Chapter 4: Smoking and Children
Although this chapter is one of the shortest in this book, it is also one of the most powerful.
Even if you do not have children, remember the previous chapter. Do you smoke in restaurants or public areas? As bad as it sounds, your smoking in these places could be killing innocent children.
If you do have children, then this chapter will certainly "hit home." Before you begin this chapter, I want you to get a photo of your child or children. Keep looking at this photo as you read these shocking facts that most smokers are totally unaware of. Get the photo now and then move on to the next paragraph.
The best thing you can do for your children is to stop smoking, period. Second hand smoke not only harms your children physically (which we'll discuss in a moment) it harms them psychologically as well.
Parental smoking influences their children's' attitudes toward smoking at a surprisingly early age. Children of parents who smoke:
It has been found that the psychological effects in the list above are instilled in a child's brain as early as age 4-5. These attitudes toward smoking may never go away, however if a child sees their parent(s) stop smoking and is taught the dangers of smoking, the child will be less likely to smoke as he/she grows older.but the parent(s) must stop smoking first!
Grab that photo again and go over the list above. Think about the message you are sending to your children every time they see you smoke a cigarette. Is it really worth it?
Not much more can be added about the psychological effect on children with parents who smoke. The short list above says it all. If you smoke, your children will probably end up smoking as well; unless you teach them how bad smoking is and let them see you stop. I'll say it once more because the importance cannot be overshadowed.The best thing you can do at this point is to let your children see you stop smoking.
Physical Dangers of Smoking: Children
As if the psychological effects of smoking on children aren't enough, the most serious consequences are found in the health issues that develop in children who have smoking parents. Second hand smoke is especially harmful in children because their bodies are still developing. As you can imagine, introduction of toxic cigarette smoke in a developing human body can produce devastating results.
Still have that photograph handy? Remember, this is your child that we will be talking about on the next two pages.
Your child's lungs are going through very important stages of development in the first two years. If a child regularly breathes in second hand smoke during this time, it will impair lung growth and could cause a permanent decrease in lung function.
Second hand smoke has been estimated to contribute to up to 300,000 respiratory infections in children every year (in the United States), of which up to 15,000 require hospitalizations. For a child, a hospitalization can be a very traumatic experience. In children, second hand smoke also:
Children of parents who smoke have consistent levels of nicotine in their blood system! It is frequently found in the urine of these children.your children.
Recent studies have overwhelmingly shown that second hand smoke not only exacerbates (worsens) asthma in children, it can cause asthma in children. Here is an exercise for you. Blow out all your air and see how long it takes before you have to take a breath. Go ahead, do it now. Do you feel the panic? This is what asthma is like. Nobody would ever wish this on their child; yet we continue to smoke cigarettes day in and day out, ignoring the risk.
Fact: Parents who smoke are deliberately making their children sick. Now you know.
According to newscientist.com, second hand smoke is also shaving points off children's IQs. Even those exposed to small amounts of ETS have slightly lower cognitive abilities. Another thing you wouldn't wish on your children.
Take a look at your child's picture once again. Is it really fair that we would even take a chance of damaging them in any of the ways we discussed on the previous page? Perhaps your child has already experienced one or more of them. How does/would that make you feel? It's not too late to make things right.
The #1 Overlooked Issue
Oh yeah, there is one other effect that smoking can have on your children that many e-books and websites fail to mention: Lost Time.
As addicts, we easily concentrate on the here and now. When we do think about the dangers of smoking, it is usually about our own health or the health of those around us. Rarely do we consider the feelings of our children (when it comes to smoking).even when we love them completely, unconditionally and with all our heart and soul.
Take one last look at that photo. How much time have you already lost with your children?
Put yourself in your child's shoes. You are not only losing all this precious time with them, you are actually telling them that they are not as important as that cigarette. They think, "Boy, smoking cigarettes must really be great."
Worse, you die prematurely from the effects of smoking and your children are cheated out of the precious time that they could have spent with you doing things and making memories, memories that would have lasted them a lifetime.
Yet, we blindly continue to smoke.
That, my friends, is the sobering reality of the power of addiction.
You've got to get that lost time back.
But the only way to accomplish this, is to stop smoking first.
If you have children, I suggest reading this chapter every single day. If you are reading this on the website, bookmark this page and come back to it daily. Your children are the strongest motivational force in the world. Let them help you stop smoking!
Many people have written to us letting us know that this chapter, specifically the last section, helped them get through a craving (or several cravings) without a second thought.
Think About This When You Smoke:
You could be spending this time with your children!