The prevalence of underage smoking has been growing at an alarming rate. One factor that contributes to the spread of this is peer pressure as humans intrinsically feel the need to conform to societal norms. But only about 10 per cent of Singaporeans smoke, so this is far from the norm.
Furthermore, the fact that these minors have the means to obtain tobacco products is a cause of worry. Perpetrators who supply them with cigarettes should be promptly prosecuted.
Schools must continue to educate our youth and actively raise awareness about the dangers of smoking. Their focus has to shift to teaching students to say no. Parents should guide their children to use other channels to relieve stress and feel good.
I suggest the relevant authorities take action quickly.
Yang Yizhen, 16
Secondary 4 student