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Every Scout knows the Scout Law. But there is an extra point to that Law which is not written but is understood by every Scout. It is this: "A Scout is not a fool", and that is why Scouts do not smoke while they are still growing boys.

Any boy can smoke-it is not such a very wonderful thing to do. But a Scout will not do it because he is not such a fool. He knows that when a lad smokes before he is fully grown up it may weaken his heart, and the heart is the most important organ in a lad's body. It pumps the blood all over him to form flesh, bone, and muscle. If the heart does not do its work the boy cannot grow to be healthy. Any Scout knows that smoking spoils his sense of smell, which is of greatest importance to him for scouting on active service.

A large number of the best sportsmen, soldiers, sailors, and others, do not smoke-they find they can do better without it.

No boy ever began smoking because he liked it, but generally because either he feared being chaffed by the other boys as afraid to smoke, or because he thought that by smoking he would look like a great man-when all the time he only looks like a little ass.

So just make up your mind for yourself that you don't mean to smoke till you are grown up, and stick to it. That will show you to be a man much more than any slobbering about with a half-smoked cigarette between your lips. The other fellows will in the end respect you much more, and will probably in many cases secretly follow your lead.


Lord Baden-Powell of Gilwell (Chief Scout, London, UK)

Date of Creation


Learn A Continuation:

to the next page: Drinking

Back in The Past:

to the previous page: Keep Yourself Clean

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