Anti-Smoking Teen Makes Me Proud

Anti-Smoking Teen Makes Me Proud (Motherhood Looms)

Image from stockxchange, used with permission.

I had a conversation about tobacco with my teenaged son not that long ago.  I was pleased to find that he is militantly anti-smoking.  When he credited me with his anti-smoking attitude, I was beyond thrilled.

Statistically, smoking parents are more likely to have smoking children.  I read a UK study that indicated that children of smokers are three times more likely to become smokers themselves.  That’s a pretty significant number.  I smoked when Andy was younger.  At times in my life, I smoked quite heavily.

So how did I, his dirty smoker mother, influence my boy to become militantly anti-smoking?

I treated it like something shameful.  I never smoked where he could see it.  There was no smoking in my car or in my house.  If he’d follow me outside when I was smoking, I’d “hide” my cigarette from view and then send him back inside.  It wasn’t “cute” to see a child imitating a smoking parent.  (Fortunately, Andy never did that, but I did have quite the freak out when I saw his little cousin imitating his dad and grandfather smoking on the back deck.)  The last thing that I ever wanted was for my boy to see me smoking and think that it was okay.  It wasn’t.*

When I did finally quit, he was my biggest cheerleader.  And now he’s encouraging his school aged friends to either quit smoking or never start in the first place.

Did you raise an anti-smoking teen?  How did you do it?

*Disclaimer: No judgment on those who still smoke.  It’s hard to quit.  I get that.  That doesn’t mean that I want kids to start, though, and sending them the message that smoking is not okay is a great way to do that.