Smoking Makes For A Happy, Calm Mummy.
OK you caught me. It’s been years since I had a fag and I’ve been dying for one ever since. Actually NO! Not true.
I was a passive smoker for 15 years, I suffered bronchitis and asthma but it didn’t stop me. I lived with the windows closed and ashtrays on every possible surface. In fact, my least favourite chore of the day was emptying and cleaning ashtrays. I was so hooked on smoking that I made an ashtray of clay and dreamed of the day when I would be able to take up that little white stick and place it to my lips without the heavy hand that accompanied it on finding I had swiped it from his packet.
As an adult, in the ‘now’ I’m a non-smoker. Oh sure, I smoked maybe a packet as a teen and that was to get back at my parents despite the fact that they never knew! Funny how we think we are punishing someone behind their back when we are in those rebellious teen years. I was a passive smoker from birth to about 15, when I finally walked out of home. I didn’t have a smoking choice and in a mixture of lack of public awareness and lack of parental care it was all I knew back then. I still remember television adverts show casing how awesome smoking would make you become!
Why have I taken up smoking?
Yeah, life’s stressful there’s no denying that. Is it stressful enough to kill myself slowly over?
The answer is NO. I’m ‘puffin on a cig‘ to show my younger kids why they should never bother too. Not even behind my back! There are far better ways to get back at me, to rebel, than to destroy their lungs and their lives.
I have three teenagers who have no interest in taking up smoking and the report from them is that they’ve never forgotten the practical, visual lesson we gave them years ago. So with that vote of confidence, here we go again!
The difference this time is remarkable. 8-10 years ago my kids knew that this white stick is a cigarette. In fact when my second son was just a baby it was still ok to smoke inside shopping centres. I kid you not! I’d get to the end of the checkout and be struggling to exit quickly with a serious ‘heart kid’ who also suffered asthma and on one distinct shopping trip by the time we got home he needed to be admitted to hospital with a severe attack directly linked to the cigarette smoke we had not been able to avoid. Things have come a very, long way since then.
This second round of kids didn’t have a clue what the little white stick was. On the funny side:
“What is this white stick”?
Kids: “smoker, fire stick, burn stick” But then came one little voice with “Kill you dead stick”. Oh, out of the mouth of babes huh!
I chatted about what it was, what it was made from and why it’s used. No fear tactics. Then we talked about what happens when it’s lit and when the ‘smoker’ sucks back (smokes it).
Clean, fresh air versus smokers air was next. How do I visually show kids what comes out of the cigarette and into the lungs? The same way we did many years ago. I took the cigarette and lit it and yep! I smoked it!
“Huh, what?” Says you.
“Holy Smoke Batman, you did what?”
Relax! I placed a tissue over the cigarette filter then took three to four ‘puffs’. The look of shock on their faces was priceless and almost made me choke trying not to laugh. Then I showed them what was on the tissue. A very obvious, visible nicotine stain. Yucky brown stuff that will line their beautiful lungs and make them sick.
The lesson, after plenty of “ewwwwwwws”, went on to a brief discussion on the fire hazard cigarettes also pose as I stubbed the ‘fire stick’ out. We then went indoors to the computer where I ’googled’ some images of lung cancer and mouth cancer.
For some of you that will be taking it too far. For me it’s not taking it far enough. I will do what I have to in order to ensure my kids make healthy decisions. I’d rather graphic images of truth than empty, emotional blackmail threats that we sometimes can get caught up in as parents. Especially when we feel lacking in power.
The worse fall out I risk at this time is one of them walking up to some puffing smoker in public and telling they are going to drop dead and hey, it’s not like they haven’t had that shoved in their face yet is it
The kids will eventually, I don’t doubt at all, be enticed to try a ‘cig’. I hope the lesson I taught them today is burned deep in their visual memory! Deep enough to invoke a firm, strong “NO THANK YOU”.
Flogging this smoky post over on