Smoking Around Your Baby Is Not Cool, Even on the Jersey Shore

Health Check 18

smoking with babyWe've discussed this before: Smoking and babies don't mix. Although I'm not sure why it's an actual discussion rather than a declaration. But I'm sure some of you will fill me in with your comments. But even if you are totally clear that smoking in your baby's face is wrong, would you be so bold to tell another mom and dad that same thing?

What if you saw a mom strolling down the street puffing away with her baby strapped onto her chest via Baby Bjorn?

ABC's What Would You Do? is back and asking the question of random people who see this young couple on the Jersey Shore. Not the television show Jersey Shore, but the actual one. Where people actually behave in a civilized manner at times. While we can only see a clip of the show here, it is heartening to see a man (who is also a dad pushing a stroller) confront the mom who is smoking with a baby right below her cancer stick hole. He also seems to do it in a non-threatening way, which would surely be more effective than freaking out on these actors who are pretending to have a real baby. (Note -- the cigarettes are not real, and neither is the baby.)

Even though we all know that secondhand smoke can make people very sick, even to the point of death, I wonder if I could do the same thing. I absolutely believe blowing smoke into your newborn's face is going to hurt that baby, as modern medicine has shown again and again. Yet, confronting another mom about her behavior might be a little bit too much for me.

Although I'm inspired by the man in this clip. Offering a solution rather than only condemning is a great move. I could easily offer to hold the baby while she stepped away for a smoke. And now that I've seen the show, I know I could do that. 

I have confronted a stranger who was being abusive to a little girl in the past, and it did not go well. Which makes me more reluctant to step in, even if a child is being harmed. But if not me, who? If not you, who will let a parent know that his or her behavior is harmful and not acceptable?

Would you confront a smoker with a baby? 


Image via Hyrk/Flickr

baby first year, baby health, sids


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vulca... vulcanarcher

Smoking, just like parenting is a decision that should be left up to the individual.  That being said, I have no problems making snarky comments loud enough so that the offending parent feels embarassed.

nonmember avatar bl

how about it is none of the dads business... yea not something I would do, but it is outside in the open air. Who does HE think HE is, the air police???? THere are public crimes ( like if you see someone beating a bay with a stick) where it is appropriate to step in, then there are other times when there is this new concept called "mind your own damn business"

nonmember avatar Autumn

No I wouldn't. I feel like its there child I have no right to say anything to them. I am a smoker, I don't and would never hold my child while I smoke, I started when she was one. If we were walking down the street holding hands and I was smoking and someone said something to me, even in a nice waI'd tell them she is my child and not theirs to mind your own business.

vulca... vulcanarcher

NOT if the second hand smoke also negatively affects me or MY child!  Just because the smoke is outside in the open air, doesn't mean that it's safe!  The carcinogens are still going around, and it's smoke, which means that carbon monoxide is also in the air, in dangerous, concentrated amounts.  It is one thing to hurt yourself--that's a choice you make.  It's absolutely another to engage in an activity where it's been proven to hurt others as well.  

Craft... CraftyJenna

It may not be a great thing to do, and I would not do it, but it's really no one's buisness. Honestly if a strange man came up to me and offered to hold my newborn for any reason, I would probably tell him to F-off. It creeps me out when strangers try to touch or hold my baby. Not helpful, just weird.

Craft... CraftyJenna


hope you don't take your kids anywhere where there is car exhaust because that is ten times worse than a little cigarette smoke.

vulca... vulcanarcher

CraftyJenna, I get your point, and I agree that maybe my stance is a little to aggressive.  I am NOT advocating what the author says is right, but I also want to make the point that smoking is dangerous--especially around a child whose body is still forming.  Hell, it's dangerous even around an adult.  

You can't shield a child from everything, even car exhaust, that's not possible.  But as a mother, my job is to protect my child to the best of my ability.  My mother-in-law died from lung cancer; I saw what that did to my husband, I could just be sensitive to the issue.

Mamai... Mamainthemiddle

 I am a smoker, and I DO NOT LIKE IT. I hide behind my sunroom so my neighbors and kids dont see me do it, thats how ashamed I am. My grandpa has lung cancer, and hes such a reminder that I damage myself, the awful influence I can be on my children with ANY addiction, and how powerless something small and seemingly relaxing can make you. I've asked a woman to smoke maybe NOT standing next to swings on the playground and she went off. "we're outside...blah" Point is, even without the damage done by secondhand smoke, people smoking around or with kids is bad for everyone who doesn't receive payment from Phillip-Morris. Its as bad for the health of society as something popping open a tall boy and swigging it happily while pushing a stroller. Just my biased opinion.

nursemc nursemc

When I think about smoking that close to a baby my mind goes less to risk of second hand smoke and more to the risk of burning the baby. All you smokers, how many times have you accidently hurt yourself? Example, you know when the cig sticks to your lip a little so when you go to take it away from your mouth your fingers slide down right over the ember, youch! Or when you accidently hit the end against something and a shower of embers goes everywhere. Ever lit a cigarette that's already been put out once or a cig that wasn't packed tight? Same thing, shower of embers everywhere. That reminds me, everyone stop putting hot coffee in the cup holder on your stroller. Seriously, think about it. Stop reaching for your coffee and pulling it toward you over your kid's head.

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