Smoking in front of children?


What’s your opinion?

This subject came up on another message board I’m on and I’m shocked at how many people think it’s OK to light up in front of kids and it’s nobody’s business to say something to a parent that does it. It reminds me of the old hush hush attitude about people beating their kids to a pulp but nobody should butt in and say anything about it. :mad: I’m really quite disgusted right now.

I’m the odd-ball in that discussion. Apparently I’m the only one who thinks there’s a problem with this.


I agree that smoking around children is wrong, especially since we now know the consequences. The health effects of passive smoking are often worse than actual smoking.

But the level of sin from doing this is not so clear.


I hate it. :mad:

I try to smile at/thank strangers who see me coming (8 months pregnant, with a toddler on my hip) and deliberately shield us from it or put it out. I also do my part in walking by quickly, so they avoid burning themselves. If someone doesn’t have the courtesy to at least put the darn thing behind their back or turn away, I wave my hand around (kinda dramatically :o ) to sweep the smoke away from my DD’s face.

It also very much bothers me when I see people smoking around their own children. Depending on my comfort level, I may or may not say something to them.


Anybody heard of this story. Its sad and a bit funny at the same time.


Smoking tobacco is legal in the United States (except where banned in public by local ordinance). As long as the parent is not breaking the law, this choice of the parent.

The comparison to beating children breaks down as child abuse is against the law.

Right now, we as a nation allow parents to do unhealthy things in front of their own children, eat junk food, buy twinkies, talk on the cell while dialing, watch network TV, play violent video games…



Wow. Just wow. Seriously? Maybe some serious education is needed here.


I see what you’re saying, but just because something is legal doesn’t make it right, you know? I think smoking in front of children should be illegal, just like taking children to strip clubs is illegal.

But child abuse wasn’t always illegal. :wink:

From my experience growing up in a smoking household, it was habitual – Several times a day, every single day. My exposure to second hand smoke was by far greater than any of the other things listed above. If a parent was playing violent video games several times a day, every single day, it seems reasonable to think the child was being neglected in some way. Smoking in front of children puts their health at risk, something the child has no control over or consent for.


I don’t smoke, and nobody close to me smokes either, so it’s not a burning issue for me, honestly. It does bother me to see parents smoking right in front of their kids, but do I feel I ought to say something about it? Hmm, I’m not so sure.

As I understand it, smoking is an addiction that everyone knows is bad for you, but is very difficult to stop. If people smoke outdoors away from the kids or hide or put out the cigarettes when children approach, then I at least give them credit for trying. If I were to bring up the subject in conversation, I could try, “Oh, how long have you been smoking?” and “I hear it’s really difficult to stop. Have you ever tried?” or “What do they kids think of your smoking?” That may open them up to sharing their real struggles with quitting, or they might get defensive and tell me it’s none of my business. What if someone thinks I allow my children to eat too many sweets? Do people have the moral obligation to point out the health risks of fats and sugars in the diet? I see these health issues as similar because the health risks are long-term, influenced by many genetic and environmental factors, that may affect whether disease does or does not result. In my opinion, smoking and poor diet are not as clear cut as child abuse, where one strikes a child and they bruise or break an arm, etc.

Unfortunately, our children will have many opportunities in life to see people doing things they really shouldn’t be doing. And those are our chances to start conversations, in particular on the health hazards and addictive nature of smoking, and more in general on people’s free will choice to “know, love, and serve God” or not. In my opinion, the issue of smoking is NOT the most clearly-cut case of immoral actions, so I’d argue that one from the health and justice towards others (secondhand smoke) angle rather than from the religious/ theological morality angle, although I realize the latter argument could be made.


Ahhh, but, what is “allowed” and what is prudent are two different matters. You have strong feelings on the matter - then, work to make them illegal.

Right now in the USA, a parent can smoke in front of their own children. Is it wise to do so, no, it is also not wise to eat red meat or be overweight in front of your children.


Personally, I wouldn’t objectively think it was a wrong that I should directly and explicity try to correct. It would depend upon the context of the extent of exposure, and the presents of respitory and immunological problems.


See that’s what gets me so aggravated. We now know that there are serious health risks for children breathing second hand smoke (knowledge we didn’t necessarily have before), what is so hard about lighting up outside away from kids? DH has been doing it for ten years now and it hasn’t killed him. But yet I still see moms driving down the road with their mini-van loaded up and a cigarette burning with the windows rolled up.

I just don’t get it I guess.



No, with smoking in front of children, you are directly exposing children to potential harm. If a parent wants to smoke in their own space thats fine, (provided she is not pregnant!). Thats their business, I guess.


I sometimes wonder what this country is coming to. We used to be the paragon of the land of the free. Now we seek every chance to curtail the freedom and liberty of others. We have devolved into a tyranny of the majority.

I seldom smoke in from of my child. I do on occasion, and I stay downwind, like I would from anybody. I do not, however, smoke often or daily. I appreciate the value of moderation and attempt to exercise moderation in all areas.

I am not surprised that some put smoking cigarettes in from of children on the same par as beating them and taking them to live sex shows. Just realize that comparisons of this extreme tend to cause me (maybe others?) to consider your position more of an emotional attempt at propaganda and less of a legitimate arguement.


I didn’t get what you were specifically aiming at until your post about smoking outdoors. I thought you were saying smoking in front of children at all is wrong…I see you mean exposing children to the smoke.

I totally agree, I think it’s horrible to smoke indoors, or near children. I am an on-again, off-again smoker (off again since I am pregnant), as is DH. We will NOT smoke in the house or in the car, or near our kids. Even if outside we nag them to stay away – they don’t need to breath it in. They are good little soldiers for change too, they nag us constantly about smoking, but yes it’s a hard habit to quit. I hate the smell of smokers…funny huh? Even when I do smoke it’s so few per day and I have to scrub down afterwards – you wouldn’t even know I did smoke! (But boy that old craving is coming back with a vengeance…LOL darn things are so addictive!)

Anyway, on the flip side I knew this lady at our last duty station who hid the fact she smokes from her kids. That’s all fine and dandy while they are young, but when it comes to you being obviously deceptive and a big fat LIAR in their eyes at 6 or 7 years old…I think that’s wrong too. Seriously, she would smoke in the garage, open her hall door into the house, the smoke would come flying in and she would lie right to her daughter’s face about what she was doing. She would come to my house and ask me to help her hide the fact she was smoking, or distract her kids so she could smoke. Give her a warning sign or something like we were in Jr. High and her mom was coming. I found that to be some hideous parental behavior. Seriously, if you really don’t want your kids to know you smoke – don’t SMOKE! :cool: Or if I were in a smoking phase she would use me as the scape-goat. OK fine, but still. Don’t lie right to their faces when they OBVIOUSLY KNOW what you are doing – check it chick – you smell like an ashtray!

But yeah, you have my 100% backing on smoking in a house or in a car with kids around. Any enclosed area with kids. So not cool. I grew up in a smoking household too, and look where it got me!


That’s the very issue – My liberty and freedom to have good health (and be able to play when I was a child without wheezing or having my lungs sting) was violated by my dad’s smoking in the house/car/etc. For the record, he does not smoke indoors anymore.

If someone’s “right” to do something like smoking in public (or around children) so negatively impacts the life, health, or wellbeing of someone else, I don’t consider that “right” a just one.


No, that is an issue between you and your dad. If he smokes at your house, around your children, you should tell him to refrain. If it is at his house, then it is your choice to stay, leave or ask him to stop. Your right to not be exposed to smoke is not mutually exclusive to others right to smoke, at least in almost every city of the country.



For the record, my mom finally stopped smoking when I nearly died from a severe asthma attack when I was 6 years old. It was my very first asthma attack and it nearly did me in. So, in that 6 years of living with smokers, where were my rights?


What about a smokers freedom to partake of a legal action? Don’t you think that smokers KNOW it’s bad? Don’t you think most of us wish we never started to begin with? I can tell you this much, I constantly harp on my kids about not smoking, I tell them how nasty it is, and how harmful it is to their health…I also tell them that I wish I never started. They, in turn, spit back to me everything they are learning in school about it: “You do drugs” yes, my oldest child tells people his mom “does drugs”.
So…in answer to the original question(s) is it ok to smoke around children…most certainly NOT!!!
However, is it YOUR PLACE to tell me not to smoke around them…again, NO!!! Trust me…we hear it enough as is, having snide/condescending remarks about how we should or should not behave thrown our way isn’t going to do one positive thing.

You want to help??? Offer to pay for 1 smoker’s smoking cessation program…medications included, I think you’ll be enlightened.


I’m torn.
It’s legal, but that’s not the only standard one should have in their life. We shouldn’t do things simply because we can legally.

**On the other hand, I have my less than stellar example of motherhood in my sil, who found it perfectly acceptable to smoke pregnant and after the baby was born, was regularly seen hold the bottle to the baby’s mouth with the same hand as she held her cigarette. idiot.:mad: **

This is the same baby that was born a month early, had a hearing imparment, and asthma so bad she has had to repeat 2 level in elementary school due to missed days while in the ER/hospital for treatment of severe attacks.

**or that lady my dh worked with several years ago who actually STARTED smoking because she thought it would be easier on her to deliver a smaller baby! :mad: **

but they were all legally allowed to do those things.

I forbid anyone to smoke around my kids.
If smokers are polite in keeping their nasty habit from contaminating my kids’ lungs, then I have no comment for them.
**If they aren’t then I’m rather obvious, if not equally rude in sharing my opinion although I may not say a word to get it done.:wink: **

I have no idea why smoking being an addiction is an excuse for such behavior?? If they were an alcoholic would it excuse them getting drunk around kids? It’s perfectly legal to get drunk (as long as you don’t drive at the same time!) but most would agree it shouldn’t be done around children?

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