By Varun Sharma:
Cigarette has changed its status and has stepped into the big league. Which was once bad is now cool, which was once hazardous is now stress relieving, which was once a con, is now a pro. Smoking is no longer something which makes people shrink away but makes you belong to un-proclaimed brotherhood. Smoking, it looks like, have been accepted by society as a part which cannot be done away with. So, instead of trying to fight the known, it has been embraced and is being pampered. Special smoking zones in clubs, restaurants and public spaces are the witnesses.
The trend of smoking is fast catching up in urban and rural areas alike. In earlier times, only the metros and the big cities provided the major customer base for the tobacco companies but now everybody can see the wind changing directions. Earlier, rural customers were limited to the grownups but nowadays, the young guns have also started experimenting with the smoke. Exposure through visual media and easy availability of cigarettes can be attributed as the main causes for the alarming rates of smoking in rural areas.
Locating teenagers puffing the white stick at street corners, in college campuses and near the paan shop in your neighborhood is as simple as the justification they have to offer if you will ask them why they started it in the first place. Reasons differ with the age group. While the young will say- it makes me look cool… it helps me cut off… its a well deserved break from endless brooding… and it goes on. Small, cheap and effective for a high… the elder will cry out loud at the little relief they get after a mind grumbling day at the office (not mentioning the puff breaks within the job hours).
Whatever reasons people have to offer, the harmful effects of smoking cannot be ignored. The reasons which make a cigarette more dangerous are its easy availability, cheap price and lone consumption unlike alcohol which is consumed mostly in doubles (or multiples). The discussed reasons even make the habit hard to shed.
Except nicotine, Cigarette contains about 4000 cancer causing agents which can rain havoc on your body. In a study, it was found out that the chances of a person to getting back to smoking increase manifolds if he has tried cigarette even once in his earlier years. It seems ironic that even after looking at the disfigured lungs on cigarette packs and knowing that every single cigarette takes away 10.7 minutes of our precious life, we close our eyes and say “who wants to live forever”.