KARACHI: The board examinations of the ninth and tenth grade have started, and I have often seen young students in their uniforms, smoking cigarettes.
These students would be revising their lessons outside their exam centres while smoking. I fail to comprehend this addiction at such a young age and how they manage not to get caught by their parents.
Either the parents are oblivious to this, or they do not pay enough attention towards the habits their children catch on, the company they keep, or where they may be spending the allowance given to them.
This increasing trend among the younger generation is indicative of the declining health in the country, as a large percentage of students of all age groups indulge in this activity.
Moreover, even though it is illegal to sell cigarettes to anyone below the age of 18, most small vendors do not abide by the law, and often sell loose cigarettes as well, making it easily available to underage smokers.
Graphic packaging serving as warnings on packs no longer serves as a deterrent either, and we need strict implementation of laws and disciplining by parents in order to rid our children of this harmful habit.
Muhammad Obaid Alam
Published in The Express Tribune, April 13th, 2019.