Smoking when pg - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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Old 09-13-2007, 10:32 PM
 
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I have the utmost respect for people who try to quit smoking and those who succeed. I watched my parents struggle with this addiction for most of my life. My mom was able to quit cold turkey after watching a close relative die of lung cancer. My dad tried lots of things, but what eventually worked for him was being hypnotized.

For those mamas out there who are trying to quit, don't give up! Each day is a new opportunity to try again. s to you all.
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Old 09-14-2007, 07:42 AM
 
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I was just going to post that I was able to quit "cold turkey" when I found out that I was pregnant with dd, but to be fair, I don't believe that I have an especially addictive personality. Even as a smoker, if it was "inconvenient" for me to smoke I wouldn't(like if I had to outside and it was cold, or if I had to outside and downstairs or something, etc.) I was also able to and still am able(when not pregnant) to smoke occasionally, if I am out drinking for example, and not go back to smoking all the time.

So I figured that most moms who are able to just quit at the drop of a hat are like me, not that addicted, different brain chemistry or what have you. But your story totally blows my theory. I am genuinely curious(if you don't mind sharing) what do you think the difference was this pregnancy for you? Any specific physical or emotional factors that you could pin down?

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Old 09-14-2007, 07:52 AM
 
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I get that quitting can be very difficult (well, as a pp said, I don't really get it because I haven't been there, but it's pretty obvious that smoking is a difficult addiciton to break) and I would never want to attempt to "shame" a mom or mom-to-be into quitting -- I also get that that is counterproductive. That being said....

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Originally Posted by Inspired007 View Post
Coming from someone whose mother smoked (a lot) while pg with her...I do find it incredibly selfish for a woman to continue smoking while pg. With all that we know about the harm that smoking can do, it is extremely selfish to not consider the damage you are doing to your baby just for your own high.
I can relate to this. My mom smoked during her pg with me and my sister; she quit during her pg with our little brother, who was born when I was 7. She's not proud of it, and I get that, but at the same time, I can't help but be affected by it. I wasn't important enough to her to quit smoking? And actually, smoking during pg bothers me somewhat less -- I know I was very much a surprise pg, and I know that it can take time for a pregnancy to sink in and seem real and all that. But she kept on smoking around us (and when they were at work, my parents sent us to a sitter whose whole family smoked) for 7 more years. I remember it, and as much as I can understand that it was difficult for my mom to quit, it was impossible for me to get away from it. I guess what it comes down to is yes, I feel for moms who are struggling to quit smoking. But as the child of a smoker, I feel for the children more.

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Old 09-14-2007, 10:46 AM
 
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Well, when you understand it, then it's time to judge. What's that old Indian saying about walking a mile in someone else's moccasins?

There's lots of things I don't understand, either. Never having had a cigarette in my life, I don't *quite* understand smoking, but having watched what my mom went through, I more or less get what it does to people. I don't understand religion, having never been religious myself. I know other atheists who think that NO ONE should believe in god and that it's a sign of weakness. Even though I didn't really have any comprehension of belief until seeing Julia Sweeney's play "Letting Go of God," I still never quite thought that it was appropriate to demand that others give up what I don't need... even while they used their beliefs as an excuse to hurt me or others close to me.
I am not so sure how you not understanding religion has anything to do with this conversation. If someone believes in God, it doesn't affect anyone but that one person (or shouldn't really) but if a woman smokes during her pg there is a victim involved. And I am sorry that someone has used their beliefs as an excuse to hurt you and those you loved.

I don't understand homicidal maniacs so that means I shouldn't judge them? Yeah, right. And I don't mean judge as in damn them all to hell, I mean it in the sense of "that's wrong, you shouldn't do that". None of us can say that as we're teaching our children, that we don't tell them whats right and wrong. It's wrong to call other children names, pick on little guys, etc. This is all judging in a sense. On the same token, it's wrong to smoke while pg. It's not easy to quit, of course, but it's wrong when you don't.

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I get that quitting can be very difficult (well, as a pp said, I don't really get it because I haven't been there, but it's pretty obvious that smoking is a difficult addiciton to break) and I would never want to attempt to "shame" a mom or mom-to-be into quitting -- I also get that that is counterproductive. That being said....

I can relate to this. My mom smoked during her pg with me and my sister; she quit during her pg with our little brother, who was born when I was 7. She's not proud of it, and I get that, but at the same time, I can't help but be affected by it. I wasn't important enough to her to quit smoking? And actually, smoking during pg bothers me somewhat less -- I know I was very much a surprise pg, and I know that it can take time for a pregnancy to sink in and seem real and all that. But she kept on smoking around us (and when they were at work, my parents sent us to a sitter whose whole family smoked) for 7 more years. I remember it, and as much as I can understand that it was difficult for my mom to quit, it was impossible for me to get away from it. I guess what it comes down to is yes, I feel for moms who are struggling to quit smoking. But as the child of a smoker, I feel for the children more.

Eloquently put, I think.

Ph.D. Mama to Anaiah born 10/06/07 and Mathias born 11/14/09 and Wife to my cocoa puff DH.
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Old 09-14-2007, 11:04 AM
 
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ITA Inspired!

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Old 09-14-2007, 11:38 AM
 
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Old 09-14-2007, 03:32 PM
 
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Ummm...I just want to add that kudo's should be given to all the mamas who used to smoke and found the strength to quit while pg. I don't think it's easy to quit whatsoever and no matter how long it took you, at least you realized that in the end it wasn't about you, it's about the baby. A woman who makes this kind of decision, regardless of how difficult it was to quit, has made a selfLESS one and should be commended. A woman who decides not to quit or doesn't even try is selfish and I don't think I am wrong for saying so.

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Old 09-14-2007, 06:37 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Inspired007 View Post
I don't understand homicidal maniacs so that means I shouldn't judge them? Yeah, right. And I don't mean judge as in damn them all to hell, I mean it in the sense of "that's wrong, you shouldn't do that".
Do you think that telling a homicidal maniac "that's wrong, you shouldn't do that" will have ANY impact on their understanding of what they do or the morality of it? Do you think that they just don't *know* it's wrong, or that we're not supposed to do wrong things?

Saying to a pregnant woman who smokes, "Hey, I accept you, and I want to help if you get to a place where you can use it" is useful. Telling her she's selfish and what she's doing is wrong... well, she probably already feels that way, and needs the drug even MORE because of the way that knowledge makes her feel. Punishment doesn't make people feel good and strong enough to improve themselves.
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Old 09-15-2007, 01:53 AM
 
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Do you think that telling a homicidal maniac "that's wrong, you shouldn't do that" will have ANY impact on their understanding of what they do or the morality of it? Do you think that they just don't *know* it's wrong, or that we're not supposed to do wrong things?

Saying to a pregnant woman who smokes, "Hey, I accept you, and I want to help if you get to a place where you can use it" is useful. Telling her she's selfish and what she's doing is wrong... well, she probably already feels that way, and needs the drug even MORE because of the way that knowledge makes her feel. Punishment doesn't make people feel good and strong enough to improve themselves.
I think you missed the point. I wasn't implying that we should tap maniacs on the shoulder and say anything of the sort. I was giving an example on why although I haven't walked any distance in their moccasins that I can still judge their behavior as wrong. It's an subjective opinion based on ethics.

Also, I never said I would tell a pg woman to her face that she is selfish. I don't think that it's helpful at all to discourage people when they are struggling with an issue, especially if they'd like to do better. And don't be naive, there are A LOT of pg smokers out there who don't particularly care that it may be harmful to their babies. They blatantly continue to smoke in public and could care less about what anyone else thinks about it. All pg smokers are not hiding in some corner somewhere shameful and full of guilt. My mom was certainly one of those who just simply wasn't willing to give it up and let all the criticism roll off her shoulders. Putting it simply, she didn't want to quit. That is selfish and it is possible that if someone had said as much to her that it COULD have influenced her positively. Sometimes criticism can spur people to change.

Ph.D. Mama to Anaiah born 10/06/07 and Mathias born 11/14/09 and Wife to my cocoa puff DH.
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Old 09-15-2007, 02:02 AM
 
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I am an exsmoker and stopped when I became preggo. And yes I think it is crap when a child is relying on us to be healthy etc and we contimue t smoke etc. Sorry I know how hard it is because it was so damn hard for me but my baby girl did not ask to be brought into this world and I felt like I owed it to her to do everything I possibly could to ensure a healthy start.

And I am sorry I know 3 gynos about this business of quiting smoking being to tramatic on the baby and they think that is VERY bad information for a doctor to be giving ANYONE.

I sat around while prego and watched a sister in law justify herself til she was blue in the face about how smoking doesn't impact a child. Then when the baby was born and she was nursing go on and on about how being hard core drunk was fine because she would pump once and dump it. Sorry that is crap too.
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Old 09-15-2007, 03:25 AM
 
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I was a social smoker for the most part, however, before my first pregnancy I was ALWAYS "social" because I partied all the time so I was probably a more regular smoker than I would like to admit. Did I smoke a pack a day? Occasionally if the alcohol kept flowing and the good times kept rolling. I quit cold turkey as soon as I got my + on the pg test. Sometimes I miss it but it has never consumed me the way I have seen it consume others.

The one time I felt really like I was judging a smoking pregnant woman was a few years ago at a restaurant I worked in. I was serving a party which was a charity event for a 5 year old little boy who was terminally ill, the Make a Wish Foundation I think it was. He was born with a heart defect and there was no transplant in sight. His mom, who was 7 months pregnant, was also there, and was being interviewed by Channel 10 news about her son and the event in his honor. Shortly after, the food was served, and I had seen the mom go outside so I went to get her to let her know that the food had arrived if she was hungry. And there she was, outside smoking over the railing with her pack of Marlboro Reds in her hand. During the course of the dinner, she went out for about 4 cigarettes. And that made me really angry, because all I could think was that her little boy is practically on his deathbed from a heart defect, and here she is smoking through another pregnancy. Do I know for sure that her smoking caused his heart problems? No, but at that moment it was my first assumption. And I guess that is where my judgment came in. I didn't know her, I don't fully know her situation, but I couldn't help but think that she was awful for risking her unborn child's life by smoking as she was watching her other child die from a heart defect that could quite possibly been a result of her smoking when she was pregnant with him. Wouldn't that, if anything, be good incentive to quit? I guess I don't understand how one could be so addicted to something that the addiction could override even that.
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Old 09-16-2007, 04:51 PM
 
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I smoked until I found out I was pregnant. At that point it was my obligation to create a healhy environment for my baby to thrive. Does it suck trying to quit? Yep. BUT it wasn't about me at that point. I think smoking while pregnant is a terrible and selfish thing.

And I am laughing at the post claiming that they thought this place was openminded!
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Old 09-17-2007, 02:52 AM
 
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I totally agree that it's selfish to harm your baby for no reason other than self satisfaction. I know it's hard. I smoked for years..sometimes more than a pack a day. I was a partier when I got pregnant at 18. I smoked and drank and got high but the day I found out I was pg with my daughter I got over it all instantly. My life was stressful. I was a teen, living at home with my parents working a minimum wage job. At the time I thought I was looking at a future as a welfare mom because I had to drop out of my first semester of college. Life was hard back then, but you know what? I quit anyway, cold turkey. It sucked, but it was for my daughter's health.

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I smoked until I found out I was pregnant. At that point it was my obligation to create a healhy environment for my baby to thrive. Does it suck trying to quit? Yep. BUT it wasn't about me at that point. I think smoking while pregnant is a terrible and selfish thing.

And I am laughing at the post claiming that they thought this place was openminded!
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Old 09-17-2007, 10:43 AM
 
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self satisfaction.
It's called an addiction.

If you can call me selfish then can I call you arrogant and self-congratulatory? Sheesh.
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Old 09-17-2007, 11:09 AM
 
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I want to say this gently....

But doesn't an addiction to smoking begin with a choice to smoke? It's not like a disease you are born with and have no say about.
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Old 09-17-2007, 11:14 AM
 
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I quit smoking (and drinking, and quit my anti-depressant that I was on for 5 years) the day I found out I was pregnant with my son.

Sometimes being a parent means surrendering. Giving things up. Growing up. You are only pregnant for 9 months. If you really want to smoke, can't you wait for 9 months? It's not just about you anymore when you have a baby growing inside of you.

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Old 09-17-2007, 11:28 AM
 
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I totally agree that it's selfish to harm your baby for no reason other than self satisfaction. I know it's hard. I smoked for years..sometimes more than a pack a day. I was a partier when I got pregnant at 18. I smoked and drank and got high but the day I found out I was pg with my daughter I got over it all instantly. My life was stressful. I was a teen, living at home with my parents working a minimum wage job. At the time I thought I was looking at a future as a welfare mom because I had to drop out of my first semester of college. Life was hard back then, but you know what? I quit anyway, cold turkey. It sucked, but it was for my daughter's health.

This is totally OT but how did your life turn out...I love to hear success stories!

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Old 09-17-2007, 11:31 AM
 
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It's called an addiction.

If you can call me selfish then can I call you arrogant and self-congratulatory? Sheesh.
Go right ahead if it makes you feel better

There is self satisfaction when you feed an addiction. I was addicted. I smoked from the time I was 11 til I was 18. Then when my oldest was 2 I started again (only out of the house and not around her) and quit when she was 7 and I got pregnant with her younger sister. Again, quit the day I found out I was expecting. I have a highly addictive personality and it sucked big time. Mood swings, crying jags, shaking, etc. Continuing to smoke would have been satisfying. I'd have gotten rid of all of the withdrawal symptoms and probably been much happier but I gave up my happiness during those first few months or the sake of my baby. Anyone can do it if they try hard enough. Yeah, I KNOW it's an addiction but I'll walk through hell for my babies, quitting an addiction is certainly easier than walking through hell, even though it may come close.

I don't tell my story as a way of self congratulating, I say it because I feel like it gives my opinion a little credibility and proves that no one ever has to surrender to an addiction that is harming their children. If I could quit, anyone can quit. It's a choice one makes every time one lights up that cig. I've been there. I know it's hard but you just suck it up and do it. I couldn't say anything if I'd not been through it myself.
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Old 09-17-2007, 11:35 AM
 
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This is totally OT but how did your life turn out...I love to hear success stories!
Well, I eventually moved out of my parents home and began working part time for a local social service agency taking care of children while teen parents took GED classes. While doing this I went to college. I found a great job after a year of college and worked there, supporting my daughter and myself for a couple of years before meeting my husband. We got married when my oldest was 5 years old and because he (unlike me) busted his behind his entire life working towards his career goals, he was able to give me the opportunity to be a SAHM ever since. I did sell real estate for a year and also made and sold cloth diapers for 3 years but other than that I've been a SAHM, now pregnant with my 4th and we are doing well financially. Looking at my life now, my house, my lifestyle...13 years ago I never would have imagined I'd be so happy
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Old 09-17-2007, 11:36 AM
 
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I smoked a pack and a half a day and had for near 10 years when I got pregnant and quit cold turkey. One of my friends' doctor told her that it was too stressful on her body to quit, and so she smoked a pack a day thru her pregnancy. She also got LOADED. I'm not talking a glass of wine here and there, I mean like bottles of wine when we'd go out to dinner. It was gross.

that's disgusting. IS her baby ok?

Jennie: Working mother to 3 and loving wife to my hubby for over 12 years
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Old 09-17-2007, 11:49 AM
 
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Welcome to MDC! Who can we use to feed our need to feel superior today? Oh, theoretical smoking mothers!

We should rotate - Smoking mothers on Monday, those who leave children unattended in grocery carts Tuesday... hmm, who can we judge on Wednesday?
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Old 09-17-2007, 11:56 AM
 
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Go right ahead if it makes you feel better

I don't tell my story as a way of self congratulating, I say it because I feel like it gives my opinion a little credibility and proves that no one ever has to surrender to an addiction that is harming their children. If I could quit, anyone can quit. It's a choice one makes every time one lights up that cig. I've been there. I know it's hard but you just suck it up and do it. I couldn't say anything if I'd not been through it myself.
I think it does give your opinion a little more credibility. It's difficult for non-smokers to relate to people who don't quit. I can understand it only to a certain point, kinda the way that men will never fully get pregnancy, yk? But, I've lived with smokers all my life and I know that there are different types of smokers out there. While my DH struggles with it everyday (he feels guilty b/c we're having a baby and he doesn't want to be a bad role model), my mom NEVER felt bad about it. Some people say, hey I'm addicted, what's it to you? Others really and truly feel helpless. IMO I think it boils down to your intentions. Have you decided to quit or are you more or less saying to yourself "it's too hard, I can't do it so I won't try"? It's okay to try and fail, it IS an addiction and addicts don't always succeed on the first try whether it be cigs or other drugs. But, try again. It's selfish not to.

Kinda off but still on the subject and maybe too much info...

My older half sister has struggled with an addiction to crack for about the last 16 years (she's been off now for about 2 years, Hallelujah!). If you know ANYTHING whatsoever about crack you know that the addiction can make some people sell their own children just to get that next high. Much stronger than cigs. My sister has three children and I don't know what it was other than maternal instinct and protection but every single time she got pregnant, my sister gave up her addiction COLD TURKEY. She wasn't one of those people who had an occasional fix either. She was pretty far gone. My oldest neice is 16, and I have two nephews who are 13 and 6. Everytime she got pregnant, my family would be in an uproar b/c she's unmarried (although she's quite a bit older than me she just wasn't the most attentive parent) and strung out. Well, during her pregnancies she was a completely different person. Not one of her babies is a crack baby and I am so proud of her for that. Now, once she had the babies and got them into a routine, she went right back to her drug. My nephews actually suffered a bit with delayed speech b/c their mother would be sleep all day while she got over the night before. Eventually she kicked her addiction (hopefully forever!) but it's an uphill battle everyday for her.

The reason I say all this is to explain that although crack addition has a much higher consequence to babies, it is also a much harder drug to kick PERIOD, let alone cold turkey. If she can do it, I know that there isn't a smoker alive who can't do it once they let that maternal instinct kick in. I guess you actually have to focus on the fear of losing or damaging your baby in order to pull it out of yourself. Otherwise, I believe that you'll keep convincing yourself that one more cigarette won't matter. Then one more...then one more...etc.

Maybe I'm the one that's naive but that's how I've gotten through this pregnancy w/o drinking wine (which I love!!!!). Mind over matter really can work.

Ph.D. Mama to Anaiah born 10/06/07 and Mathias born 11/14/09 and Wife to my cocoa puff DH.
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Old 09-17-2007, 12:45 PM
 
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You do not know me and you do not have a right to judge me, or anyone else. Well, you do have a right to do whatever you want. But blanket statements are hurtful. There is no way to know everyone's intentions or all of the factors involved. And just because some people are able to quit doesn't mean that they are less selfish, better parents etc etc. It means their circumstances are different. Will power is just one factor and is in itself multi layered.

It's one thing to know something is unhealthy and avoid it or stop it, but it's another to assume that other people are fair targets for unkind words.
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Old 09-17-2007, 01:41 PM
 
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Well...

You do not know me and you do not have a right to judge me, or anyone else. Well, you do have a right to do whatever you want. But blanket statements are hurtful. There is no way to know everyone's intentions or all of the factors involved. And just because some people are able to quit doesn't mean that they are less selfish, better parents etc etc. It means their circumstances are different. Will power is just one factor and is in itself multi layered.

It's one thing to know something is unhealthy and avoid it or stop it, but it's another to assume that other people are fair targets for unkind words.
I hear you. I don't think it makes someone a better parent that they quit smoking or not. I think my mom was a fantastic mom. My goodness, I am going to try to emulate her as best as possible (except of course for the smoking). Everyone's circumstances are different as you've said and it's not all black and white, there is a large gray area. I just think that not all moms try to quit but no one should be a target to be hurt. You're right that there is no way to know everyones intentions and in a perfect world I guess we'd all mind our own business. The problem is that there is a little bity tiny victim who has no voice yet and when I think to keep my mouth shut, I think about the baby and just can't do it. I am sorry if that makes you or anyone else who smokes or has smoked while pregnant uncomfortable.

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Old 09-17-2007, 02:09 PM
 
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I just think that not all moms try to quit but no one should be a target to be hurt. You're right that there is no way to know everyones intentions and in a perfect world I guess we'd all mind our own business. The problem is that there is a little bity tiny victim who has no voice yet and when I think to keep my mouth shut, I think about the baby and just can't do it. I am sorry if that makes you or anyone else who smokes or has smoked while pregnant uncomfortable.
You are so smart, I totally agree with you on this whole post. I don't always think we should keep our mouths shut... But rather than judge, how about we support (I have a feeling this is what you were saying anyway)? We could say "I am so sorry you were going through that when you were pregnant, what a nightmare. I wish I could have been there for you." If someone's smoking during pregnancy, we could say "Let me know how I can help you, because I care about you and the baby and I can only imagine how hard it must be to quit smoking." She may think we're on our high horse, but the reality is, if you show up over and over again to REALLY support someone, they'll know your intentions are true.

But you're still not saying "You're right. I don't know how hard it is for you. Go ahead and do whatever it is you need to do to get through this and I'll shut up."

Again, I have to say that those of you who had a harder time quitting when smoking, and weaned off slowly, that's such a legitimate and ultimately healthy choice. I don't think anyone can bash someone for working their butt off to quit smoking, even if it takes a bit longer. I was lucky to be able to quit cold turkey after 10 years, but remember that addiction is also chemical and everybody's brain chemistry responds to the addictive substance differently.

Everyone CAN quit, physiologically, but not everyone has the resources and circumstances to do it the way WE might think they should.
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Old 09-17-2007, 02:28 PM
 
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I want to say this gently....

But doesn't an addiction to smoking begin with a choice to smoke? It's not like a disease you are born with and have no say about.
No. Addiction is about the loss of choice. Read up about it. Yes, at some point, someone who's addicted made the choice to smoke the first cigarette, drink the first drink, but something takes over (and people are in argument over whether it's body chemistry, this mysterious thing called "will-power", or what) and the choice is gone. There are 12-step meetings all over the world for just such a thing... there's even Nicotine Anonymous. It's a real addiction.

This thread seems like an argument between people who understand this, and people who don't. People with addictions are used to being judged. That's why there are these elaborate programs designed for people with addictions. It's to help them get over the shame of the choices they've made to smoke/drink/do drugs no matter the cost. Many, many people die for this addiction. And if we're keeping in mind what I posted a few pages ago, that nicotine is more addictive than heroin, and we know that people die of heroin addiction, please realize that smoking is just as badly addictive.

The deal with addiction is that the substance/behavior takes precedence over ALL THINGS. A true addict will not stop their behavior until they lose or are about to lose something that's more important to them than the substance. Everyone has a different point. For some, it's a pregnancy. For some, there is nothing and those are the truly tragic cases. For me, my health was more important than smoking but I had to be emotionally stable enough to quit. Many, many people don't have that stability or know how to get it... so many of us come into adulthood broken from our childhoods and don't have any tools for coping, and then have addictions on top of it. It's HARD.

I am not making excuses for anyone, I am just pointing out what I see when people deal with addiction... there are those who understand it, and those who have never dealt with a true addiction and it's easy for them to point fingers and say "Just CHANGE." Good for you that it's easy for you to put it down. Be glad. Be grateful. But don't judge.
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Old 09-17-2007, 02:38 PM
 
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No. Addiction is about the loss of choice. Read up about it. Yes, at some point, someone who's addicted made the choice to smoke the first cigarette, drink the first drink, but something takes over (and people are in argument over whether it's body chemistry, this mysterious thing called "will-power", or what) and the choice is gone. There are 12-step meetings all over the world for just such a thing... there's even Nicotine Anonymous. It's a real addiction.

This thread seems like an argument between people who understand this, and people who don't. People with addictions are used to being judged. That's why there are these elaborate programs designed for people with addictions. It's to help them get over the shame of the choices they've made to smoke/drink/do drugs no matter the cost. Many, many people die for this addiction. And if we're keeping in mind what I posted a few pages ago, that nicotine is more addictive than heroin, and we know that people die of heroin addiction, please realize that smoking is just as badly addictive.

The deal with addiction is that the substance/behavior takes precedence over ALL THINGS. A true addict will not stop their behavior until they lose or are about to lose something that's more important to them than the substance. Everyone has a different point. For some, it's a pregnancy. For some, there is nothing and those are the truly tragic cases. For me, my health was more important than smoking but I had to be emotionally stable enough to quit. Many, many people don't have that stability or know how to get it... so many of us come into adulthood broken from our childhoods and don't have any tools for coping, and then have addictions on top of it. It's HARD.

I am not making excuses for anyone, I am just pointing out what I see when people deal with addiction... there are those who understand it, and those who have never dealt with a true addiction and it's easy for them to point fingers and say "Just CHANGE." Good for you that it's easy for you to put it down. Be glad. Be grateful. But don't judge.

Hmmmm...I think this was well spoken. I do often feel like they should "just do it". Maybe thinking on these things will help me understand my dh a little better. He's been "trying" to quit for about 6 months now. To me, if you're trying then you wouldn't be buying the cigs but in my heart I know it's not that simple. He bought some nicorette gum to help him and now he just uses it for when he can't smoke like a crutch.

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Old 09-17-2007, 02:45 PM
 
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That reminds me of how many packs of cigarettes I bought just to have "one" and threw the whole pack away, when I was struggling with it. I used to wish that gas stations would sell single cigarettes! (Now I'm glad they don't!) What really helped me was the nicotine gum, because my mouth needed something to do, but it's true it can become an "in-between smokes" crutch if you're not ready to quit.

It's so tough! Good luck to your DH. I hope he does it. DH and I are both ex-smokers and knowing that he's an ex-smoker helps me stay away from it too because I wouldn't want to drag him down with me!
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Old 09-17-2007, 02:56 PM
 
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No. Addiction is about the loss of choice. Read up about it. Yes, at some point, someone who's addicted made the choice to smoke the first cigarette, drink the first drink, but something takes over (and people are in argument over whether it's body chemistry, this mysterious thing called "will-power", or what) and the choice is gone. There are 12-step meetings all over the world for just such a thing... there's even Nicotine Anonymous. It's a real addiction.

This thread seems like an argument between people who understand this, and people who don't. People with addictions are used to being judged. That's why there are these elaborate programs designed for people with addictions. It's to help them get over the shame of the choices they've made to smoke/drink/do drugs no matter the cost. Many, many people die for this addiction. And if we're keeping in mind what I posted a few pages ago, that nicotine is more addictive than heroin, and we know that people die of heroin addiction, please realize that smoking is just as badly addictive.

The deal with addiction is that the substance/behavior takes precedence over ALL THINGS. A true addict will not stop their behavior until they lose or are about to lose something that's more important to them than the substance. Everyone has a different point. For some, it's a pregnancy. For some, there is nothing and those are the truly tragic cases. For me, my health was more important than smoking but I had to be emotionally stable enough to quit. Many, many people don't have that stability or know how to get it... so many of us come into adulthood broken from our childhoods and don't have any tools for coping, and then have addictions on top of it. It's HARD.

I am not making excuses for anyone, I am just pointing out what I see when people deal with addiction... there are those who understand it, and those who have never dealt with a true addiction and it's easy for them to point fingers and say "Just CHANGE." Good for you that it's easy for you to put it down. Be glad. Be grateful. But don't judge.
"Read up about it"? "Good for you that it's easy for you"? I was trying to be gentle and ask a sincere question in an effort to understand. I was not trying to pick a fight.

Please don't assume I know nothing about this. My family is full of people with addiction problems--three alcoholic grandparents, one alcoholic parent, two alcoholic brothers, smoking, drug use, mental illness, multiple suicide attempts.... It has been hard to watch these things my whole life. You have no idea what I have been through and what I still go through every day dealing with addicted people in my life. I'm trying to understand, and I think it might take my whole life to understand.

When I was asking about choice, I was just trying to bring up the point that a lot of people with addiction problems, in my experience, see themselves as victims and have a hard time taking responsibility for whatever actions may have contributed to their problems, even if it was that first cigarette. That was a choice that not everyone makes and that seems to get brushed aside. Many of the twelve steps involve responsibility, making amends, acknowledging shortcomings and defects of character, etc.

Seriously, I'm not trying to fight.
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Old 09-17-2007, 06:13 PM
 
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Melissa, I didn't mean you in particular. I'm sorry if it came across harsh, I wasn't trying to start a fight either. I simply was addressing the general attitude that I've read for five pages (and on other similar threads). I wasn't pointing that directly at you. So sorry if I offended, I truly didn't mean to. I got that you were asking a question, really I did.
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