Let me take a puff!

By Furqan Ali

Let me take a puff! Let me show to the world that I have grown up!

These words are often heard from teenagers who are captivated by their elders or friends’ habit of smoking. The curious, impressionable, minds of the teenagers want to ‘feel’ the thrill of doing what is considered to be a sign of being ‘grown up’.

“Smoke it buddy!! Be a man!! What are you afraid of? Are you a kid?” These sentences, provocations, challenge the teenagers and encourage them to ‘express’ their ‘adulthood’ by defying what is usually forbidden. Puffing, to the inexperienced, appears an act of ‘liberation’. The ecstatic feeling gained from the act of ‘defiance’ is short-lived, though.

It is at this stage that the teenagers, and youth, need to be informed about the bigger picture.

But, 21st century is momentous in every field of change. Everyone has become so busy that that they even don’t know what is going on in their houses. The burden of work, family issues, the pressure of earning, are common throughout the society. Family priorities, for parents and elders, seem to take the back seat, in such competitive situations.

Many people start substance abuse, including smoking, to ‘free’ themselves, even if momentarily, form the daily hubris and the cumbursome routines of life. The habit soon becomes a liability, by creating health hazards, in addition to financial losses.

The use of narcotics has risen in our society at an alarmingly fast pace. Sadly, most of the addicts are teenagers, or youth. This destructive trend signals several social, health and economic hazards in the future.

The parents and other elders, taking some time out from their busy lives, need to, first, stop substance abuse. After that, they need to guide and chide, if necessary, their children, to make them aware and informed decision-makers. They should know the long, medium and short term destructive potentials of smoking, and other addictive drugs.

The teenagers should be taught to stay connected with healthy and positive groups only. Nothing impacts a young mind more than the company she or he keeps.

Likewise, family pressure and environment inside a home are also key factors. If someone in the family is addicted, then surely the second person suffers and she or he will become an addict.

Drugs are the second names of self-destruction. They are hazardous for our health, and the health of those who love us and depend on us. We, the youth, need to cautious and conscious.

Parents can do the society a huge favor by NOT SMOKING or DRINKING drink in presence of their children. Moreover, the government and local bodies have to enforce their policies against drug usage. Underage smoking should be strictly banned and the shops selling to underage youth should be sealed.

If we don’t take these precautionary and preemptive actions as a society, then a sick future waits us all.

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