Parents Who Smoke Around Kids Are No Better Than Child Abusers

Rant 257

cigaretteIf you're parked in the school parking lot with the windows closed, a kid in the backseat, and you're just a puff, puff, puffing away on your cigarette, expect a gentle knock on the window and not-nearly-as-gentle warning to knock it off. That's right. I have no problem telling a mom with a cancer stick in hand that she's being an abusive parent.

So what do I have a problem with? The latest news that as much as 22 percent of kids are still being held hostage by smokers who decide to light up inside a vehicle. What's next? Kicking puppies? Clubbing seals? Are people really this stupid? I'm starting to think we need an actual law that forbids people from smoking around children.

Oh, I know, the smokers are going to come out and start whining at me about how their rights are being infringed on, and how we're not nearly as mean in this society to the drunks. Blah, blah, blah. Let me stop y'all right there, folks. Drunks are perfectly free to ruin their own livers, but we do, in fact, legislate that they not get into a car while tipsy in order to protect the rights of other motorists.

And so it should be with smokers. They are perfectly free to ruin their own lungs in the privacy of their own homes, but we should be perfectly free to legislate that kids' have the right to grow up free of the secondhand smoke that causes asthma, ear infections, SIDS, and eventually ... the big C.

Just think, if you took an infected needle and plunged it in your kid's arm, giving them some sort of disease, you'd probably be brought up on charges of child abuse, wouldn't you? And yet these smokers get away scot free. Now, I'm not the type of parent who throws the words "child abuse" around every time a parent does something I disagree with. But it's the new millennium, people!

If there is an American parent in this day and age who doesn't know cigarettes kill people, I don't even want to imagine what else they don't know (where babies come from maybe?). And if you know what cigarettes do, and you're still subjecting your kid to it -- either by smoking around them or letting them hop in an enclosed vehicle with another idiot smoker -- are you really any better than the creep with the infected needle? Not in my book

As it stands right now, parents have to know that secondhand smoke is hurting their kids. But so many of them are subjecting them to it anyway.

If common sense won't stop them, can a law save these poor kids?


Image via stevendepolo/Flickr

kid health


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nonmember avatar Mrs. Clark

I agree a lot with zandhmom. I don't think kids these days are fat because of junk food. They ate fat because parents don't make them exercise anymore. When I was a kid, I ate cookies Nd candies and what not. U know what? After eating those things, I went to softball practice or played outside with my friends. I was active. That is what children are lacking. As far as the smoking, I don't let anyone smoke around my kids, but I'm not going to judge another parent for doing so.

nonmember avatar Theresa

Zandhmom2: Your mother was wrong just as you are now. First, the contents of cigarettes today contain more than just the tobacco of the 60's. Welcome to the 21st century. Things have changed. Secondly, I'm pretty sure all the highly educated doctors who researched this issue would disagree with you about the risks posed to children.

nonmember avatar hs

Virginia already has a law prohibiting smoking in a car with a minor onboard. Might want to research that to go along with your *ahem* blog.

nonmember avatar Tim

Smoking is harmful to children. Doctors all over the world agree. Yes, they know better than you cafemoms. Junk food and a sedentary lifestyle both make kids fat. Nutritionists are pretty consistent with this idea. High caloric intake, high fat, high sugar = bad news. You ladies debate silliness here for no reason.


What crap. This is one of the dooziest you've even written.

nonmember avatar Jessica

I am a smoker, and I have a number of friends with kids. I don't smoke inside my own home because I want those friends to feel safe bringing their kids into my home. If I have a smoke while out walking with their babies in strollers I am always out of their line of sight and down wind. I choose to do this to myself, I choose what goes in my own body, and I choose to keep it the hell away from the tiny folk. If I'm walking down the street and see a parent and their kid coming - I always move the cigarette up (away from their level) and put it out of sight. It has resulted in a very large number of thank yous. You're very welcome parents, I'll go the extra mile to keep your kid out of my carcinogens!

nonmember avatar tracey

I am a smoker, and I NEVER smoke around my daughter. I go outside and I never, ever smoke in my car, because she's in it almost as much as I am. That said, I would never accuse a parent of child abuse because they smoke in front of their kids. That is taking things just a bit too far. Do I think they are making a mistake if they smoke around their kids? Sure, but my mom and dad smoked when I was growing up and it just wasn't the end of the world. There are so many worse things out there, this just doesn't compare.

sweet... sweettigeress

It's a form of abuse.  You are hurting their insides, their lungs. Your child didn't ask to breathe in your habit. Second hand smoke is worse and espcially worse for kids.

lorel... lorelei10

I was abused badly when i was a little girl. But what my dad did to my brother was worse in my opinion. He smoked. My brother had severe asthma and would have an attack almost every day because of my dads smoking habits. so im With you on this one it is abusive to expose your child to smoke. It is known to be an extremely harmful substance and if you are knowingly letting your child breathe that how is that any better than letting them huff paint or smoke themselves, or a million other negligent things wwe wouldnt allow our children to do

MySpa... MySpaceMomof3

I agree with everything you.said..& Im a smoker

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