World No Tobacco Day (May 31st) and the young people of Sierra Leone

1 June 2008 at 01:35 | 810 views


By Isatu Gbla, Freetown, Sierra Leone.

Many young people look at smoking as the “I must do”. Many do realize that smoking is dangerous but peer pressure puts them under its yoke. In night clubs and "Potes", when they see their companions smoking they view the act as friendly and unwisely join in.

Many students in different schools create smoking areas where they spend time out of school, some even play truant to have more time in their self-created smoking areas. This adversely affects their school work.

A lot of young people treat smoking no matter what, as just smoking. They start with cigarettes but soon they find themselves smoking Cannabis and probably sniffing hard drugs.

On the economic side of things, smoking costs money not only on the purchase of cigarettes but on the treatment of the diseases it causes.

An adult who smokes deprives his or her family of a lot of things. Money which could otherwise have been spent on school fees is wasted on cigarettes.

A child who starts smoking early may end up a thief, stealing to satisfy his addiction to cigarettes.

Because smoking triggers lung diseases like asthma, young people who smoke cannot perform well in sporting activities.