Going up in smoke…

People are going to hate me for this.


But, to be frank, I don’t care. I mean what the hell is going on?


What am I talking about?

People smoking around children that’s what! It gets me so annoyed!!!

OK, so I’ll lay my cards on the table. I’m a non-smoker. Never have, never will. Never even been tempted. I figure that if I wanted to ingest serious amounts of carcinogens, there are much cheaper ways of doing it – like sucking on an exhaust pipe.

So, from the outset, you know I’m not part of the pro-smoking lobby. My mum died of smoking related cancer, and frankly I think it’s a horrible habit.

Still reading?

There is, I understand, an argument that people should be able to do whatever they like to their own body, thank-you-very-much. I get that. So if you want to ingest crap, 40 times a day, then that really is your funeral (literally). Good luck to you.

What annoys me, is the people I see doing this around kids. Often, and this is really what amazes me, their own kids!

I’ve tried and I really can’t see how people process this as if it’s an acceptable thing. I can understand the argument of: “It’s only me that suffers” that people give about smoking by themselves. It’s a stupid argument, because frankly nobody, not even Jeremy Dyson, lives in a vacuum. Screwing over your body is going to have effects on your family & friends, not to mention putting pressure on the NHS (if you’re reading this in the UK).

What I can’t understand is the idea of “Oh, it’ll only screw over my kids a little bit, by making them inhale my noxious cigarette smoke.” That, I don’t get.

As parents, don’t we just want the best for our kids? I mean, isn’t making sure they’re OK, and have the most promising start in life our entire role? Isn’t that it? Isn’t that ‘parenting’? Correct me if I’m wrong? So why would anyone go: “I want the best for my son, but I’m going to cloud him in cancerous gases because, frankly, I have no willpower”?

I told you some people weren’t going to like this.

It seems to me to have got worse lately. Since the smoking ban (which it won’t surprise you to hear, I love) smokers now linger outside pubs and cafes – which is traditionally where children are too. Here we find people frantically chain-smoking, a bit like deep sea divers filling their lungs before a long period of oxygen abstinence.

In the midst of these huddles of asthma inhaler-bearing inhalers we find kids, slowly turning into human kippers. Why would anyone do that to their own child? In an age where some parents what to find out the entire family history of any chicken nugget before they’ll allow their precious one to snack on it, why would these parents say: “Fuck it, you gotta die of something?”

The other day I was on a park bench, with Sam my son, when a man sat down next to me and lit-up. I asked if he could put it out or sit somewhere else.

“We’re outside!” he said, in a tone of ‘How stupid is this person?’.

“I’m aware of that,” I replied, attempting to stay calm, “I just don’t want my baby breathing that in.”

He tutted at me, then carried on smoking – with an air of ‘What are you going to do about it?’

I think ‘Going Postal’ is the term Americans use, when people lose the plot and majorly go off the rails.

I considered this for a moment…

… then chose another bench.

You see, I decided that not succumbing to an urge of the moment and acting in a negative manner (taking this man’s tobacco and shoving it forcibly where the sun doesn’t shine), was a better outcome for my son.

Perhaps there’s some parallel with smoking here?

Thanks for listening. I’m off to quietly fume somewhere*.

*NB:Please note the difference between ‘fuming’ and ‘giving off fumes’.

Still Sinking. 

The Out of Depth Dad. 





Published by The Out of Depth Dad

A new dad, completely out of his depth. Who knew that parenthood was so tricky?

10 thoughts on “Going up in smoke…

  1. I smoked for nearly 15 years. I quit when my husband and I were trying for a baby. After a while of trying, I had the occasional slip-up, usually after a glass of wine or two. The minute I found out I was pregnant that all changed. I never touched cigarettes again. My son recently turned 3 and in those 3 years and 9 months, I haven’t looked at a cigarette with anything but regret, remorse and hatred. I cannot stand people that smoke around kids’ playgrounds or schools, or anywhere intended for children. Parents that smoke should take a good, long hard look in the mirror. ‘Nuff said.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I couldn’t agree more Hattie. My mum died of smoking-related cancer. It was something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. I know people will call my pious, but I don’t care. Smoking around children is wrong.


  3. I agree – I’ve also never smoked and would challenge anyone who did around my children (family or friends). Though to be honest I know barely anyone who smokes, luckily it seems to be a dying trend!


  4. It drives me insane – there are a group of mothers at our school that congregate around the gate and smoke before the school pick up, but it means I have to walk through it with my toddler. I have also had a smouldering cigarette butt thrown into my daughters pram and the woman just shrugged her shoulders and said we shouldn’t be walking past (they were smoking just outside the doors to a busy shopping mall) grrrrrr


  5. I am so with you. I don’t smoke, never have and don’t get why people can contemplate smoking around children. I don’t let anyone smoke at my house – if they do I will assume they are on fire and take appropriate action.


  6. We don’t have any smokers in our house, and I think the attitudes towards smoking have changed so much over recent years. I find that I still have to battle against older family members who think it won’t do any harm and I get so frustrated with it.


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