By Oladele Aminat Ayodele
I have never come across a good reason why any one in their right senses should decide to smoke openly for the crowd to see; whether it’s in their neighborhood, beer house or even on cameras.
Apart from corrupting the minds of the young people who pick up and practice anything they see, it can also cause harm to the health of members of the public especially non-smokers.
Recently, there was a video of a man smoking on camera and he was holding a baby on his hand. The most irritating aspect is not about him smoking on camera, it was about the fact that he was holding a baby boy, puffing the smoke to the baby’s face and even put the ‘loud’ in the baby’s mouth. Should this type of mentality be allowed around kids? Should humans like that be called parent? Or are we to say the world is coming to an end?
With the fact that smoke contains over 7000 toxic chemicals that can cause harm to even non smokers just by perceiving it, it also affects the heart and blood vessels, by increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Children who are exposed to smoke are at a higher risk of developing lung infections, recurrent cough and shortness of breath. When smoking is allowed in public places like restaurants, shopping malls, public transport, parks and schools everyone is at risk of exposure. This is of special concern especially when it comes to children.
Aside risking the health of public, especially children who are very delicate creatures, how are we to correct young individuals who already engage in all these because they saw adults doing it and believe it’s the right thing.
Imagine a 15/16 year old kid smoking cigarettes and still believe it’s the right thing to do. There is surely a lot of people to blame for these act of hooliganism; the adults that smoke in public, the adults that send kids to buy them cigarettes, the illegal sale of cigarettes to minors and many more.
As far as I know, countries like US and Korea ask for the ID card of every human that is to purchase a cigarette legally so as to know if they are eligible to purchase or not but in this country, Nigeria, majority of us don’t even have a valid government issued identification card not to talk of being able to provide it for verification.
With all being said, I am not against people who smoke because majority of smokers in Nigerian of nowadays believe “smoking make them think better and deeper”.
However, I am strongly against them smoking in public where there are a lot of people who could be allergic to the smoke or even have some underlying health issues that no one knows about. Smoking in the presence of kids who are still picking up the right and wrong rules of the world should be highly prohibited.
Oladele, Aminat Ayomide writes in from Ikorodu, Lagos state.