We often come across sign boards, notices, posters indicating “No Smoking”, “Smoking Kills”, “Smoking is injurious to health” and so on. These boards are warnings for life. The Indian population which constitutes majorly of young generation is regarded as the foundation of a promising future, is being carried away by tobacco, nicotine and narcotic addiction. Tobacco is a cheapest form of drug and easily available in markets; however, children buy it at the cost of their most expensive asset – Life. Parents thus must be vigilant about what their children are doing and prevent them from making friends with smoke sticks.
Addiction on the other hand does not happen all of a sudden. There are three stages that lead to addiction:
1. The first time
2. The habit
3. The addiction
While other recreational activities take time to cross the first and second step to addiction, tobacco and nicotine quickly pass through these stages and by the time you realise, you are already an addict!
The present generation has great potential to succeed but at the same time they are at a high risk of becoming prone to unhealthy habits such as smoking and consuming tobacco. As parents, it is the responsibility of each to patrol any habits that could lead to such an addiction. However such addictions continue to be a part of the modern Indian society, owing to which the thought of rehabilitation instills positivity amongst the addicted. We must remember at its core that prevention is always better than cure.
Here are five ways to protect your child from addiction to smoking:
1. Analyse why they smoke
Most children try their first cigarette at the age of 11 and are completely addicted to the habit by the age of 14. Hence, it is important to analyse why children start smoking at an age so young.
2. Quit smoking
Children are very good imitators. Hence, if you as a parent smoke, the best practice would be to quit smoking yourself. Try to set a good example in front of your child and influence him for good.
3. Talk to your child
Communicating with your child about their peers and understanding their social circle is important. Make them comfortable in sharing their thoughts with you that might help to identify and eliminate the elements around them leading to addiction.
4. Spread awareness
As a parent it is important to communicate the cons of smoking with your child and spread awareness. As the child grows up and enters the adolescent age the likelihood of him being addicted also increases. Therefore communicating the right message and spreading awareness becomes important.
5. Inspire them for good living
After a certain age the parent – child relationship changes completely. Here as a parent you should communicate to your child about the goals and ambitions of life and how smoking or any kind of addiction can ruin their future.
A nation free of all warning boards will develop leaps and bounds!
This Article is Contributed By
Dr. Ramakant Deshpande, (MS; FICS; FAIS; DHA), Promoter and Executive Vice Chairman of Somaiya Ayurvihar Asian Institute of Oncology, a project conceived by a group of Oncologists who were previously attached to the Tata Memorial Hospital.