Talking Drugs: My first cigarette
Often tobacco is the first drug people take, so let’s look at why people choose to smoke and perhaps it will let us explore why people choose to try drugs even when they don’t know how they will affect them.
If tobacco smoking was discovered tomorrow, it is unlikely that any responsible government would allow the sale of such a harmful drug. Today however 47.5% of men and 10.3% of women smoke a total of 6 trillion cigarettes a year worldwide.
Bhutan became the first nation to outlaw tobacco on December 18 2004, however five years later the ban was overruled as it did not seem to be preventing people from smoking, only contributing to the black market and organized crime. Tobacco addiction is global, whether you love them or hate them cigarettes are here to stay.
At the beginning of the 20th century cigarettes were a symbol of power and sophistication, however as the health risks of smoking became more apparent governments responded with increased regulation and anti-tobacco advertising. As a result, smoking is increasingly an unacceptable behaviour in our society.
However despite the obvious health risks involved with cigarettes people still keep trying them and for many it is the first drug they use. Now with strict regulations on cigarette companies advertising in many developed countries we have to look further to see what drives people to smoke their first cigarette. Could it be possible that self-destructiveness is just another aspect of human nature, perhaps it is what is most transferable to film, art, music and literature. Do we have to purge popular culture of the cancerous cigarette to reduce temptations of self destructiveness? From Humphrey Bogart to Barack Obama it is still hard to completely separate smoking from the world of sophistication and success. Not to mention the romanticised lifestyle choice of danger and recklessness, James Bond style. How far can government advertising campaigns go in order to scare children away from smoking? There is no denying the success they have had, however the flaw is that there will always be a small percentage of the population which will do the opposite to what the government tells them..
Still behind the romance and sex appeal the facts show that smoking is one of the most pointless and detrimental choices one could possibly make and according to the World Health Organisation smoking is responsible for 5 million deaths a year.
We want to hear some of the reasons why people try their first cigarettes to help us understand the nature of addiction and drug use.
You can upload your own first cigarette video by first uploading it to youtube then following the instructions on our Create a story page. You can then post that link on our My First Cigarette facebook page.