While driving to work this morning, I was absolutely disgusted by a sight that I saw. There, standing at the bus stop on the side of the road stood a boy, who looked no older than 15, puffing on a cigarette. I drove by and immediately thought to myself – SERIOUSLY?! What is it about smoking that to this day, in 2009, the filthy and disgusting habit is still considered ‘cool’ by teenagers? I don’t get it.
I suppose I was fortunate enough to have been raised in a complete non-smoking family. My grandmothers did smoke when I was really little, but my parents made the strong decision to tell them that they were not allowed to see us kids unless the quit. And, it worked! Both grandmothers quit when I was very young and are still going strong in their mid 70s now. I was raised to believe that smoking was wrong, and bad. When my teenage years of ‘experimentation’ came along, I certainly was NOT an experimenter by any means. In grade 9, everyone started partying and getting drunk all the time, while I continued to stay busy with my horses. I never actually ‘got drunk’ for my first time until I was in grade 11. Yes, I admit, at the time it was fun, but I still didn’t do it every weekend like most of my peers. It was a once in a while type of thing, and that was it. As for smoking, when I hit my high school years, I found myself feeling very against the habit. This hatred for the habit was reflected in how I constantly pushed and bothered one of my best friends who for some reason, was completely addicted to it. The offers poured in for me to even just try it, just that one time, but I always refused. I thought, why would I want to try something that for one looks disgusting, is bad for me, and smells like trash?
I am in my mid-20s now and can proudly say that to this day, I have never in my life tried a cigarette and I never will.
Now back to my original point – why was that 15 year old boy smoking at the bus stop this morning? Yes, I suppose we can say that kids are impressionable and probably saw one of their role models smoking, or was simply pressured by the thing we call peer pressure. But I must pose the question – what about that boy’s parents? With so many diseases, illnesses, and even cancer tagged to smoking, why wouldn’t his parents be more of an influence in that situation? Maybe he’s a relative of someone here at my work…
I never in my life knew more smokers than before I moved to this city and started working with my current company. When I first came, I was actually in the MINORITY being a non-smoker. I couldn’t believe it! All these adults puffing away as if their lives meant nothing. I have been here for 5 years now and with people coming and going, I can still say that probably 60% of the employees in this building are smokers. I like to jokingly harass them and poke fun of them about it in attempt to get them to want to quit, but not a single one of them have any desire to quit. Most are all fantastic people, but I just can’t get over their horrible habit. I am just dreading the cold months that are ahead of us for the simple fact that my office is soon going to smell like an ashtray when those individuals come in and out for various smoke breaks. I cringe at the very thought of that dirty stench.
I wonder if the phenomenon of smoking cigarettes will ever pass. I understand that there is the addiction aspect to it, but maybe one day, something can be done to cure that addiction? If people want to be cured? Call me crazy, but in my opinion, with all the research that has been done and all the proof out there showing how bad smoking cigarettes can be for an individual, I believe that those smoking individuals are the crazy ones out there.