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A smoking one

60 replies

RubberUnicorn · 06/12/2019 10:38

Need some brutally honest opinions please, I will try to keep this brief -
DH and I both used to smoke. I quit cold turkey when I found out I was pregnant. This was 2017.

Our first baby DS was stillborn at 38 weeks (relevant).
We went on to have DD born 2018 happy and healthy and I am now expecting our second son, due March 2020.

DH has never quit smoking the whole time.
I have told him about the risks of "third hand" smoke, ie he needs to wash, brush teeth change clothes etc before being anywhere near DD and has to stay away for at least half an hour.

I told him that if he doesn't do this it increases her chance of SIDS quite dramatically and quite frankly that is not a risk I am willing to take.

He seemed to be on board, even cried when I told him. This was a year or so ago.

Fast forward to now, he's still smoking (does it when he's at work, in his van, etc) doesn't do it at home but hasn't been bothering to change his clothes or shower when he gets home. It's only recently I've smelt it on him a couple of times and he's admitted he'd never stopped in the first place (I thought he had because he's got a vape pen and thought he had weaned off the fags).
So I am obviously furious that he's been exposing DD to the filth that he puts into his body and equally annoyed that he had no intention of stopping.
I asked him yesterday if he was also aware that if I am exposed to the residues it can increase the risk of birth deformities and even stillbirth for our unborn child. He wasn't.

It's not just the fact that he's unwilling to quit - I know I can't make him, it's just his whole "I don't give a shit, I want to do it so I will" attitude. He's completely arrogant, wont apologise or seemingly accept that what he has done/is doing could potentially be so damaging to our family, it's really upset me and I'm not even sure I want him around me or DD right now.

He's said he will start having showers, washing his clothes straightaway etc but I don't know whether I should give him the chance to fuck it up again - he said he'd do all that over a year ago and he hasn't.

Maybe I'm overly paranoid, maybe everything will be fine but the thought of losing another baby, whether it be DD or DS (or both!!) is just so unbelievably crushing. Why should he be allowed to not take a bit of responsibility for his actions?

So, AIBU to have this view and to be fuming mad and questioning our marriage? Or am I overreacting?
Interested to hear what others think/would do.

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churchandstate · 06/12/2019 10:42

It’s difficult, because I honestly don’t believe the residue from the odd cigarette presents a serious threat to your unborn baby, or “dramatically” increases the risk of SIDS. Talk to your doctor about the actual statistical risk.

But I also think he should be able to give up if it means that much to you.

Hard one.

RubberUnicorn · 06/12/2019 11:03

Whether you believe it or not, would you happily take that risk, knowing what it could potentially do? I feel as though it's not a risk worth taking but perhaps I am over vigilant. I don't know.

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churchandstate · 06/12/2019 11:05


RubberUnicorn · 06/12/2019 11:06

Do you mind me asking if you are a smoker? @churchandstate

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churchandstate · 06/12/2019 11:06

And what’s more I did. When I was pregnant I was teaching, and my TA was a smoker. She obviously didn’t smoke inside or in my company, but she smoked on her breaks. She didn’t change her clothes and I have no idea whether she did any of the other things you mention.

churchandstate · 06/12/2019 11:06

Never smoked even once in my life.

Myusername101 · 06/12/2019 11:09

Don't have much to add other than I completely agree with churchandstate first post. It's a tough one.

goingtoneedabiggercar · 06/12/2019 11:09

DH quit as soon as we found out I was pregnant. I quit the first time I found out I was pregnant but had an early miscarriage. As soon as DH found out that him smoking posed a risk he quit too.

Dontdisturbmenow · 06/12/2019 11:10

I agree with Church, but understand 6iyr anxiety.

I do agree that talking with professionals is the best way forward as you are clearly stressed about it and resentful of your oh neither of which is healthy either.

MyMajesty · 06/12/2019 11:13

I think talking to your doctor, or practice nurse, would be a good idea to find out if you are being OTT in your worries.

Your DH is not untypical of smokers, unfortunately.

Besidesthepoint · 06/12/2019 11:17

Is this a deal breaker for you? Or could you live apart for the last few months of your pregnancy and the first few when the baby is so little?

I don't have any advice to make him quit unfortunately, so you can only decide for yourself what to do.

Stressedout10 · 06/12/2019 11:18

Third hand smoke is a myth.
You are exposed to many more dangerous chemicals at much higher levels by just travelling in a car .
And before you ask I don't smoke

RubberUnicorn · 06/12/2019 11:20

I am resentful, definitely.

I cannot get my head around why he would be happy to risk the health of our children, when we have already had to say goodbye to one. It's something I never want to have to repeat and taking steps to minimise that risk seems like the right thing to do to me.

I think I am also upset because of his arrogance towards the subject, it feels as though he doesn't care, smoking is more important to him than the children and that for me is a very sad thought.

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RubberUnicorn · 06/12/2019 11:24

Do you have proof of that @Stressedout10 ? I'd be interested to read it as it may help settle my mind if it is in fact not real and able to debunk the articles I have come across.

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Thurmanmurman · 06/12/2019 11:25

OP I'm so sorry for your loss. Perhaps this is, completely understandably, making you more concerned about your husband's smoking. I'm not sure how dangerous 3rd hand smoke is, but to be honest I would want him to quit for his own future health as well. YANBU, but ultimately he needs to want to stop himself.

EmmiJay · 06/12/2019 11:36

As a smoker myself, as selfish as it sounds, he has to want to quit for himself. He's obviously not ready just yet and 'stressing' (ugh even I rolled my eyes at this) him out about it makes him smoke more I'm assuming.

Stressedout10 · 06/12/2019 11:38

I can't do clicky links but the BMJ and British lung foundation have both had several papers and studies on this and pollution is the real problem.
Whilst yes there is still some residue from smoke left on clothes etc it is so minuscule that it poses no risk.
Unfortunately these facts are ignored by the anti smoking brigade who use the fact that some residue is left to scare people and further demonize smoking.

RubberUnicorn · 06/12/2019 11:43

I will take a look, thanks @Stressedout10

For what it's worth @EmmiJay I don't talk to him about it, apart from when I smelt it on him and brought it up because I was under the impression he wasn't smoking any more. I know there's no way to make him stop and I'm not going to try to because I know it's futile. It just feels disappointing I suppose that he's not particularly arsed about it.

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Phud · 06/12/2019 11:43

Any research you read regarding third hand "smoke" will have been done on bits of rodents in a dish drowned in chemicals or smoke residue being reactivated by a huge dose of other chemicals i.e. vehicle exhaust. There are no known health concerns with third hand "smoke" unless you're a mouse in a dish.

RubberUnicorn · 06/12/2019 11:47

I have just taken this from the british lung foundation - it's the bringing smoke home in clothes/oneself I was thinking of as he doesn't smoke in the house.

A smoking one
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Mumdiva99 · 06/12/2019 11:54

It absolutely is a risk - look up glue ear in children etc..... I would not be happy at all if my partner was regularly smoking while we had young kids. I would forgive a couple of cigarettes on a night out as being a once or twice a year. But regular smoking would be a deal breaker for me.

RubberUnicorn · 06/12/2019 12:00

And this from the BMJ

A smoking one
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Eggies · 06/12/2019 12:00

He is incredibly ignorant and selfish YADNBU. I'm so sorry for your loss op Flowers

RhiWrites · 06/12/2019 12:07

Does he believe your statistics or does he think you’re being alarmist? I think that’s likely to affect his behaviour.

Also, that abstract does sound alarming but it doesn’t include the data. The actual risk could be incredibly low.

Say the risk to you was 1% would you still consider that unacceptable? (It’s not unreasonable for you to say yes.) What about 0.1% or 0.01%? What other activities do you engage in that might carry a higher risk?

I’m sorry for your loss. I can see why you’d want to avoid any possible danger.

RubberUnicorn · 06/12/2019 12:20

Here is the following page of the abstract - the study is obviously not 100% the same as our circumstances but it does demonstrate that carcinogens are transferable from the smoker to objects in the baby's immediate area and to the baby. Also conducted in a "clean" hospital setting and not somewhere with carpets and soft furnishings.

To be honest I am not sure if he believes it or not @RhiWrites - his response was completely defensive and selfish (in my opinion) with a blatant disregard for DD/DS - it was all about what he wanted and no consideration for anyone else. It felt as though he wouldn't see a different point of view.

For me I want to reduce the "risk" as much as humanly possible, so I think that, yes, a 1% chance for me would be too much. I can't imagine anything worse than going through the heartache of losing another baby, so if his actions bring with them a 1% chance of me having to bury another child, I don't want that risk. I don't think that is unreasonable.

A smoking one
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