Readers’ Scoop: Cigarettes For Children, What’s Next?

I came home from my regular grocery shopping quite confused the other day. At  the register, this gum display caught my eye  and my attention. Cigarette gum boxes were lined neatly on the shelves waiting to be purchased, and a store employee mentioned to a different customer that parents  have been requesting it repeatedly for the last few weeks.

One question I ask the readership here- WHY? Why are we as parents requesting such a product for our children? Would we like to teach them the ‘good feel’ of holding a ‘cigarette’, or perhaps to show them that because all their friends have it- they too, should definitely have it?

This may seem like a harmless item, however, by buying it, I feel we as parents are teaching them damaging lessons. We are here to denounce  this habit, and to teach them the dangers of smoking, so that they will be armed with the strength to turn down this temptation later on in life. By making light of it, we are not doing them amy good, nor are we teaching them to ignore peer pressure.

Perhaps the cigarette gum boxes should also carry the warnings and dangers of this bad habit, so as to disgust our children rather than entice them. And to all you parents who requested this item- good luck to you later in life, and no thanks for placing yet one more obstacle in the way of my chinuch.

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  1. the only way to make a change is to write a letter to the manufacturer expressing your concerns. I never paid attention to this candy, never bought it for my kids and when they asked for it I just bought them a different type of gum and they were happy. I explained to them that I don’t want it because we don’t want to pretend we are doing something that is bad for our bodies, I was very graphic in explaining what happens to the lungs, they get filled with smoke and turn black etc. My kids know quite a few sick kids, (not related to cigarettes) and I explained that a person could c’v become sick like those kids from smoking. They never asked for it again.

  2. you give the kids no credit. They know the difference between gum and a cigarette.

    Maybe if we brought back 40 or 50 years of family values the kids would learn a lesson. Stop complaining

  3. If you want to get rid of this product DON’T buy it. We are an economy based on supply and demand, if no one demands the product they will stop making it. The stores that bought it to sell will stop stocking it when they can’t sell any. At the same time when the store owner sees that this type of product does not see he will not put it on his shelves again.

  4. these things have been around for who knows how long. find me one person whto started smoking coz of these gumsticks. pathetic. you outlaw everything kosher and soon the only place left to turn to is not kosher stuff.

  5. y is this news ?

    any ting that comes to my mind gets posted as news today ?

    i used to love them as a kid and NO i Never became a smoker ..

    leave it alone and get a job or volunteer y if you dont have what to do with your time..

  6. there is nothing wrong with kids learning about smoking. they should know about what exists in the world and what options they have. this gum is a good learning tool.

  7. I grew up with this cigarette gum. I used to think smoking was cool partly because of that. Just because it was ‘harmless gum’ does not mean there was a deeper message planted in me as child and that was that this gum resembling a cigarette was cool. I also used to smoke pretzel rods because it was cool. I would use a second rod to strike it as a match. I began smoking as a teenager when I wanted to commit suicide from depression. I can’t say that the seeds were not planted in my head and that that ‘innocent’ gum cigarette didn’t subconsciously influence my choices. I wasn’t solely craving something cool when I started smoking. I was craving something to hold onto so that I could hold on. I did hold on – to my pack of smokes. Bottom line. What the writer is saying is possible under the right (wrong rather) conditions.

  8. I used to pretend to smoke when the weather was cold outside and my breath made “smoke”
    I wonder if we should outlaw that?

  9. I always hated the concept of paint nosh, cuz it is kind of disgusting. So I always told the kids NO PAINT NOSH!
    I said it so often that they thought it was funny, and would constantly ask for paint nosh so they could get a reaction out of me.

  10. It’s been around probably longer than the Internet. Teach your kids that smoking is wrong as chinch starts in the home. We have to learn to adjust our chinuch strategies to the would we live in as it isn’t the same society as 30 yrs ago.

  11. Great letter, great posts. Thamx TLS for this valuable piece. What gets me, tho, is the fact that for most kids/teens living in our community, a Gum habit is WORSE than a smoking habit. And shmichelfoofer, u are FUNNY. DB

  12. It’s not the gum!!!!

    Its the frum people in town who smoke that we should be worried about.

    These people preach to our children about the importance of being a frum jew, keeping all the mitzvohs and revering hashem. And what do they go and do? step outside and prep their bodies for cancer with smoking.

    In my opinion that is just as bad as eating pork, violating shabbos, etc. After all, if we read the torah, the very first mention of man, before any commandments were issued, before the mishnah, before gemorah, hashem said ” I created man in my image” – countless books have been written about that one phrase and its meaning/importance. Well, I am but a simpleton, but protecting our bodies, which are but a fractional reflection of hashem should be our TOP #1 priority. END OF STORY. So more than buying the perfectly shaped esrog.. more than shukling during minyan, more than ensuring you race down rt 9 on friday afternoon at 80mph so you make shabbos, protect, honor and revere your body. Until you quit smoking, you cannot claim you are a g-d fearing Jew.

    Oh, and I dont want to hear about how its a “struggle” to quit, its an addiciton etc. If your chavrusah told you that he just loves bacon cheeseburgers and cannot stop eating them, would you understand his “struggle”? I dont think so… you will tell him he has to stop right away, no questions. Smoking is no different

  13. I am always so stunned to read another article about some innocent item or activity that a parent wants to get rid of because it will some how harm their childs mind, and destroy yiddishkeit. Are parents that weak and insecure about their own parenting skills? What happened to teaching your child values at home? I never smoked….I taught my kids the dangers of smoking….my kids don’t smoke. Why are todays parents sooo afraid of everything?

  14. okay then how about chewing gum in the shape of guns you for that? what a bad argument. chinuch at home overcomes all cmon you can therefore say that children should be allowed to do anything bc it can all be overcome w chinuch ever think that chinuch involves not exposing kids to the very physical process of imitating smoking? do you buy machine gun toys? think!

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