Do you fear your child will take to smoking?
The best time
to stop your teenager from smoking is before he or she starts it. Here
is a story that shows how the shrewd advocates of smoking can influence
young minds. And how you must protect your young one from such influences.
fear that their children would take to smoking in the future. They dread
the possibility of catching their young ones smoking on the sly.
However, mere fear does not solve the problem. Parents need to realize
effective methods that will stop their children from getting into the smoking
habit. Most importantly, they must make concerted efforts to keep the impressionable
minds away from the influence of the strong advocates of smoking.
These advocates tend to rationalize the smoking habit in the name of individual
freedom. Or worse, they popularize tobacco as a fashion statement. Beware.
A historic controversy over smoking, that took place in the court of Mughal
Emperor Akbar (1556-1605) may provide a clue.
Take a clue
Asad Baig, a nobleman in Emperor Akbar's courtroom, once presented a costly hookah to His Majesty. He requested the emperor to try it. Akbar had seen tobacco (Nicotina Tabacum) when a physician had brought it from Mecca in the late 16th century. Although Akbar had not tried it then, he thought of doing so now. But, the court physician intervened. The king took the warning lightly, and smoked the hookah twice. But soon another physician objected to the hookah. That set Akbar's inquisitive mind thinking. He decided to solve the problem by discussion.
The king sent for the physician who had earlier recommended tobacco from Mecca. The old man admitted that the medical books of the times did not include tobacco, but added that it caused no harm because the Europeans used it. Although the royal physician opposed this extreme view, Asad Baig put his case forward, "European rulers and aristocrats will not smoke before testing the properties of tobacco. They have wise men among them who seldom make mistakes.'"
in Akbar's court opposed the blind faith in European thinking, Baig continued
arguing, "Whenever anything new is being introduced, the local populace
opposes it, without knowing much about it. For instance, China-root herb
is not mentioned in our holy medical books. But did we discard it just
because of that reason?" The unorthodox and neutral Akbar was impressed
with the argument. He gave a judgment in Baig's favor. Baig proved smart
enough to sell the tobacco concept to the liberal king. He was successful
in promoting tobacco in the Mughal era. While successive emperors did impose
prohibition, smokers continued to multiply. Tobacco cultivation spread
far and wide in various parts of India. In Shah Jahan's time, tobacco became
a major revenue earner.
Never let your child get influenced by Asad Baigs
The main point
in the story is to see how tobacco triumphed in the battle between advocates
of smoking and non-smoking. Every parent has to take precautions to keep
the Asad Baig influence away from their impressionable and young kids.
There are many Asad Baigs, even today around your teenage child, who rationalize
smoking. These advocates claim that smoking does not necessarily pose health
hazards. They also associate smoking with intellectual activities like
reading, writing and research. Every parent must not let the child absorb
the Asad Baig logic!! You, as a parent, should be able to reason out the
ill effects of smoking. And never let the child smoke under the pretext
of individual liberty. Never mind even if you are called a dictator.
Provide a role model
generally avoid smoking before their young ones. Many families do not recognize
smoking as a taboo subject. However, constant smoking in the company of
young ones might attract young minds to the lure of tobacco. Therefore,
avoid smoking in family situations, and that will of course save your family
from passive smoking.
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