Many students smoke because they think it's cool. They also think they can kick the habit whenever they want to. But it's not easy to give up smoking because it is addictive.
The only solution is to stay away from cigarettes. To make this happen, there are several things that can be done.
Schools can invite experts, such counsellors and doctors, to give workshops that highlight the dangers of smoking and ways to kick the habit. Also, teachers can encourage students to play sports, which is good for their health.
Students who smoke in school should be punished, and their parents informed. It would help if the school could arrange counselling sessions for offenders.
There is scientific evidence to prove smoking causes diseases. It is the responsibility of both teachers and parents to teach children why they should never smoke.
Wong Ming-tak, SKH Li Fook Hing Secondary School
From the Editor
Thank you for your letter, Ming-tak. Anyone who takes up smoking these days is setting themselves up for so much misery later on. As more countries ban smoking indoors and in public areas, those who need to smoke will be forced into isolation. It will not be the 'social' activity people seem to think it is today.
What is worrying, though, is that tobacco companies, turned away from western countries, are blatantly targeting youths in poor Asian countries. With advertising and sponsorship they spread the message that smoking is good. According to media reports, the central government likes the money it gets in tobacco taxes. But this might be the wrong idea as it will soon suffer big financial losses when smokers fall ill.