As a young child, I received a free but valuable lesson regarding the use of tobacco. My father had a sawmill and a common evening activity of the men in the camp was rolling the next day’s supply of cigarettes — what was then called Taylor-made as cigarettes were too expensive.
Quitting smoking was often the main topic of conversation. One man would be off cigarettes for a while, then he would be rolling again and someone else would be off. I wanted to be like these big, strong men and the message seeped through to me that a non-smoker, which they all wanted to be, was the way to be.
Now, fast forward a magnum of years to a recent article in The Morning Star about W. L. Seaton students struggling to Kick the Nic. Those students trying to quit are of high school age but looking up to them are kids in lower grades whom it mentions often see smoking as cool.
Cool? Are you kidding? They do not see that a cigarette sticking out of someone’s face is much like a straw sticking out of a turkey’s behind. They see only that their superiors choose to smoke and are unlikely to know of the desperate efforts being made to quit.
Two things are needed here: 1. Students making the Kick the Nic effort, deserve support and recognition. 2. Younger students who look up to them need to be made aware of the intense fight being waged, like the eye-opener I got long ago.
Is there someone out there, probably among you students involved, who can come up with a tasteful item of identification, (a ring?), that Kick the Nic strivers can be proud to wear? Its indication may be singular or it could show levels of achievement. It doesn’t need to be big. The younger students will soon find out what it means.