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Guilty About Not Allowing Others to Smoke?

  1. Jun 7, 2005 #1
    My mother and I go shopping every now and then in my car. I don't allow smoking in my car since I'm not a smoker myself. My mother doesn't seem to mind sitting on a bench or a picnic table outside the store in warm weather but winter is another story. I don't like to force her to smoke outside in the winter when the temperatures are below freezing. However, I will agree to let her smoke with the door open while she's actually sitting in the car (turned sideways with her feet on the ground and facing the outside). I can't tell you how guilty I feel making her stand outside while she's shivering from the cold and scarcely able to hold onto her cigarette. I realize how addictive smoking can be. My mother has been smoking since high school so I've kind of given up on her being able to quit although she has tried the nicotine patches in the past. For many years, she has confined her smoking to one room in the house--the kitchen. However, she has restricted her smoking one step further by confining herself to the cellarway as she recently bought some new kitchen curtains and didn't want nicotine film on her perky new curtains. My brother also smokes and when he visits, my mother doesn't smoke while he's there because she doesn't want to ask that he also smoke in the cellarway. I'm worried that smoking in the cellarway will bother my mother's lungs even more as the cellarway is a smaller space and the nicotine smell is very obvious. My sister (a former smoker) can't stand to be around cigarette smoke now and doesn't want anyone to smoke around her young son, Nicholas. When my sister and her son come to visit, my mother used to smoke out on the doorstep for awhile until my sister finally told her, "Mama, go ahead and smoke. After all, it is your house and Nick is usually in the other room watching TV when you're smoking anyway." My mother doesn't smoke nearly as often when she has company anyway because she doesn't want people to know how much she smokes.

    I also remember when I gave a co-worker a ride to pick up her car at the garage. It was the first time she had ridden in my car. She had a cigarette halfway to her mouth and she was already to "fire up" her Bic lighter when she asked, "You don't mind if I smoke, do you?" I told her that I didn't even allow my own mother to smoke in my car.

    Also, my parents bought a new car recently and my mother prefers to ride in their pickup truck because she's been smoking in that vehicle right along. My father thinks that the reason why she'd rather ride in the truck is because she doesn't want to "stink up" the new car although my father hasn't told her that she couldn't smoke in the new car.
     
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  3. Jun 7, 2005 #2

    Moonbear

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    No reason to feel guilty, especially when it's your own car! I don't allow smoking in my car either. Once someone lights up in there, you never get that stink out. When I have parties at my house, I'll put an ashtray out on my back deck and people can smoke outside, that's it. Even when I go to dinner with a group of people, I insist on the nonsmoking section. If they need to smoke, they can go sit at the bar or step outside. Most smokers I'm friends with are courteous enough to realize non-smokers don't want to be exposed to their bad habit and will step away to smoke.

    A few relatives are more of a pain in the butt about it. My one step-brother really complained once about not being allowed to smoke in my car when I was already doing him a favor by driving him around when he didn't have his own car, and I told him quite bluntly that if he wanted me to give him a ride, there was no smoking in the car, and if he couldn't go without a cigarette for the duration of the drive, then he could walk. He shut up after that.
     
  4. Jun 7, 2005 #3

    JamesU

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    I don't know if it was supposed to be, but that's funny!
     
  5. Jun 7, 2005 #4

    brewnog

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    Don't feel guilty, Gabs.

    She's the one who should be feeling guilty! She's the one trying to force her addiction on you, just because she doesn't want to get a bit cold standing around.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2005
  6. Jun 7, 2005 #5

    honestrosewater

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    I don't think you need to feel guilty. Is there a better place for them to smoke? Or a way to stay warm? And would your mother really feel fine about smoking in your car knowing that it bothered you?
    I didn't smoke inside when I lived with non-smokers. Even now that I smoke inside, if someone who is bothered by smoke comes over, I'll go outside. I think it's just being respectful. Of course, I live in Florida, so it's usually decent outside. I didn't smoke during the hurricanes last year though (at my brother's apartment- they don't smoke).
     
  7. Jun 7, 2005 #6

    Danger

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    I'm a smoker, and assume indoors to be a non-smoking area unless told otherwise. Your mother has no need to suffer in the cold anyhow. A couple of quick drags takes a few seconds and is where the nicotine 'rush' comes in.
     
  8. Jun 7, 2005 #7
    eww... she smoked in the kitchen? that seems like the worst place to smoke. all your food will reak... only thing i can imagine is worse is what my mum does... smokes when ironing. blech... no thanks, i'll iron my own clothes instead of reaking all day. (course i've done my own laundry for years anyways...)

    at any rate, smokers shouldn't smoke. making the habit uncomfortable is about all we can do as a society. its actually probably a good thing that you don't let her smoke in your car, and that she doesn't smoke around company. at least that means she's smoking fewer cigarettes than otherwise. you're helping her health, and maybe eventually, this could help her kick the habit.
     
  9. Jun 7, 2005 #8
    It's just rude to smoke up somebody else's house or car without permission. Even if the smoker owns the house or car it is polite to ask if the person would be bothered by the smoke rather than just subject them to it.

    Smoking is a nasty habit. It grows on ya. I'm thinking about a cigarette right now. It takes up so much of my time smoking and thinking about smoking. It destroys my health. It's expensive. It stinks. It labels me as a smoker which some people seem to put on par with lesser species. I have to listen to people telling me to quit, "Hmm, never thought of that before." My own personal image of myself suffers for it. I wonder how it affects the people that I care about now and potentially in the future. Brain goes through a chemical change and the number of dopamine receptors increases which promotes depression (or so I've been told). It seems smoking can certainly give people real enough reason to be depressed. I recently had an aunt who died from cancer. She was a smoker.

    Your mother probably thinks many of the same things. She does the things she does to seperate her family from her problem. Quitting smoking is one of, if not the, most difficult addiction to break.
     
  10. Jun 7, 2005 #9

    honestrosewater

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    If a person is sane and their smoking doesn't hurt anyone else, I don't think anyone else has grounds to stop them from smoking.
     
  11. Jun 7, 2005 #10

    Moonbear

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    That's really the biggest thing I got out of it. She knows she has a bad habit and is doing what she can to not make it her family's habit. Especially with a baby around, she's trying to avoid exposing the little one. Probably the best gesture that would prevent guilty feelings would be to say "thanks" when she goes off alone somewhere to smoke to spare the health of those around her. Let her know you appreciate her effort and maybe the little bit of support that gives her will encourage her to cut back more and maybe quit altogether. As Huck points out, it's a real addiction, and a tough one to quit, so supportive family can really help if someone decides to put the hard effort into quitting.
     
  12. Jun 7, 2005 #11

    honestrosewater

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    Oh, yes, I think that's a great suggestion. If she wants to quit, your support would surely be helpful. Even if she doesn't want to quit, letting her know that you appreciate her being considerate would be nice.
     
  13. Jun 7, 2005 #12
    well, i pretty much agree... 'cept smoking's unhealthy. so, like i said, the only thing we can do is making smoking uncomfortable. we can't make them quit, but we can make it less awesome to not quit. almost everyone i know smokes, my family, and most friends. of course, my friends are teens, and that sucks. the lamest thing ever is hearing kids talk about trying to quit.
     
  14. Jun 7, 2005 #13
    I'd tell you not to feel bad if you threw your mother out of the house in a blizzard because smoking isn't a habit that should be accommodated. In actuality, she is poisoning you by smoking around you. I'd try to help her quit again.
     
  15. Jun 7, 2005 #14

    honestrosewater

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    Right, smoking has serious health risks. But whose decision is it to take or not take those risks? I think it's the person whose health is being risked. If I want to risk getting cancer, that's my decision. If someone wants to lay on the beach without wearing sun block and risk skin cancer, I think that's their decision. If someone wants to handle venomous snakes and risk being bitten, I think that's their decision. Isn't this just a basic part of respecting people's right- or giving them the right- to live their lives how they want?
     
  16. Jun 7, 2005 #15
    I don't think making people feel uncomfortable about themselves when they are already overwhelmed is doing anyone any good. Have concern for them. Treat them like normal people. If they decide to quit then support that decision. Be considerate and not derisive. It is this uncomfortable feeling that I was refering to when I wrote about feeling like others consider a smoker a lesser species.

    On the same note, do not condone the habit by allowing it in your car or house when you normally wouldn't, especially if there is a child in the house. Demand respect, but give it too.
     
  17. Jun 7, 2005 #16
    bah, i have a lot of sympathy for smokers, i know so many, i understand that its difficult to quit, and i am very supportive. i'm speaking very generally. smoking just shouldn't be a comfortable thing to do. and its good that it isn't. if we luxury accomodations for smokers, that would be bad. i mean uncomfortable quite literally... as in simply not comfortable.
     
  18. Jun 7, 2005 #17

    honestrosewater

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    So you think I should start spitting on people that I see walking around outside without wearing sunblock? And people who drive their cars above 40mph? And fly on airplanes without a parachute? And ride on roller coasters?
    If you're trying to help someone who wants to quit, I think that's great. But why do you think you have any right to try to make them quit?
     
  19. Jun 7, 2005 #18
    AHHH! sheesh.... i quit.... obviously i'm not articulate enough today to get my point across...

    you're sooo far off from what i was saying though.
     
  20. Jun 7, 2005 #19

    chroot

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    Well, I have no sympathy for smokers, either. If pay for my car and therefore own the space; it's certainly within my rights to tell other people what they can or can't do there. Same goes for my apartment.

    - Warren
     
  21. Jun 7, 2005 #20
    Making people uncomfortable makes people uncomfortable. Although if I didn't smoke I wouldn't let anyone smoke in my car just because they had a craving. But I do smoke, and I don't light up in other people's cars. No need for making people uncomfortable physically or otherwise. It's just a matter of mutual respect.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2005
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