This is a really difficult question to answer, but is definitely worth discussing. Sometimes it seems like the issue of kids smoking from an earlier age is getting far worse. And it is certainly worse than when I was in high school about 15 years ago. A couple of kids got caught smoking and they were suspended from school for days. It seemed that only a very few actually smoked in my high school. Now kids are getting caught smoking at school every day and are basically just asked to put the cigarette out and throw it out. Now more suspension from school, no more getting in major trouble. It is almost now just accepted but frowned upon. I think that this is not good enough.
So things are a lot worse than back then, but how have they been in the last few years? Over the last few years the numbers of kids smoking has been relatively stable and there have been many downward trends but when new products such as the e-cigarette comes out, everyone seems to want to try these including kids. Then we go back to the start. Perhaps kids need to keep busier without anxiety which may make them want a cigarette.
I am an outdoor person who plays a lot of sport, and I see during junior cricket matches, kids smoking in the outfield between overs. Even on the golf course just before lining up for a shot, a quick smoke then play the golf shot. Kids should be focusing on other things such as sport, working out, keeping fit, and getting outside and just enjoy being outside. What is happening to today’s youth? I guess that we are to blame when in so many countries, people are still allowed to smoke on restaurant patios and in crowded public areas.
I believe that there needs to be a greater penalty for shop keepers selling cigarettes to minors and also to those who buy cigarettes for minors. This along with further education in schools and by parents should also help this issue.