I understand children stealing cigs is something that has been happening since the 1940s, and it is difficult for parent to know what to do. Sometimes laying the law down and fighting against the child is not helpful in the long term, as parental bullying can seriously harm a childs development of respect. This can have many serious repercussions in adolescence, which can lead to some rebellion against authority and the law, their parents and their bodies. Its a difficult subject to post to agony aunts, as it is seen now as taboo. But being frank and up front is the best way. I came from a parental bullied household.
Some (or most) of the 'starting smoking stories' we see online could be fake, and there is hundreds of fake stories out there posted by lonely people with wild imaginations, and so much of what is talked about could by hypothetical. If that is the case then it's best if someone offers a balanced view, to put some of this stuff into a wider context.
Legal Advice on Smoking
As far as legal implications goes, it is not illegal for a child to smoke in most places around the world, and it is not illegal to give a child a cigarette. Children are not allowed to buy cigs, and vendors are not allowed to sell cigs to children, in most places in the world. The exceptions are: UK, Texas, California, Utah, Wyoming, Virginia, Afghanistan, Japan, Mongolia, Philippines, Taiwan, Austria, Bosnia, Estonia, Germany, Finland, Ireland, Hungary and Portugal - which have both a minimum smoking age and a minimum purchase age - where smoking under the legal age is illegal. So for example in Spain there is a minimum smoking age, but no minimum purchase age, so you can buy cigs at any age. In China, there is a minimum purchase age (18), but no minimum smoking age, so you can smoke at any age. China prohibits smoking on school grounds, but this is weakly enforced. In fact, there are 126 countries around the world which have no minimum smoking age, with only Europe and America being the exceptions.
If you live in one of those places, and if police see people under the age of 18 years smoking, they only have the legal right to confiscate any tobacco or smoking materials. Same with cannabis and other drugs, as minors cannot be prosecuted by law. Parents cannot be fined for letting their kids smoke, as its not a finable offence. Parent who give cigs to minors - that is children under 4 years old, risk a jail sentence and their children taken away, as this is seen as abuse in those countries listed above. If you happen to live in the far east and on the poverty line, it is not uncommon to give cigs to minors, and see minors smoking, however mind-blowing that might seem to westerners.
Even in the UK, if your child has ADHD and is in a Special School, they are allowed to smoke in class, and go out for a cig whenever they like, from 8 years old. They say that smoking helps those kids to calm down. So on one hand the local UK authority is saying dont let kids smoke, but on the other hand they condone smoking for kids with mental issues. Maybe kids who smoke have fewer mental issues?
Parental Advice on Smoking
The first thing I would suggest is to be open and honest with each other right from day 1. Kids steal cigs, or smoke them, in lower school - and this isn't uncommon at the ages of 8-12, when kids are opening their eyes to the world, and trying out new things. In some case, hiring the wrong babysitter can also open the door to temptation. If you lay down the law and say "You Cannot X, Y, Z", then this is going to be the very first thing the child will want to do. If you say to a child that smoking can be done when the child are older, some of them will respect your advice and wait. Most often it is peer pressure which makes smoking look more enticing than it is, and playing with a friend who smokes is often a sure way to start; as the friend will often want to share their cigs. Here again, sometime being sensible with the child will talk them out of wanting to smoke, and here, the scare stories can help to reinforce your points. This is the only place where the scare stories actually do anything, as those on cig packs are ignored by smokers and those who want to smoke. The stories are only ever believed by non-smokers, as smokers eventually realise that non of those horror stories they print on packs will probably apply to them, or at least not until they are quite elderly in years. Smoking gives a smokers cough, and circulation problems, but it wont make your leg fall off or make your teeth fall out like it shows on the packs.
I sometimes get messages and PMs from mums and dads who say their 14 year old wants to start smoking, and how to deal with it. If they want to start on a whim, sometimes it is possible to talk them out of it. Certainly if they want to start just because it looks cool, there may be a way to put them off smoking for a few years by pointing out the costs of smoking can be quite expensive, and so they must wait until they get a 'proper job' before they can start. You can make it quite clear that you cannot afford to support their drug habit by buying them cigs.
However, some parents don't know what it is like to smoke, and so sometimes, in order to understand what your child is going through, it might be an idea to think about starting smoking with them. This means you can take it day by day, and find out about smoking together. You can look out for each other and learn to do it without feeling embarrassed. The good thing about doing it this way is this shows the child that smoking is not a 'play thing', and you can ration the cigs out each day, and witness how the child responds with each one. If you ban smoking from the house, the child may simple smoke out of a window, and here you don't get to monitor the situation, and give advice, as if the child is smoking out of a feeling of rebellion, it is unlikely they are going to listen to you anyway. So it is better to allow maybe 3 per day at first, under supervision, rather than forcing the child to do it in secret; as this can mean they are going off to smoke in some dark and seedy places, which may not be safe, and are open to drug pushers. If the child is in rebellion mode, it is better to have then smoking indoors than go off on their own down the back streets, as they might come back with all kinds of unsafe pills and other things. Smoking can be a bit of a laugh with friends, but the experience is more mature if an adult can watch over them. Many women/parents have discovered the pleasures of smoking later in life, and so dont be afraid to try it.
Starting smoking when quite young can mean the child is bored with it by the time they get to high school age, and quit. Whereas, if they start later, say age 25, it is often the case that they continue to feel the novelty by the age of 30, and continue to smoke. It can take maybe 10 years for the habit to become permanent, and in the meantime, they will have to learn to go long periods without smoking due to education and working. If they see cigs as a reward when they come back from school/work, it can quickly lead to a habit. While if they see smoking as an occasional pleasure, they may forget to smoke for most of the day, and only come back to it in the evening or at night. It is probably best to make sure that cigs are not smoked close to bed time, as this can create a shortness of breath which affects sleep. Again, the more you try to get non-smokers to talk to the child to talk them out of it, the more they will go off to smoke in secret, and they may start avoiding family and friends and pull away from society as a result. So it is better to bring them in and tell them that it is ok, within certain rules.
It is probably best not to try to take a cigs away from a child, even if they are turning green. If you take away a childs toy, they will only cry and scream for it, so it is far better to let the child vomit so they can become more aware of the pitfalls, if they smoke too quickly or foolishly. They will need to learn from their own mistakes, and this means making them pay for the damage if they burn a hole in the couch. However, is is better if you dont let your kids smoke in bed, as they can fall asleep and burn the house down, and this is also unregulated consumption. It is far better to offer cigs after meals and/or if they are irritable or bored, rather than as a general treat.
Its not always clear cut, but at least here is a thread for some kind of advice.
Post by Smokedads on Feb 28, 2020 18:26:52 GMT
Aug 15, 2019 20:10:18 GMT Smokemoms said:
Feb 5, 2019 23:17:50 GMT Corketta said:
Sure its a filthy habit but you get so hooked all you want to do is smoke and it feels so good to put that long warm rich cigarette in my mouth and get my fix with lots of puffing and lots of rich cigarette smoke. I never thought cigarettes would be so important in my life, I'm horrified to think of what it would be like to go without cigarettes, I'm so hooked and I love it so much, smoking is my favorite thing and the top priority in my smoke filled life, everything is just right when I'm having a cigarette.
I totally agree. Some times I wonder how I' ever lived without smoking. My two daughters 11 and 14 have caught my habbit and we enjoy it at home every day. With the girls I enjoy it even more.
Smokemoms, it is so nice to see someone who shares the same values about kids smoking as I do. When my daughter came to me at 12 and started asking about smoking, I asked her if she wanted to try my cigarette. She said yes, and when I handed her my cigarette and told her to try to take a little into her lungs, I was amazed to see a deep inhale. It turns out that she had been smoking regularly for about 6 months. Her style was so impressive at that point that she looked like she had been a smoker for years. We have been smoking together ever since, which has been about 3 years now.
Post by Toni on Apr 13, 2020 14:08:36 GMT
My twin daughters when they were 13,started quizzing me about my smoking. I'd hoped they wouldn't be that interested prior but, after a few questions as to when, why and how? i asked them why the interest given that they'd never really questioned it before. Turns out that their friends, or some of them, had tried smoking and were "pressuring" my girls to join them. I asked them straight up if they were going to or wanted to.....both of them said they were seriously thinking about it. Fast forward 3 years and both my girls are now regular smokers...i'd given them the anti speech back when they'd quizzed me but it didn't deter them from trying it. Within 3 months they told me they were both smoking daily. From that point i didn't see any reason to stop or restrict them given that they'd grown up watching me and their father smoke. With no restrictions, Kelly and Paula were soon, after about 6 months, around a ppd each. Now Kelly is a pack and half Marlboro red smoker, the same as me, and Paula is a pack a day B&H 120 smoker. They're both respectful when and where they smoke, as are we, but i can't help but smile seeing them smoking, they seem a million miles away from the "innocent" 12/13 year olds who had quizzed me about it.
Post by Jake on May 18, 2020 23:11:30 GMT
That’s cool that you let your kids smoke cigarettes. I’m 16 and My parents let me start smoking cigarettes when I was 13.
Post by Olivia on Jul 19, 2020 3:57:28 GMT
I started smoking at age 11. I am twelve now and smoke 5 to 7 cigarettes a day. I highly enjoy it and I am now addicted to cigarettes. When I wake up in the morning I want one badly so I always smoke one right away. My mom doesn't like me smoking but lets me smoke. I really would quit but I can't because I enjoy cigarettes so much
Post by conwaye on Oct 16, 2020 2:39:33 GMT
Hello. Looking for insight from smoking Moms. Daughter 14 started High School in September. Academically smart but somewhat socially withdrawn. At what age & How would I raise issue of trying smoking. Think she would enjoy it but do not want to create stress for Her in anti-smoking school envoirnment
Post by catena on Oct 16, 2020 8:24:31 GMT
Hey, I am not a mom but I hope you don't mind. I think you don't need to mention it. Let her be herself.
Post by Viewer on Jan 21, 2021 1:11:50 GMT
Bumping an old thread here. I changed the subject when it came up with teen step daugher. We stopped her. Would be interesting when teen daughter begins to smoke and mum starts.
Post by Molly on Jan 27, 2021 13:47:48 GMT
Hi everyone. I am new to this site. My daughter Aubrey is 10 years old. I noticed one day when I went into her room that it smelled like cigarettes. Her dad and I both smoke so I knew she would probably want to smoke when she is 16 or so but this shocked me. The next day I went to the basement to do the laundry. I left my cigarettes on the kitchen table and counted them. There were 14 cigarettes in the pack. When I came back upstairs I counted my cigarettes. There were only 11. Aubrey had taken 3 cigarettes. I didn't know what to do. I went into her room and said "Aubrey have you been smoking?" She paused for a bit and said "Yes and I like it. Will you please let me smoke?" I was in shock and I didn't know what to do. I asked her how long she had been smoking and she said about a month. I told her I would have to think about it and walked out of her room. That evening I talked to my husband about what had happened and we discussed the entire situation. We never dreamed Aubrey would want to start smoking at 10 years old. After much discussion we decided that since she likes it it would be better to give her our permission to smoke instead of her hiding it. The next day after school I sat down with Aubrey and told her she would be allowed to smoke 5 or 6 cigarettes a day at the most. The look on her face was total joy. She hugged me and thanked me. I think we made the right decision. She is a good girl in all ways and does very good in school. She is only allowed to smoke at home or in the car. She smokes Misty menthol which is a light cigarette and she loves them. She inhales moderately-not lightly and not heavily. Did we make the right decision?
Post by Dan on Jan 27, 2021 22:13:51 GMT
Honesty is always the best policy. Hiding drugs leads to being sneaky, and sometimes a thrill seeking ride. Being honest means there is a level of trust. If you had not taken the step, she would be still smoking 6 a day, but potentially setting fire to garbage in the basement.
I'd say be firm to stick to the rules. Offering 5 at that age may seem too generous for someone in junior school. You are more flexible than most parents, so if she cuts up to 6, 7, 8, then things start to be a problem. Kids must acknowledge and appreciate personal restraint. This is a big lesson to learn for children, to control their natural urges. Learning to be strong and to endure the suffering of not having their own way is part of growing up. This can lead to endless arguments - of course - like anything else.
There are two clauses.
1. If she gets a job and earns her own money, then she can spend it on whatever she wants.
2. As long as she lives with you, you set the rules. Rules are rules, and if there were no rules, there would be anarchy.
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