What’s the deal with high school kids and smoking? After picking my son up from school, I noticed a surprising number of kids, just a block away, hanging out, talking, and smoking. I couldn’t believe my eyes. They looked so young. My son informed me that you can buy cigarettes when you turn 16 and you can smoke at any age. He said they smoke because their friends smoke and probably because their parents smoke. According to him, high school kids don’t worry about long-term consequences. He said, “There’s always the picture of the hundred year old guy who’s still smoking and perfectly healthy. They’re pretty sure they’ll be that guy.”
I did a little research and discovered that you have to be 18 to smoke or purchase cigarettes. I’m grateful that he was wrong about the law, however those kids weren’t 18. And clearly, they weren’t worried about getting in trouble.
Smoking is just one way we limit ourselves. We can do equally bad things to our bodies by drinking and eating too much, by doing drugs, or by simply choosing to be lazy. And regardless of how damaging our choices may be, we can easily find “friends” who enjoy and support the same behavior. Sometimes our friends do more than share our habits; sometimes they keep us addicted to them.
If you want to change your direction, find some people who are going where you’re headed. You’re success may depend on it. You are who you hang out with.