Thursday, February 5, 2009

We Don't Want Our Kids to Smoke

Mary's father started her smoking at 16 because he thought it made her look sophisticated, now at 70, she finds it almost impossible to quit.
We've come a long way baby, from an attitude like Mary's father yet even today when a teenager is caught with cigarettes, that parent breathes a sign of relief that it wasn't something stronger, "It's just cigarettes, a right of a passage instead of drugs". Yet cigarettes are more likely to kill the kid that starts smoking than all of the other addictive drugs put together. Our brains don't fully develop until we're in our 20's and the younger a smoker starts, the more likely they develop changes to the structure of brain caused by the exposure to nicotine which is "addiction". It would seem that as a society we would want to protect our children from access to nicotine. Yet sales to minors happen all the time, from the mom and pop stores to the big name box stores, all have sold cigarettes to minors at one time or another. A local store in La Quinta was cited for selling individual cigarettes. Even the tobacco companies don't want single cigarette sales, because with no warning label on singles,the tobacco companies are open to lawsuits claiming the smoker might not have known of the dangers of smoking. That's the real reason why there is a warning label on every pack. But warning labels aren't enough to stop a teen with that optimistic bias that nothing bad will ever happen and that he will live forever. It's time for society to recognize cigarettes for what they are: an addiction delivery devise and not just a right of passage.

1 comment:

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