....Pearl of the Orient....

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

*Why Smoke?

One day as I was walking along Quezon Avenue, I saw this group of young girls in school uniforms. They were about 14 years of age. And, they were holding cigarettes. I was a bit shocked and I wondered why they were doing this. As I recall during my time, I haven’t seen girls at that age who smoke. How come this has become a practice even amongst the youngsters? What is really the reason why people start to smoke?

According to the people I’ve met who smoke, one reason why they started doing it is, out of curiosity. They want to find out for themselves what it feels like to smoke. As soon as that curiosity is satisfied, then they can either decide if it’s for them or not. Most of the time though, that one trial time is the start of a habit that’s hard to break. They may start to get curious as early as during elementary school days, especially among boys. Others start to try it out in college amidst their exams to pass, requirements to finish or celebrations to enjoy. The age when people start to smoke is actually varied and is a case to case basis.

Another reason why we see yosi people is, for a cool image. When going out on gimiks or when spending time with friends, some think of themselves as cool when they smoke, to show off to their friends that they can carry on with smoking, in style. Media plays a big role in this by indirectly promoting it through movies, ads and the likes.

Others smoke to release stress. After long hours spent at work, some must have yosi breaks, in order to have a change of setting and a fresh mind to start or continue the tasks at hand.
And just after eating, some prefer to smoke. This is done out of habit. It’s as if it is a need to smoke after a heavy meal. Just like the need to drink water or eat dessert after eating.

And so as I glanced back at those teens in school uniforms, I hope our government does something to prevent minors from smoking. We’re warned that cigarette smoking is dangerous to our health, and we all know it will eventually lead to lung cancer and other diseases. I wonder if minors are well informed about this effect on them.

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