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to feel sorry for children whose parents smoke?

(188 Posts)
strawberry34 Sat 29-Jun-13 14:11:38

I was walking through the park today and saw a couple sitting with their baby, they were both smoking whilst baby was next to them inhaling their fumes. I felt sorry for the child, for years it's been known that smoking is bad for everyone and passive smoking is dangerous.

It's also known that having a parent who is a smoker increases your likelihood of becoming a smoker when you grow up. I know there will be human rights people who object to me judging parents who smoke, but I do feel sorry for their children. Surely quitting smoking is a small price to pay for your children's future health, it's not like health advice on smoking has changed recently, campaigns have gone on for decades warning of the damage, there are no benefits as far as I can see.

WorraLiberty Sat 29-Jun-13 14:58:36

If you try hard enough there are plenty of children you can feel sorry for, for a while host of reasons.

But then your life will just be really shit and full of sorrow.

AnnieOnAMapleLeaf Sat 29-Jun-13 14:59:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ginmakesitallok Sat 29-Jun-13 15:00:00

I stopped smoking just 2 weeks ago-agree with those above who've said that there are other children who you should save your sympathy for.

Like BegoniaBampot I grew up with smoking parents. My dad gave up when I was in my late teens, but mum still smokes. I hated the smell of cigarette smoke, especially in the car, where it gave me a headache and made my carsickness much worse. Of course, when I told mum this, and asked her not to smoke in the car, she stopped, right? Wrong. Se denied it was a problem for me and carried right on smoking.

My dad died of congestive cardiac failure, caused by his years of smoking, so none of my children have really known their maternal grandfather. I don't get to see mum that often - we live a long way apart - I find it very unpleasant to stay in her nicotine-kippered house, and she can only come up to us in the middle of the year, when there is a fair chance of dry weather, because dh and I won't let her smoke in the house, so she can't visit in the cold months.

Oh, and she smokes in bed (always has), so there is the extra worry that she will fall asleep under the influence of her strong painkillers, and set herself and the bed on fire.


Dawndonna Sat 29-Jun-13 15:05:40

I don't smoke, either!
Congrats on your first post.

To all the 'save your sympathy for children who are really suffering' posters, I'd say this - you do realise that it is possible to feel sympathy for more than one person/group at one time?

I hated having smoking parents - it was a miserable experience. I hate that my dad is no longer here. I hate the thought that all that passive smoking I did as a baby/infant/child could have done me permanent damage.

shockers Sat 29-Jun-13 15:07:43

The children of smokers appear to have a different take on the subject to the smokers themselves... who would have thought it?!

In my opinion OP, YANBU.

AnnieOnAMapleleaf - what would you do if one of your children asked you to stop smoking because the smoke/lingering smell was making them feel ill?

And would you be happy for your children to smoke, and to take on all the health risks involved?

WorraLiberty Sat 29-Jun-13 15:14:02

I think obesity is the new 'smoking' now in terms of shortening the lives of grandparents/parents and putting unborn babies at risk.

But it seems to be perfectly acceptable to not bother losing weight before TTC. In fact overweight mothers seem to get lots of support instead of being judged as selfish.

I wonder if that's because more than half of the women in the UK, who are of childbearing age, are overweight themselves?

It seems very odd to not worry about putting your own child at possible risk, while pointing the finger of judgement at others.

HeySoulSister Sat 29-Jun-13 15:16:49

worra I totally agree!! And I see lots of the fat approvers/apologists here on mn!!

pompeii Sat 29-Jun-13 15:16:50

`It's also known that having a parent who is a smoker increases your likelihood of becoming a smoker when you grow up` ........rubbish i smoke , my parents never and nor do my children .

Ah yes, the old "personal anecdote trumps years of studies and statistical evidence", a favourite of many smokers and smoker-sympathisers. Anyone care to share their stories of 100 year old smoking grannies proving smoking has no effect on longevity too?

Even if one does not smoke around their kids chances are it harms their health as the fumes and toxins are carried on clothes, breath and skin. Smoking is clearly not in the same league as physically and sexually abusing children, but pretending it is not harmful for a parent to smoke is stupid.

YANBU. Orphans in conflict zones have it really really tough. Does that mean I can't feel sorry for orphaned children in Britain just because there isn't a war on?

WorraLiberty Sat 29-Jun-13 15:22:58

Indeed HeySoul and some of them can often be seen advising other MNetters to bin letters, informing them that their child's BMI is too high.

But hey, as long as they don't smoke...

LayMizzRarb Sat 29-Jun-13 15:24:00

Get over yourself.

ThePurpleCarrot Sat 29-Jun-13 15:24:12

What does ODFOD stand for?

notanyanymore Sat 29-Jun-13 15:24:52

I smoke, NEVER near my children, I still feel sorry for them sad

WorraLiberty Sat 29-Jun-13 15:26:06

Purple, it stands for 'Oh Do Fuck Off Dear'

TheSecondComing Sat 29-Jun-13 15:28:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BegoniaBampot Sat 29-Jun-13 15:29:41

Oh God, forgot the awful carsickness made worse by being stuck in a car with a chain smoker. Or turning up for your first communion trying to hide the fag burn in your veil as your mum couldn't be bothered to put he fag down as she put your veil on.

But kids of smokers should just shut up I guess no matter how miserable it was or hw much damage. You mt have sufferd due to passive smoking.

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 29-Jun-13 15:31:06

I am aware I can feel sorry for more than group of people but if I felt sorry for them I'd be miserable as fuck.

I'm amazed at all the people who grew up with smokers who remember it being a miserable experience etc.
Family members,granted not my parents,smoked and I don't really remember being that bothered by the smoking itself <shrug>

TheSecondComing Sat 29-Jun-13 15:34:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

pianodoodle Sat 29-Jun-13 15:37:47

Smokers are not "happy" about any of the risks just because they continue to smoke.

They are addicted to nicotine.


TantrumsAndBalloons Sat 29-Jun-13 15:37:59

I smoke outside, at the end of the garden.
DH very rarely smokes, only when he is out for a drink.
My parents do not smoke, neither do DHs.
No one smokes inside the house.

And you don't need to feel sorry for my children, thanks.
They are all good.

Rainbowinthesky Sat 29-Jun-13 15:40:11

I used to get a bit hmm about parents who smoke as my mum did and I hated it. I must have stunk of smoke as she smoked in the kitchen right next to where our clothes were drying.
However, what I think is far more concerning is parents who allow their dc to become obese. This is something people should be up in arms about.

That is a good point, Rainbow. I was overweight as a child, and when I was a teenager I asked my mum to help me with a diet - I asked her to take me to the GP to discuss this - and she refused point blank.

And I know that my obesity is damaging my health, and might shorten my life - but I don't think it has the same sort of effect on my dses' health as mum's smoking had on mine.

I regularly got bad, chesty colds and chest infections as a child, and I still do. Do I know for sure that that is due to growing up with mum and day's smoking? No, of course I don't - but I strongly suspect it. And I know my mum wouldn't have stopped smoking around me if a doctor had told her she was damaging my health. Dad might have.

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