Nipping Smoking in the Butt
My husband has a 15-year-old and a 17-year-old from his previous marriage and both of them smoke. When we first called them on it, we had a serious discussion about the many health risks. You see, their dad used to smoke. He quit about seven years ago and is SO very glad that he did. We told them we wished they'd quit, too. They very solemnly agreed with us and promised to stop.
Teens being teens, though, they didn't. They still light up, especially when they're with certain "friends." We've made it clear that they're not allowed to hang out with those people. We even told those "friends" ourselves!
But I know they're still doing it. I can tell. Both my husband and I work during the day, so it's impossible to baby-sit them, especially at their age. To confirm my suspicions, I started to go through their rooms. I know what you're going to say, that I have no right to do that. But if I don't stop them, who will? I go "hunting" every week or so. I toss out any and all smoking stuff I find without a word. By now, the kids must know what's going on, but they never say anything. A friend suggested that I could send an even stronger message by refusing to wash any clothes that reeked of tobacco. It makes me sick just to touch them! I think I'm going to try that. I may never have to do clothes again!
This is all very frustrating, especially for my husband. He feels like a hypocrite because he smoked at their age. And as a new stepmom, it's difficult for me to handle. But this is serious, and we have to do something about it, even if they hate us for it.