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To that young student who I saw smoking

I saw you yesterday, drawing on a cigarette casually. At first, I did not really understand what was going on. I only saw a puff of smoke. Only when I looked closer did I discern that cigarette in your hand, and you were puffing away merrily, without a single care in the world, without even thinking that you were being seen by all, in that busy town centre and in your school uniform, on top of that.
While I agree that smoking should be a matter of choice, I am making an exception in your case. You see, you are still very young. Barely 15-16 years old. You have your whole future in front of you, so please do think about the health implications, which are no doubt being indoctrinated to you at school. If you were thinking about impressing others or ‘fitting in’ with your peer group members, please think again. Do not fall prey to social ills, just to be part of the gang. You are your own person and are answerable to yourself and those who are striving hard to bring you up and giving you the means to achieve a good future. Please spare a thought for them.
Without meaning to sound patronizing, I would urge you to think about the reputation of your school, as you were in your school uniform. The good name of your educational establishment should be preserved, as a school symbolizes the academic and holistic moulding of the individual and which has a great hand in determining our success, as a full-fledged individual in society. I am sure that many of your school-mates would hate to find the goodwill of their institution smeared.
At the end of the day, your money is yours and you are free to do as you so wish. I certainly do not know how you got that cigarette, whether you bought it or an acquaintance gave it to you. In any case, it is illegal but I hope that this legal aspect is reinforced by the burden it places on these unscrupulous people’s conscience, these same people who actually do not have second thoughts about ruining your youth, health and future. If they happen to be reading this, I hope they get the message.
Young lady, the path in front of you is crystal clear. You just have to take the right step. Be brave, do not look back and turn your life around.

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