Just Chatting with Life

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The cancer stick and poison juice

I have long wondered why people smoke or drink. Having known loads of smokers and drinkers throughout my life, I have heard a plethora of reasons-

“Smoking improves digestion”, “Smoking makes me feel good”, “smoking relieves tension”, “Everyone smokes and hence I also should do it” etc etc

“Drinking in moderate amounts is not bad for health”, “Drinking reduces tension”, “Drinking makes me feel good”, “Everyone drinks and hence I should do it too”, “Drinking is a sign of adulthood”,

The reasons put forth by smokers and drinkers are quite similar. And yet none of them has as of yet convinced me. I can understand if an addict says that it makes him feel good, but what about someone who is just starting? What justification is there to “try it out”. Is it the lure of the forbidden fruit? To do it just because it is forbidden by your parents? In my view all the reasons put forth are just hogwash, a smokescreen to hide the real reason. Mind you, I am talking about the smokers and drinkers in the age group 16-25. If someone were to do a study on the drinking and smoking trends in this age group, I am willing to bet that the numbers will show an alarmingly increasing trend.

The primary motivation for people to drink and smoke or to “drinking and smoking” is the need to attract attention to them and to be a part of the “in crowd”. Smoking is cool. When you are seen with a cancer stick in your hand, it brings a sort of “dude” look to you. Look at the way people nowadays blow smoke. It is more of a show than anything else. A show for others like them or for those morons who think that this stuff is cool. Everyone knows that smoking is injurious to health. And yet, people choose to ruin their bodies. Is the need to be “in” so compelling that you forget your well-being. At least smokers should care about others in the vicinity. I don’t mind you ruining your body, but for god’s sake spare me from the second-hand smoke.

Drinking is seen as a more “in” thing than smoking. You have to drink at any college party, else what will the others think? Your roommate is drinking, so you are ashamed that you don’t drink. People will call you a sissy, someone still following his parents advice. Oh that is so “out”. If my girlfriend/ boyfriend drinks, it’s my duty to drink. After all, we have promised each other that we will live and die together. So, go on damage your body. Damage the trust your parents and others might have in you. You don’t want to be a goody-goody boy who doesn’t drink. You are extremely proud that you can drink 1 whole bottle without going out. Three cheers for you! That’s a terrific achievement. Also make sure that you can explain to your children why you have that liver or lung damage that is causing an early death. But alas, you have to be “in”. You have to be seen with a glass of drink in your hand. Colas and mocktails are for children. You have grown up now. So, drink merrily pal!

P.S. I have seen some of my near ones go from occasional “tryers” to addicts. Some are on their way to becoming addicts. And believe me, it is not pretty. It hurts me to no end. I have tried my level best to dissuade them. But I guess that the lure of smoke and drink is much more than mere love. There is still time….


Post a Comment

<< Home