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Is it right to allow your 15 year old to smoke?

nofear74's picture

So, my wife tells me the other day that her son(my SS15) came to her a while ago, and told her that he smokes, which in my book is very honest and I give the kid credit for being so upfront. My wife smokes, and she told me that she has given SS15 a couple of cigarettes. To me that seems like condoning it, and I absolutely do not agree with it. My wife says that when she was a kid, she was allowed to smoke, but my question is...."Is it really ok to tell a 15 y.o. that it's ok to smoke since you were so honest with us?" What's next are we going to tell him that he can smoke weed too as long as he doesn't lie about it? I smoked when I was a kid too, but only behind my parents' back, and I think that I like it that way better. Knowing he smokes is fine with me, but I just don't want to see it or support his habit. Any opinions?


OhNoYouDidNot's picture

That's a big hell-to-the-no! I don't condone smoking, and I'm sad that my oldest SD smokes like a sailor!!!

I'm a smoker, so is DH and freak BM, but that does NOT make it ok. SD was caught smoking by DH, and when she fessed up, DH was of the samr attitude, "I can't be a hypocrite" thing... When SD told me the next morning, I did not scream or shout or cry, I told her I was very disappointed and sad that she made the choice to smoke, and when she told me that her idiot BM and dad said they wouldn't be hypocrites, I answered with, "Well, I am going to be a hypocrite! As responsible and educated parents today, we are very much aware of the danger cigarette smoking can cause!!! If I knew then what I know now, I wouldn't be dependant on this shit, would I??? And when you get to baby-making age, you'll regret the day you ever lit up..."

What we didn't know is that her freak BM knew 1 YEAR before DH caught her, so she was 14 when she started!!! Good going, great parenting.

SD smokes 2-3 packs a day. Now I know where her allowance went to at that age.

Once condoned, it's difficult to take that back, especially with a hormonal, I-wanna-be-independant teen who will call you on your inconsistancies, so tell him gently the dangers of smoking and that you're not ok with him risking his health. Tell him you love him no matter what, but that his health comes first, and when the day comes that a beautiful girl tells him she doesn't like kissing an ashtray then maybe he'll think twice - even if the girl smokes too, it certainly is not comfortable to lock tar lips.

I feel for you, and it's not easy. Good luck!

DTK's picture

I would have to say no - I don't think that's the right thing to do.

To wit, I am an ex-smoker (of nearly 2 months), I smoked for over 13 years. I started when I was about 16, and my dad kinda bummed me a cigarette here and there like your wife. It is ostensibly condoning smoking by handing him the cigarette.

I quit a week or so after I married DH, one because my SS9 needs a better example in both of us (DH hasn't smoked since his son was born, but he did occasionally dip snuff), and two because I knew that to continue to smoke was to play russian roulette with my health, I already have by smoking away my 20's.

Your SS will undoubtedly regret starting if he continues to smoke, almost every smoker does eventually.

An R.J. Reynolds executive responded with this quote when asked if he used his companies products:
"We don't smoke that s***, we just sell it. We reserve the right to smoke to the young, the poor, the black and the stupid."

When I started smoking as a teenager, I just figured it would be one of my "youthful indiscretions." Well, then a decade went by and I have still struggled to quit over and over, it's been the hardest thing for me to stop in my entire life. It is NOT WORTH the addiction, the cost is way too high!

Please try to be the voice of reason here and discourage your SS from smoking.

Kes's picture

Nofear - I think taking the argument to its logical conclusion as you did, shows its absurdity - eg its OK to be a heroin user as long as you are honest, er no!!
However, it's very hard for a parent who is a smoker themselves to present any convincing argument to a kid for not smoking. One can only warn them of the health risks and say that you would prefer they didn't.
I think it is very reasonable for you to say you are not prepared for him to smoke in the house. Many people hate a smoky room and it does linger horribly. I suppose it depends if your wife smokes in the house or not.

stormabruin's picture

There is a reason the law puts an age on smoking. As an adult you are free to decide whether or not you'll contaminate your body with poisons and such. As an adult, you are responsible for accessing your own cigarettes & finding a way to fit that expense & habit into your life.

Children are irresponsible & don't have the capacity to think ahead & make good choices. Granted, at 15 they should be accoutable for making certain choices, but whether or not to smoke shouldn't be one of them.

Our BM supplies liquor for SS who is 18 & SD who just turned 15. Their focus should be on education & college, however with BM being the "cool" mom who condones & supplies it, they have pretty much dropped out of school with 7th & 10th grade educations but MAN, can they throw a party!

In my opinion, the child will find a way to smoke if he wants to bad enough, but your wife condoning, supporting, & supplying...completely irresponsible & failure to parent on her part.

reluctantgma's picture

As far as convincing arguments of smoking parents, it is LEGAL for people over the age of 18 to buy cigarettes in the US. It is ILLEGAL to sell or provide cigarettes to minors.

Doubletakex3's picture

"Gateway Non-Parenting. The bridge to bad choices, paved by lazy parents."


This is great! Where can I buy a bumper sticker and embroidered pillow?

stormabruin's picture

"Gateway Non-Parenting. The bridge to bad choices, paved by lazy parents."

So much said in so few words. Smile

Doubletakex3's picture

I suggest taking your SS to the hospital and have him witness someone dying of lung cancer. Stick around long enough to watch the shit they have to suck out of the person's lungs so they can breathe. And then ask your SS if he still wants to smoke. I bet your wife would benefit from the trip as well and may just feel differently about condoning her son smoking.

herewegoagain's picture

I smoke but did not start until I was 21! If my son dared, I would do as a friend once told me his mom did...lock him in a bathroom and tell him to come out when the pack was done... lol never again did he smoke. It is against the law for kids to buy cigs and parents who allow it should be as liable to law enforcement, as those who allow kids to drink.

uncommon's picture

Big NO. Parents get to be hypocrites - it's part of the job. So what if mom smokes - she is an adult, she can make that decision for herself. He is 15, therefore it is illegal and it's piss poor parenting to let your kid start down a path to a potential lifelong addiction that could give him cancer or emphysema at 15. If anything, if he is already doing it, she should be helping him quit.

I second taking him to meet someone dying of lung cancer.

Doubletakex3's picture

I can hear my father's words echoing in my ears: "Do as I say, not as I do."

And, yes, my dad died of lung cancer and I was the one suctioning that shit of out his lungs. His words during that time were: "Stupid is as stupid does" referring to his lifelong addiction to smoking.

When he caught me smoking at 15 he made me eat a cigarette. Literally.

LizzieA's picture

Wow. Sounds like our BM. She started smoking again after almost 20 years, lied to DH about it (they were still married) and then proceeded to let the kids smoke, 13 and 17 at the time. All three were lying to him "my friend smoked in the car" yeah right. I think it is incredibly irresponsible to assist an underage person in smoking. It is terribly addictive, even worse than ever (my DH started again during the divorce and it was hell quitting) so you are allowing your children to start a habit that benefits only the cigarette companies. Expensive too. $5-$10 a day depending on packs smoked. Most people I know who smoke want to quit and I have every sympathy for them. What kind of person gives their kid a handicap?

stepfamilyfriend's picture

Nope. I don't think that's ok. Most smokers know that it's bad for them and would like to quit, and the mom is giving all kinds of wrong messages. Next thing they'll be doing other stuff together.
I'd say that I appreciate the honesty, and when the boy is 18 he can do that, but until then he is under my care and I will not allow him to ruin his health. Yes, if I smoked, that would be hypocritical to a certain extent, but grown ups get to make decisions like that for themselves and kids do not.

nofear74's picture

Thank you all for your opinions. At least I don't feel like I'm crazy now for having such a strong disagreement about the whole situation. I don't know if putting my foot down is going to do anything because my wife has already started letting him smoke, but I can at least tell him that I don't want to see him smoking, I don't want to smell it on him, and I don't want him smoking with any adults. Basically, if he does continue to smoke, he can do it alone instead of thinking that he's a cool adult because he can hang out with them and smoke....there are just so many things that are wrong with that. Anyway, thanks again all!