1st Trimester

How to Ask My Mom to Quit Smoking

I am going to have to talk to my mom about smoking and the baby.  I don't want her to smoke around the baby to begin with, but now I am hearing a lot about 3rd hand smoke.  (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35318118/ns/health-addictions/)  I love my mom very much, and I don't want to see her with lung cancer or anything, and I believe that it is time for her to quit.  I just don't know what to say to her.  My husband thought of making a book for her, and having everyone (ex: my two sisters, my aunts/uncles grandparents ect) write why they would like for her to quit smoking and that they love her too much to see her doing this to her body.  The we could give it to her.  

I was just wondering if anyone else had any experience with this sort of situation. 

Re: How to Ask My Mom to Quit Smoking

  • No experience, but have you heard of the new electronic cigarettes they're making?  Supposedly just really realistic fake cigarettes, still get a nicotine fix, but absolutely no real smoke and no real harmful side effects for nonsmokers!  And they're supposed to be waaaaay healthier for the smokers too.  No idea, but I'm hoping to get my parents to give it a go...
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  • I tried for years, since I was a kid and I used to break my mom's cigarettes in half. Finally my mom got seriously ill (she's fine now) and she was forced to quit. She says it was so hard, that the addiction was so strong, that it took years to stop having cravings. Its not easy at all. For the first few years i bought her a card at the time of year she quit to congratulate her on another year smoke free, she says it means a lot to have ppl continue to remember that it was a struggle. Make your feelings known, and just be supportive. There are lots of products are resources out there to help. 
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  • Well about 4 years ago, I just told my father "I love you more than anything and I am afraid to watch you die.  I dont want you to die from smoking all those cigarettes and I want you to hold my children one day."  It was as simple as that.  This man smoked AT LEAST a pack a day and sometimes he would near the end of a second pack in one day.  I told him that while we were on a cruise, and when we got home he went to the store and bought the nicotine lozengers and hasnt smoked a day since.  I dont know how effective expressing your fears to her would be but I love the idea of having her family write to her how much of an impact she makes in their lives and how much they support!  Maybe add a pack of those lozengers to the gift to get her to start right away???  GL
  • My mom will never quit, she's been smoking 50 years and has no desire to.  We have rules though at both her house when we visit and our house.  There is no indoor smoking.  No smoking while you are holding/interacting with DD.  We also bought an air filtration unit for my bedroom at my parents.  You can't control everything and you probably can't change your mom's ways, but you can come up with ways to make it work for both of you.
  • You are probably much closer to your mom than my DH is with his mom (my MIL). But when we announced to his family that I was pregnant with K, DH told his mom that she had to quit otherwise she would not be able to see the baby. A little harsh (but that is their relationship), but it worked. K was a good reason for her to quit.

    I agree with the PP, if she isn't willing to quit/cut back/whatever, set up ground rules and stick with them.

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  • I'm actually preparing to have a similar conversation with my mom. She's been smoking for 40+ years, has tried to quit a few times (even under doctor supervision), but she doesn't really want to quit so none of her half-hearted attempts have worked. She has been diagnosed with COPD after years of chronic bronchitis, and her doctor has told her she is very close to an emphysema diagnosis.

    We have tried to convince her several times to quit - for herself, for me and my sister, for her husband, for the step-grandchildren she already has. The closest she got to quitting (she actually quit for 2 days) was motivated by my step-brother and his wife having a child, and they talked with her about it. It went well initially, but by day 3 my step-dad busted her smoking in the garage. They decided it was enough that she not smoke in the baby's presence. That's not enough for me, so my conversation with her will be different.

    If your mom has never tried to quit, be prepared for a few failures. It is very difficult and it is an addiction, so a strong, encouraging support network is critical. Long-time smokers need to know that others have quit after smoking a long time, too, so if you know someone who has, that might be helpful. And quitting under doctor supervision can help put the source of the pressure elsewhere - if a doctor is helping by being her 'enforcer,' he/she can be the 'bad guy' instead of you :)

    I wish you and your mom success!

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