Going up in smoke?!

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by daralex, Jan 28, 2008.

  1. daralex

    daralex Clinging onto my sanity

    So I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this - but here it goes

    I am an avid smoker - have been for over 25 years (Yes I'm sure my lungs look like little charcoal briquettes!) My 13 yr old difficult child always tried to get me to stop and HATED smoking. She asks me the other day to get her gum beacuse she is smoking :nonono:and needs gum so she won't smoke so much. I got her gum, but what else do I do to make her stop. I know it's hippocritical of me to tell her to stop - but I'm a grown up! I know she's experiemnted with beer and pot, but I really never thought she would be a smoker - it's killing me to see her head down this path. I guess it's time for me to lock up my butts! I'm out of ideas as I know nothing could have made me stop at her age. I homeschool her so at least it's not like she's going to school every day and doing it - but that's really no consolation. Oh I'm soooooooooo bummed about this
  2. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    The only leverage you have is the legal aspect.

    Otherwise, I would say, bite the bullet and lead by example. 14 is awfully young to be smoking. The two of you could quit together.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    My daughter, who eventually turned to a lot more than cigarettes, started smoking at 12. I refused to let her do it the easy way. I would go through her purse and throw out her cigarettes, cut off her money, etc. I know what a horrible habit it is and how hard it is to quit and wasn't going to let her get into it without a good fight from me, even if it didn't work. SInce my husband smokes, it made it harder, but, in the end, when she quit using drugs, she also quit smoking cigarettes. I didn't want to give her the signal that I thought it was ok, and I didn't want to give her the right to smoke in the house. Hub didn't, she couldn't. Hey, guess what??? Hub quit too!!!!
    I would try to show her by example--that means quitting. And I would not let her bring cigarettes into the house nor smoke on your property. Why make it easy to do something that can compromise your health so much? JMO
  4. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Dara, I agree with the advice you've already received.
    If you and your daughter decide to quit together, you might consider Chantix. Other members have mentioned that it has really helped them to quit.

  5. Mikey

    Mikey Psycho Gorilla Dad

    Ditto to what everyone else said here. If you can quit, and either do it with her, or at least do it publicly, it'll do wonders for your 'creds.

    McWeedy was always harping on me about the fact that I was a "drunk" in college, and I should know what it was like to be a teenager who liked to indulge. And who was I to judge him for doing the same thing?


    If I was still drinking, I could try to quit with him. I don't know if it would work, but it would at least set both the example AND the expectation. The example is that quitting IS possible (if I had a nickel for every time I heard how hard it is to quit...). The expectation goes along with what the other said: it's not tolerated in your house, not by her, and not even for yourselves. Might be a small Pyhrric victory, but it does take away one of the most potent weapons difficult child's have against their parents ("you just don't understand, so don't lecture me!").

    Even though McW is 18, we follow the "not allowed" rule in our house - that includes cigs. We can't control what he does outside our house, but we can control what happens IN our house. wife raids his coat, bookbag, room, and everything else frequently. She's probably thrown away 100 dollars of cigs, lighters, and other stuff in the last two months. Doesn't stop him from doing things, but he doesn't do them around us or in our home.

    It may not be appropriate for your child at her age, but we also assert the right to control the "benefits" he receives, based on behavior. When he stops answering his phone, we take it away or turn it off for a week. When he disappears overnight without permission, he loses his car for a week (work and school only). He's already lost the right to have friends over, and we have periodically told him his girlfriend is persona-non-grata as well.

    Finally, McW is on diversion, and I've let him know that if we find anything illegal, comes home drunk or stoned, I'll be the first person to call his Diversion officer. I didn't win any nominations for Dad of the Year, but he got the message.

    Not in my house.

    We can't control what he does outside our house, but we have every right to use everything at our disposal to reward/encourage positive behavior, discourage negative/harmful behavior. It doesn't work extremely well, but it does work for a while after a benefit is withdrawn.

    Also, I'm in a little different boat than you - I'm trying to mitigate the harmful behavior of an "adult" teen still living in my home. I've accepted that I can't control his every move, and can't control what he believes or how he feels. So, my goal is to set limits within my own home, and within the limits of whatever benefits he receives from us. Maybe he'll learn, maybe not. But at least it gives wife and I some measure of control over our household, if not over McWeedy. At this point, while he's at home a little control is better than no control at all.

    And most importantly, I'm correcting a mistake I made two years ago when I turned a blind eye to his pot smoking. That was the wrong message to send, and he's never forgiven me for changing my mind a few months later. Regardless, though, I now tell him that I will not tolerate acting out in my home, nor will I do anything to condone his acting out when he's away. No "boys will be boys" or "everybody does it" BS excuses. It's simply wrong, especially for him, and I'll never again give him any reason to think I believe otherwise.

    Don't know if it will help, but I won't give him one ounce of support (real or perceived) for the bad choices in his life. McW is 18, so I'm probably wasting my time, but it's all I have left (other than booting him out). Maybe it would work better with a younger person.

    Some wise CD'ers here, in the past, have reminded me that this is the simple "do to get" philosophy. When paired with the "don't do, don't get" corollary it might work very well for a younger difficult child. Jury is still out on how well it works when they get to McWeedy's age. Check back in six months :crazy1:

    Prayers for both you AND your daughter.


    PS: I'd also like to suggest that you get professional medical help for your daughter, if possible. My doctor told me that nicotine is more addictive than cocaine - especially so for younger, developing brains.
  6. Mikey

    Mikey Psycho Gorilla Dad

    Trinity: McWeedy tried Chantix. It's expensive (100$/month, for at least four months). As my doctor described it, it's like methadone for nicotine - it blocks nicotine from working in the brain, so a smoker doesn't get the psycho-physical effects from smoking.


    It's generally not for younger kids, as I recall. Most insurance plans won't pay for it. There have been a few recent health concerns with the drug. But foremost, like anything else it only works for those who truly want to quit. For McW, smoking was as much about having the butt in his fingers when out with his friends as it was about the actual smoking. Ditching the social and psychological aspect of smoking is extremely hard; if you don't want to stop, you could use Chantix to disengage the effects on the brain, but it wouldn't help with the psychological craving to light up in situations where you normally smoked.

    That's why Chantix didn't work for McW. But, then again, for those that DO want to quit, stopping the physiological addiction is the first - and last - step, and Chantix is certainly a good tool for that.

    My experience, for what it's worth.

  7. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the clarification, Mikey. I know nothing about Chantix, other than what I've heard from people who used it.

    I was actually suggesting that Dara try it for herself, if she is planning to quit while her daughter is quitting. Had no idea about the cost either. Ouch!

  8. Mikey

    Mikey Psycho Gorilla Dad

    Trinity, I got that AFTER I hit the {send} button. Seems my medications are wearing off toward the end of the day :tongue:

    I think Chantix would be a good fit for Dara, but only if she wants to quit. It's a very expensive drug that many doctors are marketing as a "silver bullet". Those are the same docs trying to sell their post-Katrina resorts on the Lousiana coast, too...

    I just wanted to get a little more info out there, even if I did misunderstand you about who you were suggesting it for. Thanks for keeping me honest (and on my toes).

  9. daralex

    daralex Clinging onto my sanity

    i now it probably makes me the bad guy - but in all truth I have no desire to quit - it's the one thing I hang on to to de-stress (Yes, I know how much of a cop out that is!!) It makes me feel guilty to no end. I guess I thought she would "experiment" with things but never thought any of it would stick. I guess mostly I'm venting and disappointed in myself and difficult child all at the same time. Life wasn't supposed to be this way and I guess I am still mourning the loss of that child I thought she would be instead of what has become. I know all of this makes us stronger, but somewhere in the back of my head I can't help feeling sorry for all of us - this isn't what any of us bargained for and it is really just in the last year or so that things have gotten to extremes. I never saw myself in this position and though I trudge through each day doing my best and my all, it sometimes feels as though it's all for nothing. Is there ever a light at the end of the tunnel? Do they ever "hear" us? I just want her life to be good and not to go down the same path I did at her age (I experimented a lot as a child with anything and everything and no one in my family smokes or drank) but they are all certifiable!!!! Sorry to be such a downer - this is just a hrd realization for me to come to that she's not 5 with wide eyes and pig-tails anymore. I guess I am still mourning that loss. Thanks for listening!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It


    Please give yourself some leeway. It is YOUR body, YOUR life, YOUR $$$ and as you are an adult, YOUR choice.

    Your daughter has very little control over her life because she is a child. Teen is still child. It is also probably NOT her $$$ and as she is NOT an adult, NOT something YOU should turn a blind eye to.

    We have a phrase in my home called "grown-up XYZ". Curse words are "grown-up words", you see what I am aiming at?

    While you can't actually force her to quit, you can make her life miserable. Where is she smoking if she is homeschooled? At the library, out with friends, ??? Maybe if you can go with her, or pop in where ever she may be, she will be "busted" enough to stop.

    You can take her to the doctor to get info on what options she has medically to stop smoking. To even see if Nicorette or the like is safe at her age and with any medications she is on, or if Chantix is an option, or whatever.

    You can stop fixing her favorite foods, movies, lots of stuff. You can get creative. The "hypocrit" name is one cast in order to manipulate parents. Don't fall for it. Tell "baby girl" that you making the decision as an adult is FAR different than her making it as a kid.

    I would fund the gum habit, or hard candy, etc... but no allowance, birthday $$, etc... If relatives give her $$$, then you can put it in the bank for her or use it to buy stuff, but NO cash for her.

    I have NOT had to face this, so these are my OPINIONS and SUGGESTIONS. If they seem not useful, please ignore them. They are what we have discussed doing, should this situation arise.

    Others will have other info.

    In one college psychology class, nicotine addiction was equalled to cocaine addiction in terms of being hard to break.