After watching the hit movie KGF, a 15-year-old tried smoking a pack of cigarettes and ended up in the hospital. The child developed a severe cough and throat ache.
Experts at Century Hospital, Hyderabad said they successfully treated the child. Since the boy was influenced by the lead character in the movie, Rocky Bhai, he was provided counselling as well.
His parents said he watched the movie thrice in two days. He was impressed by the style and mannerisms of the hero and wanted to imitate him by smoking. The parents, when they learnt of the smoking, rushed him to hospital.
Dr Rohith Reddy Pathuri, Consultant Pulmonologist at Century Hospital, said teenagers get easily influenced by characters like Rocky Bhai. Movies are a highly influencing element of our society. Filmmakers and actors must have the moral responsibility to glamorise unhealthy acts like smoking, chewing tobacco, or consuming alcohol.
"Characters like 'Rocky Bhai' have a cult following and young minds do get influenced by the acts of these demigods on the screen," said the health expert.
Dr Reddy further said parents of teenagers must keep an eye on what their children are doing and what factors are influencing them. "It is important to create awareness about the ill-effects of smoking and alcohol consumption rather than regretting later."
He added that beating up children after they do something unhealthy might not always produce the best result. The parents of the 15-year-old boy were reported to have beaten him.
Smoking during childhood and adolescence causes significant health issues including a higher risk of respiratory illnesses, decreased physical fitness, and potential effects on lung growth. Smoking also tends to be highly addictive.