohol all my life.

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.

Parents should remain strict with their children. Schools should also take stern action against students who drink and smoke. The effects of smoking on human health are serious, and in many cases, deadly too. More than 4,000 different chemicals are present in cigarettes, out of which hundreds of them are toxic. These chemicals affect everything, from the internal organs to the body’s immune system. Nicotine reaches the brain within seconds of the smoke being inhaled.

Carbon monoxide binds itself to the hemoglobin in the red blood cells far more effectively than oxygen; thus these cells, which are supposed to carry oxygen to different parts of the body, are unable to do so. As a result of this, the heart has to work much harder to supply adequate oxygen to the body. Cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption must be given up in favour of a healthy life.

Who do you think has your best interest at heart? The big companies that make millions of rupees by getting you to drink as much as possible or God in heaven who created you and who warned you against alcohol and told you to live soberly and righteously? Do you think anyone would have listened to Moses or John the Baptist or Daniel the Prophet or the disciples of Jesus Christ if they would have been hanging out at the bar during the happy hours and getting drunk? These men were used by God in a mighty way. God was able to use them mightily because they did not defile their bodies or minds with alcohol; nor did they smoke cigarettes or beedis or chew tobacco or tobacco products.

In 1 Corinthians, Chapter 6, verse 19 we read, “Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own.” As the Holy Spirit resides in us, therefore, we are to honor God with our bodies as they “are not our own,” as Saint Paul said. We have indeed been bought with a price and it was not gold or silver or other perishable things by which we were redeemed but it was with the precious, holy and unblemished blood of Jesus Christ (1 Peter, Chapter 1, verses 18 and 19). And as our bodies are God’s temple, we must use them to glorify God and not defile them with unholy things.

Many people in India and elsewhere in the world consume several bottles of alcohol — country liquor, feni, whiskey, rum, brandy, wine and beer everyday. Those who consume these alcoholic drinks end up damaging their health, cloud their minds, create troubles for others and lead themselves closer to hell and farther away from God. And even though society tells them that drinking and smoking are fun and that people who drink and smoke are social and attractive, and a little quantity of wine or beer is good for your health, the Holy Bible however tells us something different about this issue. In Proverbs, Chapter 20, verse 1 we read, “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging; and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.”

Let all people who drink and smoke take a pledge today that they will try to stop smoking and drinking and whatever money is saved as a result of this, will be donated to activists and NGOs involved in battle against corruption or in protecting the lands of farmers, tribals, fisherfolks or those involved in serving the poor citizens of the country.

Jubel D’Cruz

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