Children and teenage smoking

1. Introduction

teenage smoking - 02Childhood and the teenage years are formative years during which the foundation for the overall growth and development of an individual is built. As this phase is marked with exuberance and high energy levels where a child learns and emulates others by observing, experimenting and exploring, it puts tremendous responsibility on parents and society at large to foster an environment which paves the way for their holistic growth. Whilst most parents strive hard to ensure the overall well-being of their children and teenage boys and girls, given the current sordid state of affairs wherein addictions writ large; the question remains as to whether we can ensure a safe and healthy life for our children and teenage boys and girls.
teenage smoking - 03According to the American lung association, if current tobacco use patterns persist, an estimated 6.4 million current child smokers will eventually die prematurely from a smoking related disease. What’s worse is that despite knowing the health hazards through awareness campaigns, teenage smoking is on the rise. In some countries like Indonesia, where child smoking is legal, the entire society is in the throes of an uncontrolled smoking habit. Quite recently, a You Tube video went viral with 13 million views which leave us aghast seeing a two year old smoking cigarette after cigarette as a part of his daily routine. This example speaks volumes about the present day precarious situation, for children in that country.

2. Factors leading to addiction – Physical and psychological

teenage smoking - 04The physical and psychological reasons why children and teenage boys and girls get addicted to smoking cigarettes can be due to many compounding factors like peer pressure, rebellion, seeking excitement and the misuse of freedom. What’s more daunting though, is, that once a child or a teenage boy or girl, does get into this vicious cycle, the attempts by parents and health professionals to help wean them off this habit have quite often been futile.

Everyone of us knows that smoking causes fatal diseases like cancer, emphysema and heart problems. At the psychological level, it affects the mental makeup of the child and teenage boy or a girl. There are frequent mood swings, anger, anxiety and in some cases it may lead to isolation and depression. However, what is not common knowledge are the spiritual factors which lead to addictions. At the Spiritual Science Research Foundation, through spiritual research we found that physical and psychological reasons leading to addictions is merely the tip of the iceberg while it is spiritual factors that contribute to more than 80% of the addiction and actually in most cases are  the main root cause of the addiction. This also explains the reason why some children become addicts while others don’t.

3. Spiritual factors

Spiritual causes stem from distress due to departed ancestors (who were smokers when alive) and possession by negative energies. Spiritual research has shown that negative energies and subtle bodies of departed ancestors possess an individual primarily to satisfy their unfulfilled desires and to cause distress. As children and teenage boys and girls are more vulnerable, they are more susceptible to attacks by negative energies that use them as mediums to satiate their cravings. In this process, negative energies infuse black energy into their bodies and create centres to dominate and possess their consciousness for a prolonged period of time. The photo below is of a seeker who has stopped smoking due to spiritual practice.

Comparison before smoking and after quitting smoking

The stimuli or thoughts from these negative energy centres draw the individual into actively indulging in smoking cigarettes or using any other addictive substance. The strength of such thoughts laden with negative energy is considerable and they repel any positive stimuli for curbing the addiction. Gradually as the influence of the negative entity increases, the black covering around the person increases, making rehabilitation even more difficult. This possession may not be just limited to one lifetime but may negatively affect the person for many births.

The gravity of this spiritual dimension does not hit us, or we are oblivious to it, because we look for violent manifestations of possession. But in reality, the negative entity continues to affect a person while being passively in the background without exhibiting any violent traits unless exposed to higher levels of positivity. Exposure to positive energy eventually compels them to leave the person. Negative energy impacts children and teenage boys and girls when they are smoking, by 30%.

4. Remedies

4.1 On individual level

Positive energy can only be attained through spiritual healing remedies and continuous spiritual practice as per the six basic principles. Additionally, SSRF also recommends chanting ‘Shri Gurudev Datta chant’. This is a very potent chant which helps to alleviate spiritual problems arising due to deceased ancestors. In the beginning, when the person attempts doing spiritual practice, the negative entity tries to fight back which may be seen in the form of some unusual behaviour; for instance, resisting chanting God’s Name as per one’s religion or avoiding spiritual healing remedies. But the key is to persevere. As the Sattva component (which is marked by spiritual purity) increases through sustained spiritual practice, the hold of the negative entity drops which paves the way for a permanent and everlasting cure. Some of the primary healing remedies which help recovery are the salt water treatment, lighting SSRF incense sticks and box treatment. The effectiveness of the healing remedies and spiritual practice can vary depending on varying factors like the strength of the possessing entity, destiny, etc.

SSRF also recommends playing the audio of ‘Shri Gurudev Datta’ chant in the home premises. This helps to purify the home environment as well. We also recommend that one should complement spiritual practice and spiritual healing with medical treatment and any psychological treatment which one may be undergoing.

4.2 At the level of society

  • It would be advisable that the tobacco industry stops manufacturing cigarettes and invests their money, in other, more righteous activities.

  • Similarly, farmers can stop growing tobacco and grow some other plants which are needed for people as food.

  • According to a research study by Michael Rabinoff, DO, PhD, Nicholas Caskey, PhD, Anthony Rissling, MA, and Candice Park, BS,: “ Tobacco companies have devoted a significant amount of research and development to the use and inclusion of additives in cigarettes, and the industry has acknowledged using 599 different cigarette additives. Our findings indicated that more than 100 of 599 documented cigarette additives have pharmacological actions that camouflage the odour of environmental tobacco smoke emitted from cigarettes, enhance or maintain nicotine delivery, could increase the addictiveness of cigarettes, and mask symptoms and illnesses associated with smoking behaviours.” – Source: PMC, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.

  • Needless to say that the above study shows how greed and unrighteous thinking and behaviour on the part of the tobacco industry have made cigarette addiction even harder to get rid of.

5. Responsibility of parents/adults

teenage smoking - 05Other potentially contributing factors which have led to this degradation is this whole wave of individualism which makes allowance for excess freedom, accompanied with no control. These are the by-products of a society where so called ‘individual rights and freedom’ prod one on towards greater detriment of individual habits and of society at large. Children and teenage boys and girls need to be guided, as their faculties are not developed fully to be able to decipher right from wrong and make proper decisions. Control and constraint are needed to tame their energy and channelise it towards productive and healthy practices. However, since the mindset is to give children and teenage boys and girls unlimited freedom, it results in them picking up these vices along the way. In resilience and restraint there is strength. It keeps us rooted to the value system which is the core foundation of us being human. This itself differentiates us from animals. God has gifted us with an intellect unlike animals that have no intellect. Hence, unrestrained behaviour is uncalled for.

 “The one who is looking at the scene is affected by the scene.” – His Holiness Dr. Athavale

As a part of spiritual practice, it is also the duty of the parents to instil virtues in children and teenage boys and girls. Kids are imitating parents. When they see a parent smoking they will also think that smoking is cool. If parents would stop smoking it would have a more far reaching effect than if parents would keep telling children and teenage boys and girls not to smoke.

“People who are selfish, have only their needs or wants in mind and ‘self’ is their center of attention. Contrary to this, seekers of God have God as their center of attention and consequently acquire protection from God. That is why we need to do regular spiritual practice as per the 6 basic principles, to progress spiritually and naturally move away from selfishness and other practices which are spiritually harmful for us and society.” – H.H. Dr. Athavale
 If a child wants to play in dirty water, do we allow him? Similarly, it is incorrect to live a life without restraint. – H.H. Dr. Athavale

However, parents are getting more self-absorbed. Lifestyles have changed dramatically where children and teenage boys and girls are left to their own devices. Children and teenage boys and girls learn through emulating elders. Unfortunately, parents themselves are lacking in restraint and so  children or teenage boys and girls cannot see them as role models to follow. Parents need to pay attention to their children and teenage boys and girls and change themselves to give their kids a better home environment.

 “Real Bliss is experienced through self-restraint.” – H.H. Dr. Athavale

Lead a sattvik or spiritually pure lifestyle

This change is possible by incorporating a sattvik or more spiritually pure lifestyle. At SSRF we have numerous case studies of how people’s lives have changed miraculously by doing regular spiritual practice. Many people have benefited from this and have vouched for spiritual practice and spiritual healing remedies that have made quitting smoking possible.

6. Summary

To sum up, there is no room for complacency, but conscious efforts need to be made to take care of our children and teenage boys and girls and protect them from addictions, such as smoking cigarettes for example. Regular spiritual practice along with leading a spiritually pure lifestyle is the only way to overcome this.

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