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OH smoking and our newborn baby :-(

(94 Posts)
amandine07 Tue 18-Feb-14 12:39:40

Our baby is 6 weeks old and my OH is still continuing to smoke (not inside the home).

I'm a non smoker. Thought he would give up when we found out I was pregnant, was actually excited about this prospect.

However, things are the same- I feel sad that our beautiful son is not enough motivation to kick the habit (I realise it's not as easy as this).

How can I help support & give advice to my OH?
Whenever I mention smoking, that he should quit etc he rolls his eyes, sighs and gets quite irritated as if I'm a huge nagging pain.

We have close friends who are smokers, a few of them have kids & women smoked throughout pregnancy. So my OH sees it as completely normal to smoke around children, which I find completely unacceptable.

In the first week or so I got very tearful when he would pop outside to smoke then come back in to feed our baby, rather than the other way round.
The thought of our baby breathing in smoke breaks my heart. A few times I've smelt the smoke on the baby- my nose is v sensitive to it.

At the post natal the midwife gave the OH a lecture about quitting but he's done nothing to try. I realise we're both stressed & sleep deprived so maybe not ideal time to give maybe the perfect time with a newborn?!

Any thoughts how I can approach this? Everything feels emotionally loaded right now but I want to support my OH to give up (I realise he has to WANT to do this)

Thanks in advance

Well if you feel so strongly about it maybe in hindsight you should have said we're not having children until you quit. Too late for that now.

You can't make someone quit. As you have already found out nagging doesn't work. They have to want to quit. Has he said he wants to quit?

Have you thought about approaching the subject of e-cigs with him? Myself and my other half have one each and we haven't smoked since NYE.

We got ours from here - E-cigs

Top quality kits and liquid are sold from that link.

squoosh Tue 18-Feb-14 12:47:29

I understand your annoyance and bafflement at his inability to stop smoking but for someone to stop smoking it needs to come from within. All the motivational pep talks in the world mean nothing unless the smoker themselves wants to stop.

Has he mentioned wanting to quit?

squoosh Tue 18-Feb-14 12:47:56

Allan Carr's Easyway to Stop Smoking would be my suggestion if he's expressed an interest in wanting to stop.

KellyElly Tue 18-Feb-14 12:48:29

(I realise he has to WANT to do this) This is the crux of it. He doesn't sound like he wants to and if you go on at him he'll dig his heels in more. Don't let him do feeds straight after smoking - get him to wait 20 mins, clean teeth, wash hands, have a jacket that he smokes in or even better change clothes. If he does all of this you will need to be more worried about car/bus fumes than the harm he is doing to be fair.

PeterParkerSays Tue 18-Feb-14 12:50:49

Has your OH ever given you any indication that he planned to stop smoking when you got pregnant / the baby was born? Thinking that he would give up is not the same as him saying that he would.

I know you don't want to hear this, but I see nothing in your OP that suggests he wants to give up / has any intention of doing so.

I would start by speaking with your health visitor about limiting the effects of smoke on your baby - like the feeding before going outside to smoke thing. Then ask your OH if there is anything that would prompt him to give up smoking. Simple straight forward question. If he says no, then that's your answer, I'm afraid. He has to want to quit.

TobyLerone Tue 18-Feb-14 12:53:09

Yy what everyone else said. You can't make him do this and nagging is just likely to make him smoke more.

Make him wait the recommended 20 minutes after smoking, and wash his hands/change his top before he holds the baby. And don't co-sleep. There's nothing much more you can do.

eurochick Tue 18-Feb-14 12:54:40

My dad said he would give up when I was born (the dangers of passive smoking for pregnant women were not known back then). He gave up when I was 22 and living in France, so I can't really say I got the benefit... As others have said he has to want to. I hated having a smoking parent and I can remember wheezing as a teen when I had to do school sports. I am not asthmatic - I was just passive smoking a lot of fags! It all resolved when I moved away for university and discovered I was quite sporty (to my surprise). I feel very strongly about smoking around babies and children, given what I lived though.

Agree with everyone else, he has to want to do it.

If he's not in that place right now, designate a "smoking coat" that he only wears for outside smoking then wash hands thoroughly and antibacterial gel before touching the baby.
It's not ideal but he's an adult and you can't make him do something he isn't ready for.

SundaySimmons Tue 18-Feb-14 12:56:10

Write a list of all the expenses that your child will cost over the next sixteen years.

Then write how much it costs to smoke based on the price it costs now to smoke.

Show him. Just think of the family holidays you could have if he kicked the habit.

Bubblegoose Tue 18-Feb-14 12:56:21

Some research a few years back showed that babies can be affected by smokers even sleeping in the same room as them. I wouldn't be happy at all, OP. I know from experience it's a bloody tough addiction to kick though and you really do HAVE to want it yourself.

amandine07 Tue 18-Feb-14 12:59:07

Ok yes I realise that he doesn't want to give up and has no intention of doing so.

When I first found out I was pregnant he himself talked about cutting down/trying to stop a few times but that was it really.

Frustrating that we can't even have proper conversation about it- I'm more concerned about the effect on our son than on him although I am concerned about potential health implications for him.

He is great in every other way, ok he does regularly night feeds but the flip side of that is going outside to smoke while doing it!

The pregnancy was unplanned- so no chance of refusing to have kids til he gave up grin

DarlingGrace Tue 18-Feb-14 12:59:21

It's a drug. You can't make him want to give up - he has to want to. No amount of your bullying, pleading, cajoling, turning on the water works and emotional black mail is going to make him give up.

I'm an ex-smoker so I see both sides. Sorry but waterworks and emotional blackmail? That would have a reverse psychology effect on me.

Please - don't go up the e-cig route - they are a con and dangerous. He needs to quit the hand-to-mouth routine. Your local pharmacist will be able to support him, he can have any two prescriptions for 12 weeks, free. I used patches and tablets. From 40 a day to nothing in 2 days, and support free in 10 weeks. E-Cigs are still nicotine.

KellyElly Tue 18-Feb-14 13:02:45

E-Cigs are still nicotine. So are patches confused

amandine07 Tue 18-Feb-14 13:03:22

Regarding the financial side I've tried to broach the subject with respect to saving up for our own home (currently in a small rented flat)...yes we could save a lot of money!

Also we're getting married in July- his family seem to keep adding more guests, OH wants to go all out with food, drink etc.

Sorry off on a tangent but the principle would be seeing how much money we could save by not spending it on fags!

amandine07 Tue 18-Feb-14 13:05:08

Yes they contain nicotine but that's so they satisfy the craving for cigarettes by letting the smoker have that 'hit' but no tobacco to damage the lungs/rest of the body & everyone else close around them.

TheScience Tue 18-Feb-14 13:05:45

I'm in the same position (this is DC2 though). DP doesn't want to stop, he doesn't really see the problem, his parents smoked etc etc.

We've come to some compromises - he always smokes outside, he has a smoking coat, he washes his hands and brushes his teeth before touching the baby, and he won't sleep in the same room as the baby for the first few weeks (unfortunately this means he will be sleeping in the same room as our 3 year old, but there you go).

You can't make him stop unfortunately, so I wouldn't even try. I'd just find a way you can live with it.

Sortyourmakeupout Tue 18-Feb-14 13:08:00

I gave up at Christmas using an e cig and I have to say without it I would have failed.

As long as he doesn't replace one habit for another.

I had a pull on my brothers cig a couple of weeks ago and it was vile.

Best of luck to him.

amandine07 Tue 18-Feb-14 13:09:02

I've spoken to him several times about considering quitting since I found out I was pregnant (last summer).

Not mentioned waterworks or emotional blackmail on here or indeed bullying or pleading.
Just stated the bleeding obvious that smoking around a newborn baby is not a great idea.

I don't need to use hysterics- have worked on an oncology/respiratory ward in hospital, I know the reality of what smoking can do to you.

NotSoWitty Tue 18-Feb-14 13:11:50

He really has to want to stop, nothing you will do or say will make him unfortunately.
I'm an ex smoker myself, I quit when I found out I was pregnant with ds1. My dh decided to quit himself at the same time but I didn't know until 3 days later when I asked if he wanted me to buy him cigarettes. I was delighted he quit when I did but I couldn't have told him to do it.

KellyElly Tue 18-Feb-14 13:59:47

amandine07 Ecigs don't have tobacco either. That was the point I was making.

I'd recommend an ecig too. Of course he has to want to give up on some level, but I stopped smoking at the beginning of october, having set a quit date for this march 1st, so a full 5 months before I was mentally preparing for. Meanwhile, DH, who had no intention of stopping smoking at all, is down from 20 to 2 a day in the same timescale.

DarlingGrace, I'd be very interested to know where you got the information that ecigs are 'a con and dangerous'. There is a very thorough evaluation of all the research (there is now quite a lot) on ecigs here - you can access the full text for free. This paper is also very good - not quite so up-to-date and comprehensive but a lot more readable.

SundaySimmons Tue 18-Feb-14 16:31:53

I read earlier on the news that a dog has died from chewing/eating a new cig, so be careful where you leave them.

Onesleeptillwembley Tue 18-Feb-14 16:34:34

You shouldn't have had a child with a smoker if you don't like it. Disgusting habit but your choice to be with him.

StarGazeyPond Tue 18-Feb-14 16:34:58

Frustrating that we can't even have proper conversation about it

Perhaps because he knows you are going to 'start' on at him again. He is an addict (as was I) and he knows ANY conversation will be to get at him again.

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