Governments of various countries have set a minimal age limit for smoking cigarette to prevent teenage smoking, as youths at their more ignorant and rebellious ages will tend to pick bad habits, such as smoking, easier. The restriction in purchasing of cigarette for youths acts as a second layer of protection for these minors.
We have seen statistic showing the percentage of smokers in each country, which includes the comparison of different ages and genders of smokers. These figures are likely to be done by surveying a number of selective citizens. They are, however, only guidelines, and the actual number of smokers is probably more than the statistic shown.
Public smoking is a popular daily debating topic because of all the inconsiderate acts, such as cigarette butts littering. Smokers have often been agitating non-smokers with their lighted cigarettes, forcing non-smokers to take up passive smoking (second-hand smoke). To add on, teenage smoking is an awful scene and is often related to gangsterism subconsciously by non-smokers. It is a norm that teenage smokers, though not for all cases, are hotter tempered and more probed to react physically to people around them
Smoking is not an art and smoking is never cool.
How many times a day when you walk on the street can you see a group of young people smoking by the roadside or at the void deck? The immature and ignorant faces show that the youth smokers are not even eighteen of age. They look awful and disgusting, burning their lives away. Little do these underage smokers know that passers-by are judging on their parents and education levels. However, in regards of time and personal safety, a normal witness would probably walk away. How many underage smokers are going scot-free even when they have broken the laws?
As I used to be a lecturer in a college that holds the academic weaker students of the country, I have come across more underage smokers than most people. A large proportion of these teenagers have either family or financial problem that has caused very negative mindsets in them. Many have mixed with bad companies and started taking up smoking at young ages.
Smokers may not look like they do smoke. I used to have two sweet looking female students who would visit the toilet whenever I step into the class. I always teased them by calling them “toilet queens” until after they graduated, I got to know that they smoked and I finally realised why they needed to go to the toilet more often than the rest. Whenever they returned, they had applied perfume but the smell was weird. I learned to identify the smell of the corrosion of cigarette smoke and perfume from this incident.
Smokers can be very street-smart. If only they have applied their thinking skill in their studies, they would have excelled. There was once when I was inspecting the toilet alone, I could smell and see cigarette smoke from one of the closed cubical, with no other people around. Thus, I waited at the door to snatch the culprit. He denied that he was smoking even though he was caught red-handed , with smell of cigarette smoke on his clothes. However, there was no evidence of cigarettes on him except for a lighter found within his belonging and I supposed he only carried sufficient sticks along to school instead of bringing the entire packet.
Not all smokers learn their lessons. There was a group of smokers who were caught many times for underage smoking and smoking in school. They even lied that they were of the legal age to smoke when their records were all inside the school system. Numerous chances were given to them after seeing the section heads and course manager more than ten times throughout their stay but they did not repent despite the warnings.
Smokers love to challenge laws. Apart from the usual smoking-outside-school-gates-in-school-uniform thrill, more teenage smokers are beginning to show off their illegal acts by taking pictures and uploading into popular online media such as Facebook, Youtube, as well as smoking in public in school uniforms.
One of the most unbearable ugly facts of life is that some smokers receive more than others who clearly deserve more. The government and kind-hearted people have contributed to set up funds to help the needy students as a form of bursary. Students with low family income can be entitled to a sum of money each semester and among the aided students, some of them are actually smokers. We know clearly how high governments have been taxing the cigarette companies, such that each packet of cigarette cost higher than a set meal in a local restaurant. The fact that the smokers are using money from the public to buy cigarette is disgusting. The money can actually be given to those who are more in need and would spend them wisely.
In this era, teenagers are more rebellious than those in the olden days. When knowledge of the harmful effects of smoking is a common knowledge, these youth smokers disregard their health. They do not plan far for their future and family, neither did they think twice about the harm they are causing not only themselves but their families and people who care for them.
The minimum legal age to purchase cigarettes or tobacco products varies from country to country. Ages range from 15 to 21, but 18 tends to be the most common legal smoking age.