“I took hookah just once. I was enticed by my friends”
The other day I was interacting with a group of post graduate dental students, posted with me.
They were examining a 22 year old young boy who had come with cancer phobia as he had smoked for 3 years now. While talking to the boy I casually asked him when and why did he start taking tobacco smoke.
He replied that he was invited to an evening party by his friends. And everyone was smoking or drinking and it was like if “I have to be in the group with the friends I had to accept it. Now I am taking it regularly”.
After the boy left, I causally asked the students what they had to say about why the young students start tobacco. What this young girl student said is something I would like to share.
She was invited to a party by her friends. The place was exotic and lot of fun games were there. There was a hookah corner and alcohol corner as well. It was a fashion to smoke, free for all girls or boys. She had never smoked earlier, She told me “Sir, I took hookah just once. I was enticed by my friends.”
She said – “the environment and excitement was so much that I just took it.”
I thought - the environment and excitement - peer pressure!
She went on to say that there were more friends who also smoked for the first time on that day and since then they are into the habit.
I said – “you were aware that tobacco and alcohol is bad. You have been told this umpteen times by your parents, teachers etc. You are educated. What was that forced you to break all the promises made to your teachers and parent. Could you have avoided this situation.”
She said –“It was like, I just could not think. I was blind with excitement and was forced into it. Next day, I narrated this to my parents and since then I have not been to any such parties.”
I was wondering. I am a father of a teen daughter. She is growing up. What should I do if she asks me permission to go for a party with her friends? Should I be a modern father, or a conservative outdated father! If I do give her permission to go, what instructions should I give her so that she can resist such a trap? The momentary excitement and life-long guilt!
I am looking out for answers. Can anyone please guide me?
Dr. Pawan Gupta M.Ch.21.11.2013