[FoRK] Re: The Shift...

Stephen D. Williams sdw at lig.net
Thu May 26 20:04:41 PDT 2005

Jeff Bone wrote:

> On May 26, 2005, at 9:38 PM, Stephen D. Williams wrote:
>> I don't believe the conversation has yet covered the most  irritating 
>> issue: Prevalence of smoking adults, especially in bars,  
>> restaurants, and other public areas helps lead to kids wanting to,  
>> and starting to smoke.  Nothing pisses off a non-smoker more than  
>> having their kids start smoking and not being able to get them to  stop.
>> This is the real, core argument against legalized drugs I suppose.
>> My thirteen year old daughter knows that if I find out that one of  
>> her friends smokes, they won't ever be allowed on the property or,  
>> within my power, to do anything with her.
>> Not long ago, I had to deal with a step-son who, with his friends,  
>> could not understand that it was both illegal and extremely  annoying 
>> for them to toss butts wherever they wanted in the street,  sidewalk, 
>> yard, etc.  They actually thought it was their right to  do so and 
>> expressed surprise that I would even question it, let  alone (try) to 
>> make them clean up after themselves.
>> I've lived here in Virginia for 10 years.  Somehow this tobacco  
>> state subtly encourages teenage smoking so that a large percentage  
>> do; as far as I can tell, a much higher percentage than gainfully  
>> employed adults in this area.  Is it legal to buy tobacco products  
>> at 18 everywhere in the US??  Tobacco should not be available  before 
>> they can get alcohol...
> You know, *unfortunately* --- and I mean that sincerely, while I  
> defend the right of anyone to smoke, I don't applaud it --- the last  
> laugh in all of this will indeed be the smokers.  And it's not  
> smokers encouraging your kids to smoke, Stephen.  It's you and all  
> the other authoritative influences telling them not to.  Have you  
> forgotten what it meant to be a kid?  Have you ever tried to squeeze  
> a handful of water?
> jb

I guess I just wasn't that kind of kid.  And why would they need to be 
told not to smoke?  You mean after they started?  Should I then just act 
like nothing's wrong with that situation??

You know that peer pressure and, similarly, the coolness of doing 
something bad that is accessible and relatively low (short-term) risk is 
what causes most kids to start.  They don't get some glowing review of 
the pharmacological effects and decide that it is just what is missing 
from their life.  Seeing adults smoking is a kind of peer pressure, just 
like watching adults slug back shots and laughing all night.

I would guess that the primary indirect reason that kids start to smoke, 
and drink for that matter, is that their very healthy, periodically 
hormone saturated bodies are very ready to have sex and they can't 
scratch that itch well or at all directly.

I never smoked and as a teenager, I never once had the urge to and I 
hardly had any alcohol at all.  I did scratch other itches early and 
often, including running 3000 miles per year training and reading a lot, 
plus I left home at 15 and planned for a profession constantly.

My socially oriented children tend towards smoking; my less socially 
adept do not.  If it were a personal freedom issue for them, it would be 
the opposite.  I have six samples.


swilliams at hpti.com http://www.hpti.com Per: sdw at lig.net http://sdw.st
Stephen D. Williams 703-724-0118W 703-995-0407Fax 20147-4622 AIM: sdw

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