Smoking starts gradually, through peer group influence, personal interest in discovering how others feel as they smoke, to mention a few. That time is very delicate to starters, basing on how one is tied-up to the smoking cause. Although it starts secretly to the youth, it finally comes in the open as one becomes addicted.
As concerned parties struggle to protect people from the dangers of smoking, Rwanda in particular has restricted public smoking and advertising of the products based on its dangers.
Public smoking affects the one smoking and those in the smokers’ reach since the tobacco smoke is passively inhaled.
Having smoked for a long time, to the extent that other people get used to such life style, they believe they can not stay without it.
This is in instances when they (smokers) attach smoking to certain advantages of their wellbeing. Others argue that smoking warms them most especially during morning hours and when rains.
Such a character can be adopted basing on how the individual thinks about it. Some smokers apparently do it as a way of relaxing in case one is bothered or when he loses his or her temper. In this particular case, people smoke terribly.
Emma was a smoker six years ago. He said that having smoked cigarettes for over 10 years, he believed he could not go without it.
“It was hard to stop smoking, having done it for a period of 10 years. I believed that I can’t stop it,” he said.
He explained that it took him long to realize the impact of smoking on his health given the mentality he hard.
“I believed that it could revive me whenever I was bothered. This forced me to smoke a lot whenever something went wrong with me,” he recalls.
Emma says that although he stopped smoking, he regrets the time he used to smoke adding that though it is over six years now, the effects of smoking have not stopped showing.
“Chest pain due to persistent coughing although when I concentrate on the treatment it slows; it makes a follow-up after some time. I have reported to the doctor several times, but he (doctor) said smoking affected my lungs,” he said.
To him, effects of cigarette smoking take time to show although coughing starts after a short time. He added that when a person still smokes cigarettes, what he realizes is not enough to convince him or her to stop smoking.
“I have felt the effects that can make me firm to permanently avoid smoking and I have taken the initiative to warn my colleagues to avoid it.”
Emma says he started smoking at an early age and he always hid when smoking to avoid punishment from his parents.
However, he is being challenged by his friends, defending themselves that he (Emma) has smoked cigarettes for a long period of time, which is enough time for him to give up.
“They are ever arguing and resisting the advice to stop smoking cigarettes instead they offend me claiming that I am a retired member. That for the long time I smoked, I achieved the aim and I am against their achievements too adding that they can not stop before they come to my experience,” he said.
Emma blames the long time he smoked cigarette on lack of advice from elders. He also regrets the peer influence of the time.
According to Paul McDonald a health studies professor as well as a public health expert on smoking cessation, banning cigarette displays will have a potentially huge impact on the health of children.
He added that restricting points of purchase is an important and positive policy to improve health among the youth and adults.
If the professor’s arguments were in existence by the time Emma was a boy, he probably would not have been affected the way he is suffering the effects of smoking.
This is based on the fact that Emma could not have been given the chance to know about cigarettes at an early age neither could he have been able to buy them.
Samuel Hakizimana, a business man and parent of three, said that parent’s care for children is necessary to prevent them from health problems at an old age. Parents, take note of Hakizimana’s advice.