It's difficult to write an article about the dangers of smoking without sounding patronising. I smoked for many years and I can't deny that cigarettes accompanied me through many a crisis. So this article isn't about giving up, but preventing young people from even starting.
One day I was taking my grandson for a walk in his pushchair and the tobacco from my cigarette butt landed on his blanket. It missed his face by inches. Feeling like an extra on "Shameless" I decided enough was enough. Embarrassment and dire financial straits forced me to stop smoking!
This incident led me to thinking about my grandson taking up smoking and how much I would hate that. It got me thinking about how attractive smoking can be to young people. The illusions associated with smoking are extremely powerful. It does look cool. It does make you feel more confident. It seems to calm you down. The cravings aren't illusions, however. I didn't want my grandson going down that road, but recognise that at the end of the day it will be his choice.
Now there is talk of new legislation here in the UK to put cigarettes not only out of sight, but take away the glamorous image they have by packaging them in plain packets with health warnings. It is hoped this will deter young people from smoking.
I wonder if it could work?