My 17 yr old has decided to start smoking, should I let him go ahead and smoke or make him stop and risk him hiding it?

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Marie - posted on 08/26/2014

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I know what you are going through, 6 years ago our 17 year old son casually let us know he smoked when he lit up after dinner just like his dad, I quit years ago.
It hurt me to see him drag the smoke deep into his lungs and enjoy it so much.
He clearly was already addicted to smoking. My husband and I managed to stay calm and asked him how long he had been smoking, Oh, not so long only about 6 months he said. I asked him why he started because he knew how bad it is for his health. Steve and Rich, his two closest friends, started smoking and they told me how good it was and I just tried one day and liked it so now I smoke aswell.
The three of them have been friends since 3rd grade so we know their parents and I gave them a call, Steve's parents found out no so long ago and have given him permission to smoke in his room. Rich's parents both smokers, caught him smoking at 15 and told him he wasn't allowed to smoke until he was 16. From his 16th birthday he has permission to smoke at home.
We tried to convince him that it would be smart if he quit and told him we rather he didn't smoke. He told us he would quit once he finished college and got a job.
Trent is 23 now and never quit, smokes a pack a day at least. I guess once a kid starts no matter what his parents say, there is nothing you can do about it.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 06/09/2011

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Honey, none of us are perfect. :-) Thank goodness we don't need to be! Hang in there and stay strong!

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 06/09/2011

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Ok, Jodi, it's time for you to quit. If he sees you quit, it could be the influence he needs. Otherwise, by telling him that it's bad for his health, etc, you are just being a hypocrite. (coming right outta another hypocrite's mouth, so no slur intended I promise :-) )

Why should he quit if you and bio dad are still smokers? (that's a 17 yr old answer, btw). Thank God my kids haven't wanted to try it, but I could be in your same shoes.

Actually, my nephew did start smoking young. His dad smoked, and his mom did once in awhile. and of course, all of his aunts/uncles do...so he saw nothing wrong with it, until my son (his cousin) pointed out that we all looked pretty stupid doing it, and it wasn't considered "cool" around here anymore...Peer pressure works both ways I guess.

Anyway, whatever you decide, best of luck! I'll definitely be thinking of you and hoping things work out.

As far as hubby...ask him why, before you got to this "bridge" he was willing to "work it out", but as soon as the bridge came up, he changed his tune?

Cindy - posted on 06/06/2011

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Well, you aren't of piece of crap, so don't let him make you feel that way. Frankly, that's why I'm divorced! My ex (the father of my boys) did not agree on the "how to raise our children" issue. And, he made both our son, and me, feel like crap. Nothing we ever did was good enough.
My personal opinion is to say that this is your son. He has a father that is involved in raising him too. Just because you & hubby don't agree, it doesn't mean that you are wrong. I feel like you should be able to tell your hubby that you feel confident in your decision, & wish that he could support you through this, even though he disagrees with you. It's not his son to worry about. However, you are his wife & he needs to be concerned with how he is making you feel.
Wow! So sorry! I guess I really told you what I think, huh?
Good luck with it. I hope it all works out for the best!

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Angel - posted on 07/18/2014

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i would like to give some advice to your son he shouldn't smoke it is bad for him i would like to meet your son

Heather - posted on 07/18/2014

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from a smoker make him quit and yes he will hide it but keep on him untill he quits it destroys lives it has mine i am 33 years old and on oxygen

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I would definitely talk to him about it. You are right, if you try to make him stop then he'll do it behind your back. A suggestion would be to tell him if that's what he's going to choose to do, since you are against it- in no way will you support his habit. Let him know that if he needs anything that you will buy it for him but you won't give him $ directly. If he chooses to smoke then he will have to find a way to support HIS habit.

Cindy - posted on 06/18/2011

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Thanks so much for asking! These are going pretty well here. I've been taking it slowly & just discussing a little more each day. The worst part was that I found that he had been smoking pot since he was in 7th grade. You know, I thought I was an involved mom & knew my son. I know all of friends, & where they like to hang out, etc... So, hearing that he had been doing it all this time & me not knowing it, really made be feel naive & like I had failed him. But, the good news is that he has committed to not doing it again. I think he didn't realize how much it can impact your life even if you never get caught by the police. He was looking into getting a job, & I told he couldn't pass the drug test. The look on his face was priceless.
Like I said, it's been slow, but I think it's making a bigger impact than if I had just lost it & gotten mad, etc...
I'm happy to hear that you have all worked toward a solution that suits everyone involved. It sounds like you've really worked together for a good plan, and your son is responding to it. It's great.
I guess all we can do now is pray! :)

Michelle - posted on 06/18/2011

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I think you may want to sit your son down, and have an open discussion with him. Don't lecture or control the entire conversation. Let him speak his mind also. But most definately give him all the negative sides to smoking. Let him know you may not agree with his smoking, but it is his choice to make. At 17, you cannot make him stop. You may forbid it in your home, but he will only do it elsewhere, and hide it. I wish you all the best with your son

Jodi - posted on 06/18/2011

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Well I would like to give y'all an update on how things are going. Since all of this I have talked to my ex and my husband and we all have come to an agreement (sorta), but my son is trying to quit and wait like we have asked him too and if in a year he still feels the need to smoke then we can't say anything really but he knows that we all don't want him smoking and we can't stop him, and that he's the only one that can do this. So my ex and I are now not letting him smoke to help him. I appreciate all your encouraging words and advice. Thank you all!! Cindy, how is your situation going? I hope you havent had anymore problems arise from that. :-) Again thank you all!!!

Jodi - posted on 06/09/2011

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Thank you everyone! I'm going to talk to my son and let him know that I don't approve (which I have told him once already) but that he needs to quit and talk to him about this more. I appreciate all your help and opinions! I will keep you all updated. Thank you so much again. I too the risk of posting this not knowing what kinda responses I would get. Thank you for not being real harsh!

Heather - posted on 06/09/2011

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I had my 2 oldest start smoking when they were teenagers. I let them know it was NOT ok. Like you said they would sneak around BUT if I ever found their cigs I threw them in the toilet. They lost a lot of cigs that way. Not only is it a nasty habit, but it is illegal until they are 18.They couldn't smoke anywhere around our house. They both still smoke but not in my house and don't leave their butts around here either. Oh by the way, they are 24 and 26. you can't stop them, but you can make it really difficult so they know exactly how you feel about it. My other 2 kids don't and think it is nasty. I don't smoke neither does my husband. But all of my grandparents did and 3 died of smoking related diseases. My oldest 2 were old enough to remember when one of my grandmothers died. It was a horrible, long and drawn out death. She was so hooked that even wearing oxygen she would smoke. She would hang her tube on the back of her chair and smoke. At the end she required constant care left to me and my aunt. Now don't get me wrong, I consider myself very blessed that I and my kids had that time with her. But I also know how hard it was for my aunt. Smoking is one of the most selfish things you can do to your family. Not to mention the economics of it. Especially if someone is poor and/or getting assistance. You have enough money to spend 40$ or more on cigs, yet you ask for help taking care of your family???? What is that? that money could buy enough food to make breakfast and lunch for a week.

Kathryn - posted on 06/08/2011

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I too am a smoker with teenage children and have told them that I can't lecture about smoking obviously but I did tell them if they choose to smoke and afford to buy their own then I won't give them any money for luxury items only for essentials. Hopefully that will prevent them from choosing to smoke.

Nancy - posted on 06/07/2011

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" he's the one that thinks I'm the biggest piece of crap and now a bad parent."
Jodi, don't let anyone treat you this way!! People who treat you this way are emotional abusers!! I do not know you personally but nobody, and I mean nobody, is what he said to you!!

Nancy - posted on 06/07/2011

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This is so weird that I just came across this post...My daughter has a lot of freedom, she is 17 years of age. I always hoped she wouldn't smoke but somewhere in my gut I knew she was. So a couple of days ago I saw her with a cigarette in her mouth and honestly, I acted like I had known for a long time.
My daughter is a home body and does not smoke in the home. So occasionally she'll go outside with her boyfriend and have a couple of drags...
Now to come back to your question?? It all depends what you feel you should do. As a 17 year old, kids are very independent in what they do. They also like to experiment with things. We can not always been there to hold their hand, so we as parents have to trust that what they do is not harmful to them. There was a time when my daughter would occasionally drink with her best friend. Now, she does not even touch alcohol. Like I said, we can not always be there for them, but we sure can sit them down and explain what the consequences can be from smoking and drinking. In the end, they have to make the decision what they want to do...

Carrie - posted on 06/07/2011

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Im with Cindy on this. I've been smoking since I was 14ish (36 now) I too have a 18 yr old son whom has no desire what so ever to smoke & same with my 14 daughter, how ever, its been their decision. I would just not let it take place at my house nore would I help support the habbit. Make it an inconvenence. Good luck- Carrie

Jodi - posted on 06/06/2011

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Well he dont want him smoking in the house let alone on the property. My son smoked a cigarette the other night after I had gone to bed and threw the filter in the tiolet and my husband found it and told me today that "if he did it again he was going to call the sherriffs dept, then says... not like they will do anything but I'm calling them anyway." I have a son that is in rehab myself which is very difficult for me as well...

Cindy - posted on 06/06/2011

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Jodi, I have a similar situation going on right now. We found a pipe for smoking weed out in our yard last week. I asked my 16 yr old about it. He was very honest, and said it was one of his friends. He told me that he had tried it. But, what am I supposed to do with that information? Tell him he can't hang around with any of those kids anymore? Tell him not to do it again? I would have never known anything if he had not told me. It's our nature as mom's to want to protect them, but we can only do so much. My nephew, who is 22, just went thru rehab, & my brother & his wife went to the family counseling that they provide as well. One of the first things they tell them is that you can't stop them or make them change. You only have control over you & how you re-act. The biggest thing they said was not to do anything for them that they can do for themselves (meaning the addict,) and don't enable them (ie: giving them money, etc...) Every time my son walks out the door I'm having to trust that he won't do it again as he promised. But, until your son decides to stop, you can't make him stop. What does your husband suggest you do? Are you supposed to punish him, and keep him locked in the house or what? What else can you do? Cause, seriously, if I thought I had a REALISTIC alternative, I'd consider using with my son.

Ah! The teenage years!!! I'm just thankful my son decided he wanted to wait till he was 17 to get his driver's license. :)

Jodi - posted on 06/06/2011

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JuLeah, We have talked to him about that and he just seems to want to keep smoking. My husband griped at him for it me and my ex has talked to him about it... but nothing seems to bother him about it...

Jodi - posted on 06/06/2011

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It's ok Cindy... no need to apologize! Which rises another question that I will post about. I was really confident in this till he started saying all this crap. And something else he said also was that "what if he starts smoking pot? You gonna let him do that to? I said HELL NO!! He said well then whats the difference? They are both drugs... just that one is illegal all the time the other is illegal untill 18. BLAH BLAH BLAH.... I want to thank all the input in this!!

JuLeah - posted on 06/06/2011

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I'd want to know why he has such little respect for himself and his health. I'd want to know why he wants to put his life, and the health of his friends at risk.

You really can't stop him, but you can try to educate him. Is there a person whoes word he respects?

Is there someone in the medical profession that might talk with him?

Is he willing to learn about the consequences (social, health, $)

Jodi - posted on 06/06/2011

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HI Cindy, it's not the ex thats mad at me its my hubby. he's the one that thinks I'm the biggest piece of crap and now a bad parent. My ex and I came to an agreement many yrs ago that if he did by chance start smoking we would rather him do it in front of us then hide it behind our backs. I have told my husband this and he wasnt all upset about it and all he said was well I hope that he dont but we would cross that bridge if and when it ever gets here, well now it's here and I'm a bad parent and a piece of crap. so what do I do? I dont wanna fight with my hubby but dont want him to hide it either... ugh.... I'm so stuck and confused what to do...and my son lives with his dad. what's a woman to do?

Cindy - posted on 06/06/2011

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I have to agree with Melodie. You can't make him stop. If he wants to smoke, he is going to. It's just a matter of whether he is comfortable discussing it with you, or if not, he will do it when he isn't home. As for your ex... if he is a smoker, and your son doesn't live with him, where does he get off being mad at you. If he wants to tell your son to stop, let him. But, your son is going to continue to smoke until he decides otherwise. Be honest and tell him you don't approve. I wouldn't provide them for him, or give him the money to buy them. That way you are not enabling his habit. But, you can't stop him. Only he can help himself and choose to stop.

Jodi - posted on 06/06/2011

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@ Valerie,I do smoke so it was really hard to tell that he was. The only way I found out was that his dad (smokes too) found out and confronted him about it and he had to tell me. When he told me I asked him why he started and he said he really dont know why he started. He just decided that he would try it and he liked it. His dad and I havent been to together in 12 yrs Both of us have gotten remarried my husband smokes, my sons stepmom doesnt. My husband went off!! I dont like the idea of him smoking I wish I woulda quit yrs ago but I have had so many things happen that I just never did. He just turned 17 so it's not like he can buy them on his own. I hate to let him continue but I really dont want him too, even though most everyone around him smokes. Melanie, I live in Texas also so I know how much they run for I smoke Marlboro myself, He has seen the prices I pay for mine. My husband says I'm a sorry piece of crap for letting him smoke with him not being 18. I just dont want him to sneaking around to do it.. His dad and I came to an agreement many yrs ago about this but now I dont know if I can continue to go with it... I'm so confused I just dont know what to do.. Thank you everyone for you input in this. I will continue to keep reading your responses in hope of an easier way to do this. I appreciate all of you! If anyone has anymore questions please feel free to ask... Like I said I just dont know what to do. :-(

Valerie - posted on 06/05/2011

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do you smoke? are you against smoking? is he almost 18 and moving out? is your home smoke free? more info

Jane - posted on 06/05/2011

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It is so, so hard to stop smoking once you start. If there is any way to get him to discuss his decision with you, do it. He needs to stop and think about the cost, not just out of his pocket but to his social life. Kissing someone who smokes if you don't is really, really yucky. As with most folks his age, he feels invincible so addressing long-term health effects is probably a non-starter. See if you can find out why he wants to smoke. Perhaps your loving opposition could be tailored to his reasons.

In any case, Melodie is right,. He will regret his decision at some point.

My son decided to start smoking, However, the second time he did it I smelled it on him. He was so shocked that the smell stuck to him as I had warned him it would that he stopped, in case the other things about smoking were also true. He was lucky. I have had to watch too many people try to stop again and again, and I have seen way too many folks have to cope with lung cancer. In fact, the boy that introduced my son to cigarettes lost his father only a few years before to lung cancer. But such is the perceived invulnerability of teenage boys.

Melodie - posted on 06/05/2011

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I was 17 when I started smoking and I wish I never started. I hid it from my parents. I think it is best to talk to him about it, let him know that you know. But tell him the consequences of it. I live in Texas and a pack of Marlboro's is anywhere from 5.50 to 6.99 a pack. I smoke a pack a day. Have him do the math and let him see how much that cost. And trust me it adds up quick. Tell him about how bad he will smell, there isn't enough cologne to cover it up. The other thing that I hate is I'm constantly worried about wether or not I will run out of smokes. I'm hooked and wish I wasn't. I wanted to be cool but it didn't make me cool. I was hooked after the first few smokes. I have tried to quit many times, but it is so easy to pick up another smoke and start right back up. Confront him, but don't put him in the position to hide it from you. One day he will be more willing to come to you about something else if you are open with him about this. My last piece of advice is don't condem him but that doesn't mean you have to like what he is doing, tell him you don't like it. Just do it the right way.

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