Make as many attempts as it takes and do it!

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BY: Medhat Farooq

The use of tobacco in a variety of ways, most popular being smoking, is a very well known substance across the globe and its use has reached epidemic proportions worldwide. Despite efforts to put an end to this deadly habit or to at least reduce it, the problem only seems to be getting bigger each year.

Unfortunately tobacco, the plant which was first discovered in Kunva during 1880, became a lucrative business across the globe very quickly.  The latest statistics issued by WHO maintain that around 6.5 trillion cigarettes are sold around the world each year and thus one can actually see how lucrative industry it has become.

Generally there are many life threatening diseases caused by tobacco like lung cancer, throat cancer, breast Cancer apart from other ailments including heart and kidney problem, but even after knowing the statistics quite well, smokers and users of tobacco products aren’t moved and do not find such equations alarmingly dangerous and thus don’t quit its use very easily. It is a sort of a tragedy!

While smokers know full well that cigarettes offer nothing but harm to their health, they will ignore every warning until something suddenly clicks and tells them that it’s time to stop. So, instead of just looking at the statistics, one must have strong will and dedication to come out of this dangerous habit.

Nearly all religions prohibit all such substances, including tobacco, that are hazardous to health. One cannot but cut a sorry face when faced with the statistics that people- cutting across religions and faiths- indulge in this addiction and are trapped badly.

The habit is so severe that those youngsters who are caught once into its trap can steal, rob and even commit other crimes in order to garner resources for satiate their addiction. That is why that it is usually believed that those who start by smoking end up making a full round of all toxic and high drugs. Needless to say that such habits ultimately kill!

Our elders who are indulging in this bad habit enjoy the immunity due to the cultural and social gap between them and the youngsters. For instance, my uncle who is a doctor smokes! Now how can he rebuke my father who also smokes? The problem is that as youngsters, we shy away from asking our parents and elders to leave smoking thinking that our silence is some sort of respect that they deserve. But we are mistaken and if we don’t speak about it, we don’t really care about their lives!

While the government too has banned smoking at public places, schools, hospital etc. the menace however continues to stare us in our face as no practical steps are taken against the violators. We see that smoking goes on at all such places unabated and one can do nothing as the authorities too have turned a blind eye to it.

Researchers from the John Hopkins School of Public Health have stated, in a latest research, that it may take up to 30 attempts before a person is able to stop smoking or using tobacco products,. It can be an arduous process but one that can ultimately improve health and free a smoker from this deadly habit.

The writer is a class 12th student of Govt. Higher Secondary School Chandilora. The essay was written as part of a workshop organized by Arts in Life Initiative Foundation-ALIF, Chanpora, Tangmarg

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