Punishing parents who smoke around children

[deleted account] ( 72 moms have responded )

Should the state pass laws to punish parents who smoke in the home?





Many parents smoke in the presence of their children. This means that these children are breathing in the tobacco smoke produced by their parents – something called passive smoking, or second-hand smoking. Research has shown that this is very bad for children’s health, and this is now widely accepted. Some medical experts even claim it is more dangerous than actual smoking because of a larger amount of cancer-causing chemicals in this type of smoke. It can be especially harmful to babies and young children who are in the early stages of their physical development. It may lead to less developed lungs and a series of respiratory (breathing) illnesses such as bronchitis, asthma and even heart conditions. But is this problem serious enough for governments to get involved and punish parents who expose their children to such a risk? What are the advantages and disadvantages of such a punishment?



******Shannon....Given how harmful it is, smoking around children is a form of abuse and should be treated as such by the state. But, how do you punish? How do you know who is committing this act & when?

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Mary - posted on 03/26/2010

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Okay, I think (almost) everyone will agree that smoking is not good for you, and can have varying detrimental effects on the long term health of both the smoker as well as those around them. You would pretty much have to be living in a remote cave to not know that in this day and age.



In a perfect world, no one would smoke, eat fast food, drive over the speed limit , ever drink to excess, or fail to exercise daily. Of course, NO single one of us here is perfect. We all have bad habits, and the sad truth is, those habits can impact the future of our children...some of them they will adopt as their own, and in some cases, they will learn from our mistakes.



It is just unrealistic to think that we can "punish" parents for their unhealthy behavior...the list is too long, and enforcement nigh on impossible. How do you quantify which unhealthy behavior is worse? As other posters have pointed out, an "unhealthy" diet can lead to both childhood and life-long obesity and diabetes, as can a sedentary, tv/computer/video-game - filled lifestyle. While some of you may find a smoking parent the most morally reprehensible thing around, my guess is, you probably engage in some behaviors that someone else finds just as appalling. Some people get really worked up over co-sleeping, breast vs bottle, "leashes" and CIO as well. I personally find it completely unacceptable to have any type of firearms in a house with children of any age, regardless of how inaccessible the owner claims it to be. To me, THAT is an unforgivable risk...do I think we should fine those parents, or remove children from them? No, I don't...that's their gamble to take, IMO. Where do you draw the line?



I don't think the government can step into this one. The education, research and statistics are out there for the effects of smoking, as well as a myriad of other parenting and lifestyle choices. Some things really do have to remain in the hands of the parent to determine. Otherwise, we open up the door for many, more things in our life to be policed...perhaps we should ban anyone under the age of 18 from stepping into a McDonald's? Or outlaw the sale of graphic and violent video games to any household with children in residence? Hell, if we're really that concerned, perhaps all women should be forced to live in government-run dormatories to ensure that they follow a healthy diet, never drink, smoke, ingest caffeine or whatever else could possibly affect that growing fetus.

Amy - posted on 03/23/2010

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I got hardly any sleep last nite so here we go with my grouchy opinion:



oh heck, lets just take away everyone's rights to do anything. No, i'm not a smoker. i don't like it. Most kids decades ago spent most of the time outside instead of inside. So they got more fresh air anyway. I take my children out of places/homes if someone lights up or ask them not to around kids. Most people I know are courteous enough to know better. Look at all the ill effects to the body from eating fast food- but that is still legal. Eating cookies for supper isn't good for you either -too much sugar can lead to diabetes, liver damage, kidney failure, rotten teeth, blah blah. A lot of grandmas would be tossed in jail over that one! Define risk, really. They aren't shutting them in the bathroom with them and blowing it in their faces - and if htey are it's child abuse. All the smokers I know go outside or have a certain place in hte house they go to. If we're going to start punishing parents for putting children in environments where their health is at risk, then I guess I knew a lot of people who should be punished for not feeding their kids well. As far as "catching" people smoking in their homes - get camaras and have Big Brother watch us. It's the only way to maintain a perfect society, right?



- I don't smoke, but leave me and my home the heck alone. How much water I use when showering, what foods I eat, if i smoke, if i put toxic fumes from hair color into the home, or stain woodwork, or anything else someone else sees as BAD for myself or family- tough. It is not the government's or anyone else's business. If something like smoking is "committing an act of crime" - I'm moving out of the country.

Lady - posted on 03/23/2010

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Just watched a programme on T.V talking about the subject of passive smoking and the damage it can cause to children - the government figures for britain is that 1700 children are admitted to hospital each year with health problems related to passive smoking. I think that is pretty shocking and something for people to think about who say it's the parents right to do what they want in their own home - what about the RIGHTS of the CHILDREN???

Jenny - posted on 03/23/2010

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I think the laws banning smoking in front of children have more to do with making smoking socially unacceptable than trying to dictate our choices. I live in an area of very strict smoking laws and I love it. No smoking in vehicles with minors, foster parents cannot smoke in the house, no smoking within 3 metres of a doorway or air vent, no smoking in a place of business including bars and the list goes on. There is no smoking police but as stated before it is a secondary infraction and they will fine you. I am all for making it as uncomfortable as humanly possibly to smoke around others.



My mother smoked in the house and now neither my brother nor I have much of a sense of smell and experience other breathing issues that have altered our quality of life. I was a smoker for ten years too but quit when I had my kids as it has zero redeeming qualities.



Now I wish the government would take air pollution as seriously.

Julia - posted on 03/23/2010

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Ok just because your parents did it when you were young means squat to me. Back then (guessing for most people on here 20+years ago) there were a lot of things that were not thought of as a bad thing to do and MEDICAL SCIENCE in the past 20 years has come about leaps and bounds.

In this day and age with all the medical science that is out there PROVING that these kind of actions CAN be deterimental to your children's HEALTH then yes I would categorize this under ABUSE.

20+ years ago spanking your child wasn't considered abuse. But now if you want to spank your child DON'T DO IT IN PUBLIC! Because heaven forbid if someone sees you!

I honestly wish there would be a way to find these parents and punish them in some way, shape or form. However there is no way that it can be enforced. Maybe as a secondary...like someone said before if they are smoking in a car no big deal but if they are smoking in the car with a child and speeding get pulled over then they get a fine! So maybe if there are other things happening in the household that children's services would get called...they could get fined or have that....as in smoking in the presence of your children as something against them.

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Jess - posted on 04/04/2010

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I don't know what the laws are around the world but in Australia, in your own home is pretty much the only place you can smoke now.... and its GREAT ! I love going outside and not having to breath in other peoples disgusting smoke. If I saw someone driving and smoking with their kids in the car, I would call the police and give them the person's registration details. Children deserve to grow up in a smoke free environment. I say bring on the laws that ban smoking PERIOD !!!

C. - posted on 04/04/2010

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@Kati.. I'm with you on wishing you never started.. I feel the same way. This is the second time quitting for me.



Now, the way I see it, though.. There is a huge difference in stuffing your kids McDonald's and smoking around them. Yes, McD's in unhealthy for the most part, BUT with proper education about diet and exercise, those bad habits can be turned around. Smoking around your children, however, can be fatal almost immediately, especially if you are smoking around YOUNG children like infants and toddlers. The affects of second-hand smoke cannot be reversed, whereas the majority of affects of unhealthy eating CAN be reversed. Do you see what I'm trying to get at?

Suzette - posted on 04/03/2010

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Just a few thoughts…

I’ve had a few experts, that I’ve had to see for personal reasons, tell me different things about “studies.” They all seem to agree on one thing about studies and that is that you can’t fully trust them. A study done on the side effects of medications, what causes cancer, what may cause SIDS, what could cause Asthma, there are thousands of studies done on many different things. (Including how medications can affect babies during pregnancy.) The one thing that they all have in common is that almost all of them are not controlled studies. Meaning that a patient visits their doctor or a person sending information in and the business/corporation trusting that person to tell the truth collects the information. Could they be telling the truth? It’s possible, sure. Could all of them be telling the truth? Out of the thousands that participate in studies, I don’t see that happening. I’m sure there’s a few in there, if not more, that have fibbed somewhat. The point that these doctors were stressing to me was that you can’t trust the studies you find online, in articles, whether they’re medical articles or not. They’re there as guidelines, not as one hundred percent truth. Just as one study says one thing, there’s another out there contradicting it. You have to do what is right by you and hope that everything turns out for the best, especially since you never know what the people participating in that study have done with their lives while participating.

For instance, a person who was taking a certain medication while pregnant who later had a baby that had a birth defect could report to the study that they did nothing other than take that medication and do everything that was recommended by their doctor. In reality, they could have been taking OTC medications that they were told not to take, possibly having a glass of wine here and there (which in some studies is okay to do while pregnant – not that I condone it), amongst other things. You can never be sure.

That being said, I’m sure there are a lot of people that are affected by cigarette smoke as children and as adults. I know there are a lot that aren’t as well. And there’s a lot of data out there that supports both sides. It’s a matter of finding it all. There are studies that have been done to support it and there’s studies that have been done to contradict it as well. How do you describe all the babies who have died of SIDS that have never been around cigarette smoke though? Did it somehow magically find its way into their homes? Or is it true that it’s still one of those that is completely undefined? Or how about those that have never been around cigarette smoke (for long periods) or smoked a day in their life and they develop lung cancer? Is it just bad luck?

There are quite a few people out there who have babies that have passed away in their sleep, following the ‘guidelines’ and being precautious of SIDS. There are a whole lot of “theories” but nothing that is actually factual about what can be linked to SIDS or not. In my research, I wasn’t able to find a site out there that stated it was CERTAIN that cigarette smoke was tied to SIDS. In fact, I couldn’t even find anything anywhere that any of those precautions were tied to SIDS as definite factors. They’re theories.

More info on SIDS:
http://www.smokersclubinc.com/modules.ph...
http://www.faqs.org/qa/qa-3391.html
http://www.earthclinic.com/CURES/SIDS.ht...
http://www.healthychild.com/toxic-sleep/...


Studies have been done about asthma and why it gets so severe. Though I’m not saying that every mother who smokes does this, but it seems that some mothers that smoke are just embarrassed to take their children to the doctor if they develop symptoms that seem to reflect
asthma. Why put a ban on tobacco or smoking if that’s the case? It’s not the smoking that’s the problem, it’s the mothers who don’t want to do their responsibility as a parent and report the symptoms to the doctor. Before anyone says anything about, “well if she didn’t smoke…” yes, that might be the case, but not ALL mothers who smoke do this. My grandmother still took my mother to the doctor when she was younger, if she had a problem with anything no matter what it was. I have cousins who still take their children to the doctor if something comes up with ear infections, respiratory problems, etc. and they smoke. So the irresponsible ones should be forced to pay, not the responsible ones.
“mild respiratory symptoms were much more common among children if the mother smoked. Furthermore, children were less likely to be taken to the general practitioner for respiratory symptoms if their mothers smoked.”
http://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-6963/7...

And these questions, listed on another site about asthma, make me question further. How is it that we can be certain, even when the child is that of a smoker who actually takes their child to the doctor when need be, that these aren’t the reasons for their asthma and not the smoke? Is it just possible that the smoke isn’t to blame?

“Q: Why has the incidence of pediatric asthma been going up?
Dr. Farber: While we don't fully understand why rates are increasing, we believe that it has a lot to do with the Western lifestyle. We know that a diet rich in processed foods isn't good. Children who eat a diet rich in oily fish, such as salmon, mackerel and herring, and lots of fresh fruits and vegetables—especially those high in vitamin C—have fewer problems with asthma. Children do not get the same benefits as adults from supplements, so parents should focus on serving these nutritious whole foods.
Some data also suggest that not getting enough exposure to bacteria and viruses as young children may influence the development of childhood asthma. As parents, we work on trying to prevent kids from getting these infections when they are very young, but ironically, this could be adversely affecting the development of their immune systems.
Air quality also plays a role. Air pollution increases a child's chance of developing asthma. It can also trigger an attack. Studies show that there are higher rates of asthma in children who spend more time outside in high-ozone areas of Los Angeles and other polluted cities. And there are more breathing problems among kids who live or go to school near highways.”.
“Q: What situations and substances may trigger attacks?
Dr. Farber: Parents need to pay careful attention to what their child is breathing—both inside the home and outdoors. Common triggers include allergens such as pet dander, pollen, mold and dust, but also weather changes (especially chilly temperatures) and viral infections (colds and flu). If their asthma is not well controlled, some children can have asthma attacks when they exercise or get overexcited.
Everyone knows, or should know, that cigarette smoke is a cause and trigger of pediatric asthma, but many parents don't realize how much smoke their children are exposed to. Parents may forget that smoke from the fireplace and from incense is smoke too. That smoke may not have nicotine, but it has many of the same irritants that can trigger asthma.
The chemicals in insecticides and household products can also trigger an attack. I have patients whose parents can't understand why their child is having problems, saying they keep their homes clean and allergen-free. Yet they do so by using antibacterial sprays, chemical air fresheners and harsh cleaners that could be triggering attacks. Keep your home as chemical-free as possible.”
http://www.pediatrichealthchannel.com/as...

Furthermore, is it also possible that our different backgrounds could play more of a role into our medical conditions than whether or not we’re around smoking all together? Our genes could be playing a bigger role in everything all together. The smoke around us could be the very minor factor that just happens to slightly irritate the condition while never being the cause to begin with.
“New intervention helps Latino parents of asthmatic children quit smoking”
http://www.sciencecentric.com/news/artic...

Johnny - posted on 04/03/2010

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I don't think we should make it illegal. Like so many previous posters have said it is too hard to enforce and really, where do you draw the line on punishing parents for making their kids unhealthy? I totally hate smoking though, and will not put my daughter anywhere near it. If you smoke, and you want to come to my house, you're welcome to have your cigarette down the street. And I certainly won't be bringing my kid to your house. Yuck. Personally I say that we should just go the route of public humiliation. Instead of punishment or taking the kids away, parents who smoke in the house or car with their kids just have to always wear t-shirts saying, "I smoke in the house with my kid." And we can then all publicly shun them. Much cheaper that way and it doesn't force kids into foster care or away from otherwise loving families.

Rosie - posted on 04/03/2010

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i don't know christina, if they're MY kids, i have the right to stuff them with mcdonalds, and live in a heavily polluted area, and smoke around them. i don't agree with it, but to actually ban it seems impossible to me. the laws that are already in effect to ban it from being around other people in public, they should work on those and enforce those more. i see so many people disobeying those laws it shocks me that nothing is done to them.
also alcohol impairs your ability to drive your vehicle, smoking doesn't, so that's why i think it's illegal, not because the alcohol itself is harming anyone else in the car. (i obviously get that the alcohol indirectly harms others if there is an accident). like i stated before i think there needs to be a HUGE push of education on this. smoking is a horrible vile habit that i hope this time (it's my third time quitting) i can be done with. i wish i'd never started.

C. - posted on 04/03/2010

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Emma.. By making tobacco itself illegal, you are taking the person's rights away. If they want to smoke/chew, that's their choice. However, the ONLY time any Government should intervene is when that person is endangering another life by performing whatever act they chose (smoking, drinking & driving, doing drugs, WHILE they have children in the car). If they are willing to risk their own life, then it's their problem. But when they start throwing other people, kids especially who have no authority over the parent, in the mix then that is when there should be laws against it. And there are laws about drinking/driving, why not smoking when children are in the car with you?

And just b/c it didn't harm you or your siblings, doesn't mean it doesn't affect people at all. I know FAR too many people whose parents smoked around them while they were young or when they were in the womb and they have things like Bronchitis and Asthma. So it has the potential to be fatal to children. Just b/c you all were lucky, doesn't mean that everyone will be. Just like if you survived a car ride with a drunk driver, doesn't mean everyone else will.

Rosie - posted on 04/03/2010

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thanks wanda!! i quit smoking about 27 days ago and it's nice to know that stuff for sure. i couldn't find answers out there so thanks for finding them for me!! :) this goes back to that thread and why we post stuff when we can easily look up the answers ourselves! :)

Emma - posted on 04/03/2010

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I live in South Africa and we have laws about smoking in your car with kids, and in public full stop, the problem is they have no teeth.
I law that's punishment is just a fine is a law with no teeth at all or we would not have one speeding driver on our roads would we.

The laws are passed by the powers that be to shut people up they know they no teeth but once its done you will move on to the next thing, when really nothing has been improved or achieved.

As i have said before stop wasting time on things that will have little to no impact and concentrate on making the source of the problem illegal tobacco its self.

C. - posted on 04/03/2010

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YES!!!! But it's not likely :( But I think that banning parents from smoking with their children in the car would be good.. And I think it is possible since you are visible to the world, unless you have those creepy dark tinted windows and no one can see you. Now, I just quit almost two weeks ago, but even when I smoked, I never smoked in front of my son. Having smoked after I had a child, I can't see how anyone would have such high disregard to their child's health. But I guess some people just do..

Suzette - posted on 04/03/2010

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They actually just passed a law in the U.S. in regards to selling Clove cigarettes. They're illegal now, they're only sold in cigar form now because the Clove "flavored" cigarettes are too appealing to minors. Just like Krista was saying. In my opinion, it's ridiculous. If a child wants cigarettes, it won't matter if they're flavored or not, they'll get them. I was able to walk into a convenient store, at 14 years old, and buy a pack of cigarettes, no questions asked. They had seen me in there with my mother, they knew I went to the middle school just down the street as they saw me in there with friends, with my back pack. So what's the excuse? The only one is that they don't care. So blaming parents isn't the answer, fining them isn't the answer. Oh, and my parents didn't smoke either. So, I wonder where I picked up that bad habit? Sometimes people just pick it up, children and adults. It isn't always a learned habit from someone who is older than them.

Emma - posted on 04/03/2010

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Im not an advocate for smoking while your pregnant or around your kids,
whoever i am of common sense.
Making a law against people smoking around there kids would be impossibly to enforce. its a wast of time law !!! you have to agree

If you want to make a law ban all tobacco products !! that would be far easier to enforce that what goes on behind closed doors in someone's home.

And if i got lung cancer tomorrow i would probably have to put it down to living on a busy intersection for 5 years where your washing would be black after 5 min's on the washing line during peek traffic.
i'm very sure i ingested more carcinogen's in those 5 years than i did during my youth.

Julia - posted on 04/03/2010

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ahhhh there goes the whole "my parents did it and I am fine" arguement....God I love it when people combat 20+ years of medical science with this arguement....makes me want to skip...if only my 9 month pregnant body could...

YOU WERE LUCKY if your parents smoked around you growing up and you have nothing wrong with you today. But who's to say tomorrow you won't have lung cancer?

My grandmother never smoked a day in her life...my grandfather did and did so in the house all the time. He quit before I was born and he died back in 99....my grandmother is NOW fighting lung cancer.

Emma - posted on 04/03/2010

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Pish
How many of you had parents that smoked ?
smoked when they where pregnant with you ?
It was the norm back then ....
I know my mom did with me and my brother and sisters, i as did thay grew up in a household with 2 smokers (my Mom and Dad) and non of us have or have had respiratory ailments. or any of the other things that get put down to second hand smoke.

To make a law punishing parents for smoking in there own homes is a wast of time and money, i mean how would you collect evidence that its been going on ? what are you going to take there kids away ? throw them in jail ?

The police and social services have enough on there plate trying to protect kids from real abuse, i want them going after the sicko making kiddy porn in his basement, or the guy who thinks there kids a punch bag not wasting there time and money on something that might increase the chance that a kid gets asthma .

[deleted account]

In the UK it's illegal to buy cigarettes under the age of 18 (it was raised from 16 a couple of years ago). And just as if someone under 18 is seen with alcohol they will be confiscated by the police.

The point is whatever law is made, there's always going to be people who don't follow it, but strangely enough the majority of minors who smoke parents smoke so I wonder where they got that habit from?

Krista - posted on 04/02/2010

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Here in Nova Scotia, it's illegal for anybody under the age of 19 to possess cigarettes, not just buy them. So if the cops catch a minor smoking, they won't fine the kid, but they will confiscate the smokes.

It's a pretty toothless law, though, and rarely enforced. Instead, they bring in ridiculous laws to appease the "won't someone think of the children?" crowd, like the recent Canadian law banning flavoured cigars. You won't be able to buy them anymore, the rationale being that they're too appealing to minors because they're fruit-flavoured. It's absurd, because NO tobacco products are supposed to be sold to minors, so why ban certain types? It'd be like banning wine coolers, because teenagers like them. Well, teenagers aren't supposed to be buying booze, so shouldn't their preferences be irrelevant?

[deleted account]

Here's another question for you all. If it should be illegal to smoke around minors then why isn't it illegal for minors to smoke? You can't buy smokes before you're 19 (in Ontario anyway) but there's no law saying you can't smoke before then. We also have the "no smoking in cars with minors law" and this seems to be the biggest glitch in it. A guy was pulled over for smoking in the car with a minor. His passenger was 16 yrs old. As the cop was writing him the ticket the passenger got out of the car and lit up a smoke. Guy gets ticketed for smoking in the car with a minor but the minor's a smoker anyway.

I know there's a huge difference between a 16 yr old and small child, but for the sake of arguement what about making it illegal for minors to smoke.

Suzette - posted on 04/02/2010

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When you're talking about banning pregnant women from smoking, without knowing the reasoning behind why some of them do it and the consequences to not only their health but the health of their unborn child, then every pregnancy (even unplanned ones) have something to do with smoking during pregnancy. Like I stated in my original posting, some mothers have the choice to stop smoking, for some it's a luxury actually. Others would love to, others are told it's more of a risk for them to stop at all. The latter may be frew and far between, but it happens. Judging all of them because of the majority seems like judging a book by its cover. Perhaps knowing the situation would be a better way to go about things.

[deleted account]

Suzette - Fair enough not everyone has a planned pregnancy but unplanned pregnancies have NOTHING to do with smoking during pregnancy!!! If you fall pregnant because a condom breaks of the pill fails you still have the choice to stop smoking once you've found out you're pregnant.

Kelli - posted on 04/01/2010

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I think it should DEFINATELY be illegal to smoke around minors. Both my parents smoked around me and in the car with no windows down, and I hated it. It stunk and that smell clings to you all the time. I got picked on for smelling of it in school and it choked me. I was always getting bad colds and bronchitis. As much as I loved my mom, I wish everyday for my health and HERS that she would've quit before it was too late. You are essentially sentencing your kids to a life sentence when you do this. It is irresposible. Why have kids if you don't want them around a long, long time and HEALTHY!

Suzette - posted on 04/01/2010

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@Jenny, I'm not saying it should be "smoke all you want", quit for one year, etc. I didn't say that. I put facts out there, that was it. For some people there are redeeming qualities to smoking, it may sound ridiculous, but they enjoy it. I know there are thousands of people against it, and that's their choice. Everyone has a choice for their lives, and there's a consequence to that choice as well. I don't agree with smoking inside with your child, but I don't agree with a lot of things either. That doesn't mean that I should get to make them a law, if we all did that there would be tons of ridiculous laws in the world banning people from doing things like putting the toilet paper under instead of over. People have a freedom to make a choice in their own home because it's their home. If others don't agree with it they have a choice not to go there. The sad reality is that, just as Mary pointed out, tons of people do other things that are unhealthy for their children as well. Whether it's setting a bad example or allowing their children around things that they shouldn't that will allow them to become unhealthy in other ways. If we're going to allow a law against smoking for pregnant women or for people in their homes around their children, it's going to open the door for all kinds of laws to regulate what people can and cannot do in their homes. We'll wind up back in the times where it was illegal for people to fornicate in any other way besides missionary. (Not that that would be a law, but it could be comparable to the extreme.)

@Jennifer, "Suzette if she was that concerned about what affect smoking would have on her potential child she could have quit before she started trying for a baby...it's not rocket science."
Yes, in a perfect world all pregnancies are planned. Condoms don't break, BC doesn't fail, and everything is done through doctors always. We don't live in a perfect world though, if we did this wouldn't be an issue.

Jessie - posted on 03/30/2010

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Wanda, just read your post, that does happen but it is VERY rare. Def. not a person to compare to anyone else that smokes. I'm glad that he doesn't have any issues from it though, he and your family should consider yourselves very lucky.

Jessie - posted on 03/30/2010

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So I have a few comments on this really. I can't stand people smoking when they have kids and knowing what we know it really is inexcusable. Eating fast food, and coloring your hair and all other things similar to that are things you do to just yourself and doesn't harm children around you. You might look weird with a bad color, or be a bit overweight but that doesn't put toxins down their lungs that could cause them to have cancer or something else frightening when they get older. If you choose to smoke that is your choice but go outside, don't do it in the house, and def. do not do it in the car. If you want to harm yourself and stink up your clothing and hair go for it but I work in daycare and we have kids come in reeking of smoke, even there backpacks and lunch boxes are sooo saturated that we have to air them out so they don't smell up the room. I'm sorry but it's your responsibility to keep your children your children safe and if you can't quite hurting yourself then try your hardest to keep it away from them. Sorry if this is grouchy and I'm not trying to offend anyone but this is a very touchy subject for me.

[deleted account]

@Jennifer - Yes, there is a chance my father will develope cancer later on, there's a chance I will too and I've never smoked a day in my life. Unfortunately, cancer gallops through my family. My father still lives in the country and I live in a city so I think I have a better chance of getting cancer than he does. To me exhaust fumes are scarier than cigarette smoke.

[deleted account]

Thats what happened to me i was in hospital for three days after the birth and when i came home i was determined not to smoke again for my sons sake. Since the ban on smoking in public places there has been a lot more help for smokers my husband gave up two years ago and he recieved nicotine patches free on the nhs to help him stop.

[deleted account]

11 Years ago they didn't push it as much and I've been told there was no support to do so (information from my midwife/mother-in-law who also has an 11 year old). Now there's plenty of support to give up smoking for everyone not just pregnant women. But be proud you gave up smoking after the birth all by yourself. I've never smoked but my granda did from ages 13-65 years old. He actually did it cold turkey, when he was in hospital for an operation so couldn't really smoke anyways and I could see how hard it was for him.

[deleted account]

Well the NHS didnt even give me a booklet or anything when i had my oldest 11 years ago. Dont know if it was just the lax attitude in my area or the UK in general.

[deleted account]

Yeah Susanne I think it's good now that more of a point is made of helping pregnant women to give up...or at least the NHS in the UK has a huge campaign for giving up smoking as well as dad's to be giving up too.

[deleted account]

I smoked when i was pregnant on my oldest son, i tried to quit but not hard enough obviously and before everyone has a go at me i do feel thoroughly ashamed and guilty about it. My point for posting is that i gave up as soon as he was born and never smoked again. Ive had two other children since and my oldest was considerably smaller and the only one of my kids to be born with any kind of birth defect. I honestly think this was down to my smoking habit and while they wont ban women from smoking during pregnancy they ought to do something more to discourage it. I was asked if i smoked when i had my oldest but none of the midwives ever had a said anything more about it after that.

Lady - posted on 03/26/2010

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Rose Mah I have no interest in starting off a whole new debate completley off topic but I just have to say that the ONE doctor who said there is a link between immunisation and autism has now been completely discredited. I know a lot of parents still believe there is a link which is why I said I don't want to debate it, but there is NO scientific proof that immunisation causes autism.

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Suzette if she was that concerned about what affect smoking would have on her potential child she could have quit before she started trying for a baby...it's not rocket science.

Wanda and Suzette : Yes as soon as you stop smoking you increase your life expectancy and the quality of your lungs rapidly but that doesn't mean you won't end up with a chronic lung disease or cancer. My friend's nana smoked from the ages of 16-42, she's now 75 and is slowly dying with COPD, she has to hav oxygen most of the time. My nana smoked from ages 16-32 and guess what she died of lung cancer when she was 65, I was 13 years old at the time and hadn't known that she had smoked so many years before hand. The doctors ruled the smoking was the cause. So just because your dad is fine now doesn'e mean he won't develop cancer later on in life.

Brandy - posted on 03/25/2010

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Suzette and Wanda:



While your lungs do evidently repair themselves over time, I believe what the ladies are trying to say is if you develop a chronic lung condition or disease due to tobacco smoke, it won't heal or go away because you quit smoking.

Jenny - posted on 03/25/2010

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So what are you saying Suzette? Is it smoke all you want, quit for one year and you'll be ok? My mom smoked around my brother and I, it ruined our sense of smell. It might not sound like big deal but it sure affected my quality of life, thanks Mom. Sorry but there is zero redeeming qualities to smoking.

Suzette - posted on 03/25/2010

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Jennifer Morritt,
"They ask when you become pregnant if you or your partner smokes. If one or both does they could monitor smoking by doing simple blood tests a bit like a drugs test. And if you are found either smoking or with nicotine levels in your blood characteristic with smoking you could be then fined."
Yes, they do ask when you become pregnant if you, or your partner smoke. However, you do have to agree to certain tests, unless they put that down as a routine test then every pregnant woman would have to agree to it and I doubt that a lot of them would.
Also, I have a friend who has a serious medical condition who is pregnant and is also a smoker. She's had her specialists tell her if she were to completely quit smoking then it could place more of a strain on her body and cause more problems with her medical condition and cause extreme stress for her unborn child. Which may even be likely to lead to a miscarriage. (I was in the room and heard it all first hand. Apparently she's been told this by other specialists as well.) So, getting pregnant and giving up smoking completely doesn't work for all people. She has cut back extremely, but giving it up entirely is something she's not willing to do because she doesn't want to lose her baby.

@Kati, they have posters in doctor's offices talking about how the lungs regenerate themselves over time once a person quits smoking. If you go to the American Lung Association web page, under "Smoking Cessation Support Groups" it actually tells you the following:

Did you know that 20 minutes after you quit smoking your blood pressure drops to normal, your pulse rate drops to normal, and the temperature of your hands and feet increase back to normal?

Did you know that 8 hours after you quit smoking the carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal and that the oxygen level in your blood increases to normal?

Did you know that 24 hours after you quit smoking your chance of having a heart attack decreases?

Did you know that 48 hours after you quit smoking your nerve endings start to regrow, your ability to smell and taste is enhanced, and that walking becomes easier?

Did you know that 2 weeks to 3 months after you quit smoking your circulation improves and that your lung function increases by 30%?

Did you know that in 1 to 9 months after you quit smoking coughing and sinus congestion, fatigue, and shortness of breath decrease. Also cilia regrow in your lungs, increasing the ability to handle mucus, clean your lungs, and reduce infection?

Lastly, did you know that after one year of not smoking, your risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a person who continues to smoke?

(Notice the second to last one about cilia regrowing in your lungs. Your lungs begin to heal themselves just one month after quitting.)

Rosie - posted on 03/25/2010

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are you sure wanda? cause everything i've looked up makes it seem like the lung issues stay the same, but the rest of the systems that smoking affects like your heart and blood it helps drastically by quitting. not trying to denounce you cause i'm just know i'm positive or anything, i just can't find anything that says that specifically.

i grudgingly admit that i am guilty of this. with my first child i smoked around him, and he had tons of ear infections. his ears were HORRIBLE!! i feel horrible about what i did to my child. maybe if there was some sort of punishment i might not of done it, who knows? what i do know is that without punishment i did it.

i do agree with amanda too though. nobody outlaws feeding your child mcdonalds everyday, or living in a pollution filled environment, or having caffeine while pregnant... the list goes on. maybe we need to start educating people a hell of a lot more. i think i did it because nothing happened to me growing up in a house with a father who smoked 2 + packs of cigs a day. i knew it wasn't good cause that was taught to me, but my personal life experience taught me different. there needs to be some major educating on the effects.

Rose - posted on 03/25/2010

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I agree with not smoking around children cause of the harmful effects. But at the same time medical science has proven that different foods can increase the risks for cancer and shots can cause autism and there is a whole list of things medical science has proven to be a health risk but we still eat it and get them. Your child could get sick from air pollution should we fine people for driving should we fine people for giving their kids shots should we fine people for giving their kids food? I think this is absurd you can't control what people do in their own homes!! It will never happen. As for smoking in a car with kids yes that should be fined. In a house a child can be sent to another room in a car there is no where to hide.

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@Jennifer -- Lungs can repair themselves as soon as they're free of a harmful substance i.e cigarette smoke. My father used to be a smoker, he gave it up when us kiddies were born (we're going back 30+ years). According to his doc, his lungs are clear and heathier than people half his age. He just turned 59.

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While I personally think it's disgusting to smoke in a child's living environment, I don't see how it's possible to police it. Like I said, it's a secondary offence in TN. If they get you for another crime/driving offence they will also slap a ticket on the offender for smoking around their kids. That's the only common sense approach to policing smoking around children in my opinion.



If they make it an actual offence the police will be overrun with work while child molesters walk free. And what about all those families with fat kids? Should they get fined too? My heart says yes, but common sense says no. We would be slapping fines on 1 in every four families if that one became law.

Lady - posted on 03/24/2010

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If a child developes athsma because of smoking that can not be repaired and yes over feeding children can lead to long term problems but is less likely than the damage caused by smoking and easier to fix. Of course we all make mistakes as parent, I'm certinly not perfect by a long way. But I just believe that a lot of parents need more educaton on certain subjects such as smoking and healthy eating. As I said I wouldn't take children away from smoker parent or over feeding parents but instead give them help. But I think smoking is such a harmful habbit that can be contolled by bans and fines it's not as fundimental as eating which we all have to do to survive.

LaCi - posted on 03/24/2010

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Studies show trans fats actually alter our DNA. That's permanent damage, even in very small amounts. And your risk of obesity related illness is significantly increased if you were obese or overweight as a toddler. Serious damage is done to the hearts of toddlers who are overweight/obese.

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Amanda "damaged lungs can be repaired", and I'm the queen of Sheba...that's why so many people die from throat, lung and tongue cancer from smoking. Yes smoking in your own home could be watched. They ask when you become pregnant if you or your partner smokes. If one or both does they could monitor smoking by doing simple blood tests a bit like a drugs test. And if you are found either smoking or with nicotine levels in your blood characteristic with smoking you could be then fined.

Amanda - posted on 03/24/2010

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Gillian I am gald yet again you took what I said out of context, What I find amusing is the irony, and I will always find irony funny. You are right children should have rights, but what about the rights of a child who is over feed? Or the right of a child to not have major dental done because their parents couldnt break them of the bottle habit. What about the right of a child who is forced to eat processed food daily because the parent cant be bothered to make whole real food? You totally missed my point, so I will repeat it again.



EVERY parent makes mistakes, EVERY parent makes choices that may not be the best for their child, so why dont we just take all kids away from their parents, when the parent endangers the childs health?? This is a SLIPPERY slop, once you allow the government into your home for smoking you then allow the government into your home to tell you how to feed, raise, and punish your child.



As for not feeding a child correctly, does not cause long term health issues??? Are you serious?? Obese people are EXTREMELY unhealthy, over weight children are even SICKER then an over weight adult. Damage lungs can be repaired actually, lungs are one of the few parts of the human body that regenerates. A long term smoker, just by quitting in a few weeks their lungs are already repairing themselves. After a few years a smokers lungs can look as good as a none smoker. Btw no where in my topic, did I say parents should smoke inside, (I smoke outside and have for over 13 years), what I am saying is dont throw stones in your glass houses mothers. No one is perfect.

Lady - posted on 03/24/2010

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Amanda I'm glad you find the topic of children's health to be so amusing but not all of us do.
You keep going on about the rights of the adults but like I mentioned earlier what about the rights of the CHILD to be able to live a healthy life without having to suck up toxic fumes every day with out choice?
The other things you mantioned as harmful to children such as giving their children too much food or the wrong kids of food, although are not good for them do not have the same lasting effects as passive smoking. As they get older they can do things to rectify the damage to their health. there is nothing you can do to rectify the damage smoking causes.
And if third hand smoke is as damaging as you say then none of us are safe anywhere there has been smoking so that sounds like a great argument to me to put an outright ban on smoking anywhere.
I don't think that children should be taken away from parents that smoke but I do think it should just be made illegal and although it would be difficult to enforce and I don't think police or social work should waste their time chasing the people who do it but I think making it illegal would be enough to discourage people from doing it, it would help outline just how damaging it is and if someone was caught doing then a fine would be a good punishment along with maditory classes with a quit smoking group.

Amanda - posted on 03/24/2010

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Wow this topic is a great laugh. It isnt possible to police something like no smoking in someones personal home. Second they have the right to smoke in their own home. Third all you mothers who think they are protecting their children when you visit smokers homes by asking the smoker to smoke outside, you are fools. Third hand smoke is more dangerous than second hand smoke (this is why smoking is ban in cars with carseats, and children under 16 in many areas). So while your parents/friends are smoking outside, you are inside endangering your child.... ironic.



It is a parents choice to smoke or not to smoke, just like it is a parents choice to over feed their child or not, or keep giving bottles long after year one, feed their families processed food, and the list goes on and on, even though it is MEDICALLY proven to be hazardous to a childs health also.



So how about we put all these children in the system since clearly the avg human can not make choices that arent abusive in some sort of way towards a child.

[deleted account]

I hate people who smoke around their children. My dad did smoke but purposely gave up before my sister and I came along. I think if you love your children/unborn child so much both mam and dad should stop smoking if they already do. As for punishments - I'd say fines perhaps? My husband dad smokes in the house and they have 4 children, 3 children living at home - 18, 12, and 10. My husband's the oldest at 20. My husband and I have decided that Logan our son who's 4 month old will never be going to their house whilst his dad is still smoking.

Heather - posted on 03/24/2010

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This drives me crazy, yes, children need protection, I would say that if your child is in a home with smokers, and is into the Dr. office or hospital all the time with respiratory illnesses due to people smoking, then maybe a social worker should intervene...this is the only way I could ever see it working. You would think that the guilt of having a sick child all the time would be punishment enough...my MIL smoked around my husband his entire life and he only has 30% hearing now thanks to repeated ear infections...caused by her smoking around him. I think that is abuse, you are doing irreversible harm to your child, whether it is asthma or chronic bronchitis or any of the other illnesses caused by being around smoke on a consistent basis. I used to smoke...for like 13 years, and not once did I ever smoke around a child, ever! How hard is it to go outside? Parents who smoke in their home around the kids, are just plain selfish IMO.

Brandi - posted on 03/23/2010

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Yes, I do think there should be consequences for that. There are plenty of ways to detect it. My parents regret smoking around us now. I can't tell you how many teachers thought I smoked when I was 12 because my mom would drive me to school and smoke in the car. It sucked.

Brandy - posted on 03/23/2010

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I grew up in a smoking household and ended up with alot of health issues because of it. I'm not going to get into details but I spent years on different medications and visiting different doctors and having treatments. Thankfully, it's all been resolved now but that's not how it works out for all of us. When I take my children to my parent's house, they smoke outside because now they know better. Nobody has the right to make any decision for somebody else's body and I believe if you are smoking in an enclosed area with other people, that's what you are doing. Especially if those people don't have the option to leave the room or house. I don't think something like that would ever pass because it couldn't ever be effectively enforced but I would love to see people raising awareness on the situation and hear about more parents taking their harmful habits outdoors.

Julia - posted on 03/23/2010

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Ok what I was getting at with the whole Children's Services thing. I think most people misunderstood what I was trying to say with that.

ONCE again I WISH something could be done for the children, BUT I believe that there isn't a way to ENFORCE IT.

With Children's Services....I DO NOT mean being able to call them on someone who SOLELY smokes in the home or in the car with the children. I DO think that it could be a secondary offense. As in IF there was OTHER abuse going on and someone called about THE OTHER ABUSE then it would not be looked good upon if you are smoking around your children either. Like it would be just another thing that they could put in their paperwork against you. NOT that someone would be able to call just because you smoke in front of your kids.

Keisha - posted on 03/23/2010

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I love how you always have the balls to say exactly what Im thinking Gillian!

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