i usually just browse the OFF Topic forum just to give me a laugh reading how people are 'killing' each other here. but my experience the other day was something that maybe needs to be shared...
i was at the country park in South West of England and having a photography walk around the lake. 3 boys (estimated ages: 12, 11 and 10) were playing near the location i was taking pictures and the tallest one had asked me to take a group pictures of them. i was happy to give in to their request specially that i was testing my newly acquired used telephoto portrait lens.
later, the tallest boy asked me for a cigarette and asked me if i smoke.
i told him "no, i don't have and i don't smoke".
he further asked, "if you had a cigarette, would you have given me?".
i told him "no, i won't because you are too young. you should not be smoking".
i further told him that in a country where i came from, cigarettes are cheap and any anyone even a 5 yo boy can buy a box of cigarettes. but i have seen young boys smoking. i did have tried smoking when i was maybe 15 yo. but that was out of curiosity and never really enjoyed it. you should not be smoking, you are still very young".
he replied, "my mom has been giving cigarettes to smoke and i've been smooking 20 stick a day. i really need to smoke".
i look at him and he was trembling...maybe he was already addicted to smoking.
he further said, "i want to give up smoking but i can't. it's very difficult".
i asked him, "your mom giving you cigarettes to smoke?"
he replied, "yes, she does"
i stopped talking to him temporarily because of what i heard. it was like in a state of shock to me. it was very revolting seeing a very young boy trembling and having no shame to ask a stranger for a cigarette because his body is already addicted to it...and knowing it was the mom who is giving him the cigarette! btw, a box of cigarette here in UK cost at least £5/box.
i was thinking what should i do. should i report the case to the child social welfare? i have the picture of the boy and his email address where he requested me to send their group pictures i took.