“Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I know because I’ve done it hundreds of times.” —Mark Twain
Any kind of addiction is bad and once you get tangled in the circle of addiction, it becomes really tough to quit it. Mark Twain, an American writer, has nicely pointed out the straight fact that addicted people find it really difficult to leave behind their craving for addiction. While more and more researchers are putting forward their observations about addiction (smoking in particular) and urging the addicted people to give up, a new group of people is getting added to the list of addicts. That new group comprises females. More and more young females are getting increasingly addicted to smoking. The trend is spreading its tentacles in our relatively conservative society as well.
The other day I was making my way back home from the office. I was walking along the newly constructed 300-feet road near Bashundhara residential area. To my utter surprise, I noticed something unusual – three middle-aged women were sitting together and they were smoking relentlessly. They brought out a lighter and lighted the other end of the “cigarette”, took a long pull at it and then puffed it out through the nose and mouth as the smoke formed a miniature cloud over their head. It was apparent from their approach that this was not the first time for them. One of the women dragged again; this time, the puff was longer, even she held on to the smoke within the confines of her mouth a little longer than normal. Their attitude and the way they were smoking clearly indicated that they were chain smokers, and they are habituated to it. Not only these women, but a growing number of young women are now addicted to smoking in the capital.
Smoking is considered, by many, to be an exclusive preserve of the male folk. Hardly would you find a woman engaging in this vice. But astonishingly the trend is changing and it is changing so fast dodging our attention. The habit of puffing on a cigarette, among females, has taken a frightening new dimension in our society. The number of females engaging in the act of smoking is on the rise, especially among young females in the elite class.
Surprisingly, the female folk seem to be catching up with this ‘civilization’. The trend seems to be more prevalent in the capital, including the elite clubs located in different posh areas, where some of these ladies use it as a class symbol to show their level of exposure to foreign cultures. Some, however, engage in the act as a way of escaping societal pressure.
But the gruesome fact is that girls/women who are smoking regularly are also susceptible to other forms of addiction. Consequently, they are paying regular visits to drug peddlers, which in turn, killing them spiritually.
Well, obviously when you talk about female smoking or any kind of addiction, some people wonder why they do this! Most of them, in the beginning, smoke out of a curiosity to examine how it really feels like and when they find it exciting they go for it time and again. Peers perform an important role in this regard. Many women also smoke out of fashion as they feel it necessary to cope up with the society or peers. Realization is an important factor in this respect because if they would realize that smoking has nothing to do with fashion, then they would definitely refrain themselves from such indulgence.
Another dominant factor is that women smoke as they feel this is one of the best ways to demonstrate their affinity towards feminism. Feminism, according to many experts, plays a vital role in persuading women to smoke in a social or private ambience. Many women nowadays relate smoking to an expression of feministic independence. However such co-relation is far-fetched as addiction can never establish your rights in a particular society.
In this regard, it must be stated that female smoking has enormous consequences not only for women’s health, and economic wellbeing, but also for their families. Apart from the health risks that women share with men, women face additional hazards like adverse pregnancy outcomes, female specific cancers, such as cancer of breast, cervix, and increased cardiovascular risks. So, an increasing prevalence of smoking among women is a matter of serious public health concern.
To conclude, the trend of female smoking is a matter of concern for all of us as the number of female smokers seems to be on the increase, to such an extent that a new ‘smoking generation’ is going to be created in our society. And most importantly, it is mentionable that addiction has nothing to do with freedom. No matter whether the smoker is a man or a woman, the fact is that this practice is equally harmful for both genders. Cigarette doesn’t have the ability to differentiate between genders, so it harms all. So, it can never be a way to demonstrate particular ideology or independence. Women should take that point into account before puffing a cigarette next time.