Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

Editor's Choice

What will it take to stop the tobacco epidemic?

BMJ 2019; 365 doi: (Published 20 June 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;365:l4285

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Addiction Free

Addiction begins in childhood. Our parents reward us for good behavior with sweets like ice cream, candy, and soda. What a pity that the real sweetness of childhood is ruined by the false sweetness of junk food.

As teenagers, we copy our parents' addictions to bitter substances like alcohol, tobacco, and coffee. What a pity that the sweetness of young adulthood is ruined by the bitterness of addiction.

Sometimes we experiment with drugs and lose our safety, dignity, and sanity. When we ask our parents and doctors for help, they give us pep talks and pills, but no practical advice. Sometimes we become addicted to the doctors' pills.

In order to escape from addiction, we must review the mistakes of childhood. As children, our lives revolve around family, food, and fun - but not health. By giving us sweets, our parents unwittingly squander the magical health that Mother Nature gave us as children.

Mother Nature is wise and forgiving. She wants us to be healthy, but we must listen to her. She wants us to understand that childhood does not last forever, but the mistakes of childhood do. So we must give up our childish craving for sweets, and shift our adult focus from fun to health.

We must understand that our parents are not perfect, and that we should only copy their good habits, not their bad ones. Alcohol, tobacco, and coffee do not make us mature - they make us sick. Drugs do not make us cool - they make us cruel. When we take drugs, we hurt ourselves and others.

We must accept our limitations and understand that addiction is stronger than us. There is no way to compromise with addictive substances or to use them in moderation. We must eliminate all addictive substances from our life. This will enable us to regain our birthright - the magical health of childhood.

Competing interests: No competing interests

25 June 2019
Hugh Mann
New York, NY, USA