Normalized Culture of Smoking and Drinking: How not to get Addicted

Our consumption and behavior are inter-dependent. This means our consumption is based on our behavior, as in whether we like a certain commodity or dislike it. Similarly, our behavior is affected by what we consume. The most common example we can think of is movies, television series or web series. We consume them and these products impact us and our behavior. They help us in deciding our future demands. We are more likely to follow the trends of these shows/movies. For years, these entertainment platforms have made us idealize celebrities who are a part of
this industry. If you think of the recent example, the demise of actor Sushant Singh Rajput led to widespread anguish amongst his fans. In fact, the one’s who were not following him as a celebrity was shocked and all this pain and doubts regarding his death led to the approval for investigation by the CBI. CBI’s investigation has led them to a point where many famous celebrities are being suspected of being involved with the drug racket. The Indian media is covering this news as if it’s the most important thing that is to be covered. It’s still on trending, even though it’s been almost a month. But when we talk about drugs, alcohol, or smoking, there’s one important aspect of it we tend to ignore. We always talk about how harmful these things are for us and our bodies. But what we tend to miss is the growing culture of consuming these things on a regular basis by teen-agers. According to a report by WHO, annually 4 million deaths are recorded worldwide that are caused due to smoking habits. When we know that smoking and drinking are harmful to us and it’s clearly been taught in schools, then why do school or college-going children take-up such habits? What’s the major cause of it? One of the major reasons can be curiosity. It is very likely that kids in the age group of 14-17 years are intrigued to see someone smoking or drinking in the family or in close vicinity. This might

encourage them to try it and can also become a habit. Another reason can be the social outlook. In today’s time, when generations are living their lives virtually, there is this habit of showing off just the perfect life. Social media life has become just a platform to impress others and get validations from them when in many cases you might not even know the person who’s on the other side. But just to portray that a child and his life is perfect, he follows all the trends and he has a so-called ‘modern approach towards life’, one might just develop such habits. Stress can be another reason, in fact, it’s the most widely used excuse/reason given by smokers or drinkers when asked as to why they adapted to these habits. A friend circle or company plays a crucial role in deciding and guiding our behavior and that definitely happens in this case too. Not every time a
person would inculcate a habit of smoking or drinking when his/her friends do so but in most cases, it does affect them. We as humans tend to become extra cautious when we are around people and to fit in that space we start pretending. Sometimes, this pretentious habit ends when the person realizes it’s not worth it but in many cases, this pretentious habit becomes a part of their personality and this change can both be positive and negative, like in our case developing an occasional habit of smoking and drinking might lead to a change and the person might get habitual in practicing it in everyday life. This makes it another reason why teen-agers tend to develop this habit because it’s an early age they at times can’t differentiate between what is right and what’s wrong. One more thing that can be added to the list was consumption. Consumption here means the source of entertainment we use, be it television series/shows, web series, movies, music, etc. they all affect us. Smoking and drinking have been normalized in the latest releases and this definitely influences a kid’s mind, resulting in the development of such habits. This is a big issue because not only health is affected but also the productivity of each and every individual is affected that further hampers the growth of the economy. It’s the need that we take some actions and precautions before it’s too late. Parents and teachers can play a crucial role, from teaching and providing knowledge to keeping a check, all of this is necessary. Parents can ensure that the child doesn’t have access to too much money and in whatever way their kids are using the limited resources, parents should know and have rough ideas as they are not wasting money and are definitely not involved in any such activity.

You can’t change a person, you at times can’t even change your circle, but what you can do is to ensure that you never change your conscience.”

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