23 answers

Dealing with Smoking of a 17 Year Old

My 17 yr old son, a senior in high school has started smoking. When we talked to him about it he said he would stop, today he came in smelling like a cigarette and when I asked him about it, he said that friends where smoking around him and that he would never smoke again. Then I asked to smell his breath....he had been smoking. He's not a bad kid, just easily led astray. Anyone have this problem and how do you handle the situation?

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Hi L.,

I know how you must feel. I have an 18 year old and although he doesn't smoke I know what teens go through when trying to fit in. I found an article you may find intersting. Although the website sounds like I'm suggesting Military school that's not it at all. I just liked the advice they give.

http://www.militaryschoolalternatives.com/article-teens-w...

K.
www.GreenKidzRUs.com - watch the video

1 mom found this helpful

Have you sat him down and did the math in front of him so that he knows what the cost is for this nasty habit? and after you are done, tell him that for every time you smell smoke on him, be it from his friends or him, he will need to pay you the price of a pack. They think they can hide it, but you can not hide the smell!! also tell him how bad it stinks!! Oh, and that money you will be getting from him, put it in a savings account and keep telling him thanks and how much you are up to. when you have over a $100 in the bank and He knows that it all came from him, it will get him thinking. I would also call to find out how much a pack cost so that he can not bull doze you. You can also have him visit some one who was in the hospital for Cancer that they got from smoking. My uncle just past away from Lung cancer and sad to say He Quit smoking about 10 yrs ago, but being around 2nd hand smoke was what finished him off.

More Answers

Hi L.,

I know how you must feel. I have an 18 year old and although he doesn't smoke I know what teens go through when trying to fit in. I found an article you may find intersting. Although the website sounds like I'm suggesting Military school that's not it at all. I just liked the advice they give.

http://www.militaryschoolalternatives.com/article-teens-w...

K.
www.GreenKidzRUs.com - watch the video

1 mom found this helpful

Hi L.,
How anxious this must make you! I know I would have HATED it if any of my children had started that filthy habit. That being said, I don't know if there is really anything you can do if his friends are smoking and he is determined to. Having an open discussion about it with him, giving him the opportunity to fully express his feelings, and you sharing your concerns about his health and well being is probably the best you can do. Does he have his own income? If he has the money to buy them, it is very difficult to stop him from doing so, unless you are the one who provides him with the money. Do you know anyone who smokes and wishes they had never started? Perhaps that person can share their story. I imagine he knows all the disadvantages...health, financial, social? We are now in the age where smoking is becoming unacceptable to the masses, ask him why he wants to become one of the group that society is disfavoring. I would work hard to keep the lines of communication open by you openly and lovingly sharing how and why you feel as you do, admitting your fears of it, but accepting that it is his choice, and really allowing him to make the choice, as difficult as that is. Otherwise, he will lie and hide it and it will encroach on other areas of your relationship. We can always look at it that he could be making even worse choices... Even if you could keep him from smoking now, and he is angry about it, the chances are that as soon as he is not under your supervision, he will do it. He needs to come to the place where he, himself, does not want to participate in it, for his own welfare and being. Give him information, show him pictures of lungs of people who smoke, etc but withholding judgement upon him, always lovingly accepting him, although not the behavior. There is a lesson here for him to learn something, concentrating on that aspect might make it a bit easier for you. I really think the key is being able to love him through it, acknowledging that it is his choice and you trust him to make good choices (and be able to say that honestly) while letting him kmow how hard it is for you. Blessings to both of you. No one ever said parenting is easy, hey? But it is so worth it!

1 mom found this helpful

We dealt with the same problem with both our boys. I think the first thing is that if he smells like smoke assume he's been smoking. At this point in time he and his friends have to go out of their way to smoke...you can't just smoke anywhere you want. When we said that we also acknowledged that we understood that it is not an easy habit to break but that there are rules to living in our home and one of them is that they don't smoke, or bring the smell of smoke, or friends who smoke into our home. One reason is because of my husbands asthma and another is because we hate the smell and believe that it is damaging to your body. We said we'd help them any way we could, but that they needed to be honest in order for us to help. And the last thing was to tell them they have a choice to make: They could choose our rules, and our home but along with the privilege of being here comes responsibility and one of the main responsibilities is to respect us even if they don't agree. The alternative is for them to do their own thing on their own dime with no help whatsoever from us. One son decided immediately that he didn't want to be on his own and didn't value the idea of smoking that much and asked for our help. The other chose to live on his own for about 7 months and wasn't a fan of that life so chose to move back home. It has been difficult at times, but we've had some very good conversations and we've been able to work through things one day at a time. I would say be careful not to demean him or his friends but be very candid about him being truthful, about why you don't want that in your home, and about your willingness to help him beat this habit. I hope it goes well for you...also, if your husband is in agreement have him do the lion's share of the talking and enforcing.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi L.,

I'm a 36-year-old who's been smoking since 13. I have tried to quit many times and it still has a hold on me, even though I know all too well what the consequences could be if I don't stop. My parents smoked and grounded me when they found out but that didn't stop me and I continued smoking. At 16 I was allowed to smoke in the house. I feel now that this was a bad decision on their part, and I wish that they would have continued telling me not to do it, and continued punishing me with the hope that it would sink in.
With this past experience in mind, I think you should continue to tell him that he shouldn't smoke and if you smell smoke on him again, back it up with why. Find some stuff on the internet, you know, pics of people with the hole in their throat, or a play by play of a lung transplant, or a young person walking around with an oxygen tank. Leave them in his car, notebooks, desk (unless you have good communication in your relationship and can do it up front more successfully). Don't stop, he will get it. Please don't give in, he'll thank you for it, I promise you.
Another idea is to find someone he really admires, for example a rock star or actor or athlete and find out their views on smoking. Or life expectancy stats. There's all kinds of stuff out there. The bigger the deal you make out of it by going to the trouble to get all this information should reach him. Tell him about this blog as well and about treatment options to help him quit if he feels he's at that point. The most important thing is to let him know that your on his side and that this cigarette has the potential of taking him away from you and an awesome future which could be shortened significantly.

good luck to you
M.

HI L.,

Although my kids are only 4 and 1. I smoked when I was 17. I quit around 18 or 19 b/c I didn't like the way it made me feel physcially, but I would suggest not trying to insist that he doesn't smoke. I remember if my parents said no then my answer was yes even if I was not that into whatever it was. Maybe you could approach it like you know he is old enough to make his own descision about it but you would appreciate him having enough respect for you and your house not to do it while he is at home. B/c regardless of what you say if he wants to he will even when he leaves home. Maybe with that approach instead of insisting he stops will go farther. Good luck and trust that you have raised him right and he will make good decisions in life. :)

K.

Isn't it illegal for him to buy cigarettes? How is he paying for them?
and what are the rules in your home? until he is 18 and living at home, what are his consquences?

I am not in your shoes and my kids are not as old, so by any means am not an expert....

Does he know all of the health hazzards?

This is not easy.

Maybe get some counsiling?

I sure will be thinking of you!
T.
www.tesabartell.myarbonne.com

I would be compassionate and sincere and tell him that you believe that he is already addicted to smoking because he is in denial. I would then take him to classes to learn how to quit. Because he is only experimenting and not really addicted it will embarass the pants off him and will stop before you take him to a second class. He will probably quit hanging around those buddies while they are smoking just to avoid dealing with the consequences. Classes are offered for free at your local hospital (Lincoln i know has a program). He'll know you are only doing it out of love and concern and that will cut worse than threats and harsh words.

really not a thing can be done about it. I just would not buy them for him. it IS illegal for him to buy them though he is allowed to have them without legal problems. I learned to fight the battles that have bigger problems.
til he learns himself that smoking is not a good idea. compromise with a few rules for example he is not allowed to smoke in front of your daughter, in the car because I am sure he is driving, your house, whether you smoke or not, allow him to smoke with his friends because by looking at this he is smoking to be cool with his friends, he needs to fit in and unfortunately smoking is the in thing. unless the friends are actually bad kids do not worry about it... he could have other things that need to be addressed like stealing or hurting people.

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