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cigarette smoking in college

mom3939mom3939 Posts: 56Registered User Junior Member
edited June 2011 in Parents Forum
Hi all. Has anyone's children in college started smoking cigarettes?? I cannot believe with all that is known about how horrible it is for you in every way that any boy or girl who is smart enough to go to college would start smoking in college. They consider it "party smoking" when its "a cigarette or less a day" but that is still smoking! It is terrible and can easiiy lead to more smoking! Nobody in my family is a smoker and it horrifies me that my daughter sometimes puts those death sticks in her mouth. HOW CAN YOU STOP IT?? I found out by seeing pics on fb. I am so upset and I have had numerous conversations with her about this but I'm still not convinced she has stopped and I know some of her friends smoke cigarettes. Please realize this is a thread about cigarette smoking not pot smoking.
Post edited by mom3939 on
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Replies to: cigarette smoking in college

  • mamommamom Posts: 2,794Registered User Senior Member
    Well, my very bright son started smoking in 11th grade. He just graduated HS. He is smoking less, but still does it sometimes with his friends, I can smell it. Forget about yelling, threats, etc it doesn't work. I have shown him pictures of folks with lung cancer, mouth cancer, etc. I keep hoping he will find a cute girl who finds smoking disgusting and he quits. Oh, my S used to do chewing tobacco too. Like you, I was floored. No one in our immediate family smokes, so where did this come from???
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Posts: 36,966Registered User Senior Member
    Long term health effects of tobacco smoking are probably worse than marijuana smoking, due to the much greater addictiveness of nicotine in tobacco. However, the legal risks are much greater for marijuana smoking.

    Perhaps you can show her pictures of emphysema, cancer, heart disease, rotten gums and teeth, and other diseases caused by smoking. And statistics about how difficult it is for tobacco users to break the nicotine addiction.
  • SmithieandProudSmithieandProud Posts: 3,038Registered User Senior Member
    You're probably not going to be able to do anything to either stop or control this. They're over 18 now so legally if they want to slowly poison themselves with cigarettes, there's not much you can do. The government even lets them. You can of course tell them that they can't smoke at your house or when they're around you.

    At my college it was not uncommon for kids who would never have smoked to start doing some "casual" smoking. Especially after people would go out drinking, it was common to bum a cigarette on the walk home. In some cases it led to kids becoming regular smokers, but in most cases, when they graduated and got jobs or other interests, they stopped. Doing it once a week or a couple of times a month was not enough to develop the habit.

    Plus, the biggest deterrent will be simply cost. Cigarettes are expensive and kids that smoke casually by begging cigarettes from friends will likely be put off from any major habit by the sheer cost of a pack for themselves.
  • mom3939mom3939 Posts: 56Registered User Junior Member
    Unfortunately cigarettes are pretty cheap but yes they do cost money. I have gone through the lectures, articles, pictures, etc and she did tell me she stopped. Its the summer so she is home now. But I found a pack of cigarettes in the car the other day. She claimed they werent hers but Im not sure I believe it. This terrifies me, way more than pot smoking or alcohol as those you do generally grow out of. But maybe you can grow out of this as well. There really is nothing I find more of a disgusting thing than this. And the crazy part is she goes to the gym regularly, is extremely pretty, and is very concerned about her appearance.
  • hadsedhadsed Posts: 738Registered User Member
    Interesting that you ^^ bring up costs. I think this is similar with most casual smokers of marijuana as well.

    Anyway, it's really interesting. When I got to college I noticed how so many more people were smoking cigarettes. I thought, wow, these are 18 year olds, not people who have any amount of real stress to require some kind of help with relaxation. There are a lot of people who do this. I don't really quite understand it... if it's anything with the looking cool thing, I'd much rather wear a tux, walk around with a glass of straight vodka, and smoke a cigar. Talk about being a badass..

    I think most people who don't smoke more than once a day (in my experience) can get off of it pretty quickly. It's a lot more of a social thing than anything. Sometimes we'll be sitting in the physics lab doing some work and a few I suppose find it relaxing not just to smoke a cigarette, but to go outside, get a breath of fresh air, walk around, and just talk with some other students and professors for 5 minutes. I think any of these guys would/could stop if they needed to.
  • mom3939mom3939 Posts: 56Registered User Junior Member
    she has never smoked cigarettes at our house or around us, but its still VERY upsetting
  • mamommamom Posts: 2,794Registered User Senior Member
    mom3939 - I am right with you on the scary part of smoking. It was the last thing in the world I thought I would have to worry about, last thing.

    hadsed - I hope you are right that my kid grows out of it, like I said I keep hoping for a cute girl he likes to say ewwwww.
  • aegrisomniaaegrisomnia Posts: 1,026Registered User Senior Member
    Hi all. Has anyone's children in college started smoking cigarettes??
    I started smoking during my undergraduate studies.
    I cannot believe with all that is known about how horrible it is for you in every way that any boy or girl who is smart enough to go to college would start smoking in college.
    People have known that drinking to excess is bad for a long time, but people do it anyway. I don't think there's anything wrong with a little moderate smoking.
    They consider it "party smoking" when its "a cigarette or less a day" but that is still smoking!
    One cigarette a day? I'm no doctor, but I doubt that one cigarette a day is going to hurt any otherwise healthy person.
    It is terrible and can easiiy lead to more smoking!
    I don't agree that it's terrible. And so what if it leads to more smoking? I'd say there's a point where you're overdoing it, but it's not one cigarette. I tend to think a pack a day is a little much, but 4-5 cigarettes a day? Come on.
    Nobody in my family is a smoker and it horrifies me that my daughter sometimes puts those death sticks in her mouth.
    Well, at least you're approaching this rationally.
    HOW CAN YOU STOP IT??
    Well, you could take some tranquillizers or seek professional help, perhaps group therapy. We are talking about your being horrified over such a silly issue, right?
    I found out by seeing pics on fb. I am so upset and I have had numerous conversations with her about this but I'm still not convinced she has stopped and I know some of her friends smoke cigarettes. Please realize this is a thread about cigarette smoking not pot smoking.
    Your daughter's in college now. Do you think you might want to start getting used to the idea of her making her own choices?
  • stradmomstradmom Posts: 3,628Registered User Senior Member
    I know how upset you are, because my otherwise intelligent and sensible son has been smoking for several years now (he's 24). Started in high school, has tried to quit multiple times, finds it an expensive drain on his disposable income...but...
  • Emaheevul07Emaheevul07 Posts: 5,924Registered User Senior Member
    From my observation as a student, it seems like the more parents try to stop it the worse it gets. Other than banning it in your house and in your cars-- and enforcing that (was enough to get my younger sister to quit, too damned inconvenient), I don't think there is much you can do. The only thing that seems to get these kids to quit is themselves and, sometimes, their friends if they are not smokers.

    I generally don't associate socially with smokers, not out of any particular prejudice but because I am severely allergic and asthmatic and practically speaking a real friendship can't function when you are allergic to the person. My boyfriend was a "casual" smoker until we met and when faced with an ultimatum he quit. My dad was the same until he met my mom and she insisted.

    I think the problem here is that young people seem to believe they can control everything-- one or two cigarettes a week won't turn into an addiction because they wouldn't let that happen, binge drinking two or four nights a week won't lead to alcoholism because they won't let that happen-- or alcohol poisoning for that matter, running around after dark alone won't lead to getting raped because they wouldn't let that happen-- you get the picture. Mom with pictures of rotten gums becomes, "my crazy mother won't get it out of her head that one or two cigarettes a week won't give me cancer" -- because they'd never accept that they could become addicted and end up smoking MORE, because they wouldn't let that happen. The "fear" factor which forces rational adult non-smokers not to smoke goes right over their heads.

    I think the only things strong enough to break that kind of mentality are peer pressure and maturity, but that's just my opinion.
  • mom3939mom3939 Posts: 56Registered User Junior Member
    aegrisomnia, please read up a little bit more on the dangers of smoking. Smoking moderately is not ok and I do not think you should be professing this attitude. I do not need therapy, I am a concerned parent.
  • mom3939mom3939 Posts: 56Registered User Junior Member
    and this is not a "silly issue" If there is not a serious issue facing young adults then I dont know what is.
  • aegrisomniaaegrisomnia Posts: 1,026Registered User Senior Member
    ^ It's a personal choice... just like whether to exercise for 30 minutes a day, how much to drink and how often, whether to eat right or eat junk food, etc. By your logic, it's not OK to skip exercise, drink more than one a day, eat fast-food and skip veggies, etc. While that's true in a sense, it doesn't mean you're going to keel over today, tomorrow, next week, next month, or next year. It's hard to tell.

    Is smoking bad for you? Yes, I'm not arguing that. Does it have any benefits? Sure it does. Ultimately, though, it's a personal choice that gives a lot of people simple pleasure. Why try to take that away?
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Posts: 36,966Registered User Senior Member
    mom3939 wrote:
    And the crazy part is she goes to the gym regularly, is extremely pretty, and is very concerned about her appearance.

    Would that mean that she goes to the gym mainly for appearance rather than health?

    As stupid as this sounds, some women take up smoking to lose weight or avoid getting fat.
  • qialahqialah Posts: 1,635Registered User Senior Member
    My D was absolutely amazed (and disgusted) at the amount of cigarette smoking in college. It's apparently a hipster thing.
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