At my wits end with oldest ds - Page 5 - Mothering Forums

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Old 12-21-2009, 10:32 AM
 
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Originally Posted by SuzyLee View Post
Your house smelling like smoke (which it will... forever...) also really hurts the property value. Something to consider.

If telling him he can't smoke in the house will alienate him forever then you have bigger problems on your hands then jsut the smoking.
ITA if setting boundaries and consequences will "alienate" your son then you have bigger issues. If his boss told him no smoking indoors would he keep doing it until he got fired?

I have a serious issue with the fact that you will allow him to ruin your home, hurt your health and the health of his siblings, not to mention teach them that there is no need to follow your rules but you think telling him to either follow the rules or find his own place is cruel.

Hello real world where there are consequences for breaking rules. Protecting a "child" from the natural consequences of their actions is not doing them any favors. He is a grown man, expect him to act like one.


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Originally Posted by kate42 View Post
"Son, as of January 1st this is a non-smoking home. Smoking is permitted in the garage and outside but no longer inside for health reasons, just like in restaurants. You are welcome in my home because I love you, but the cigarettes stay outside. This is a non-negotiable rule for people who live and visit here."

Short, firm and caring.
adding "if you choose to smoke in my home you will have to live elsewhere"

I have a great relationship with my mom but I would have expected to get kicked out of her home had I chosen to break her rules as an adult.
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Old 12-21-2009, 12:24 PM
 
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I never used the phrase "throw him out," but when it comes to someone owning the home, then the larger burden of respect is due to that person. Also, as has been pointed out, the burden of respect should be on a person to NOT hurt the health and home of others.

Especially when the solution is really quite easy, and that is to go outdoors.
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Old 12-21-2009, 01:05 PM
 
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Disrespect can go both ways. Anyone who asks how to "punish" their 20 year old child is ignoring the fact their kid is no longer a kid. Unless he is going to college, paying rent, or has some kind of disability, it really is time for him to find his own home—if not for the sake of his relationship with his parents then for the sake of his own independence. Even then, you can always work on ways together on how he can get out on his own.

I've known few adult children who grow up to be happy and well adjusted. The ones I've met who continuously live completely rent-free without consequence or contribution in their parents' homes usually end up to be very miserable later in life. We're talking about 30 and 40 year olds who have never had adult relationships with other people. 30 and 40 year olds who finally move out on their own—only to move into poverty—despite receiving good educations (and the student loans that go with them), because they've never been motivated (or had the self esteem) to have good careers. It's not just the fact they live at home that causes it, but the way they are continually treated as children by their parents.

I've seen this happen to a few acquaintances and two close friends (one from high school and the other college). It was very heart-breaking to see it happen to my friends. They both had so much talent and potential to be successful and happy, but never could get past seeing themselves as nothing more than children. Neither of them moved out until their parents got divorced (possibly from the strain of having an adult child under their roof)—and this was a very traumatic way to move out.

They lived in poverty alone, and to this day (10 years later) are still very lonely sad people. I'd never wish this on anyone, and it is why when my DD is an adult, we'll be gently encouraging her to stay in a dorm or get an apartment as soon as she can unless she is going to school or paying rent at our house. It got to be hard for me (and others) to stay friends with these folks. While we were growing up and moving on, they were staying in a time capsule. While, I haven't been in contact with either of these people for a couple of years (it got to be too frustrating), I know through mutual acquaintances that they are pretty much the same, and that makes me very sad for them.

Anyhow, there are ways you can help an adult child move out that is not "throwing them out." You can help them look for a place to stay, help them pack, tell them they can call you if they need help and even help them out a little financially until they are completely able to stand on their feet...but there's got to be very firm boundaries—and this does include some conditions. This is what keeps your relationship with them healthy and it helps them grow up so they can be happy, healthy adults.
Not to go all OT, and I'm responding to this post, not the OP's situation...but I recently read an interesting article about adult children in the NYT--adultescence is the new term, I believe--and how it can be a vicious cycle. The parent (usually the mom) wants to feel needed, and so always does for the child, well into young adulthood. The child becomes dependent on that, and so it never really stops--the mom has a need and then the adultlescent has the need and so it's an endless loop.

Of course that isn't always true and in this economy I can see where living w/ your family post-college can really give someone a leg up. But I think for the psychological (and physical in this case) health of everyone, rules and boundaries need to be agreed upon and respected.
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Old 12-21-2009, 01:44 PM
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This is off on a tangent, but I am finding it a little strange that a natural family living community seems (in general) to be against adult children living at home.

People are communal animals. I think the way we live now, with everyone apart in their own little houses and in their own little rooms, is unnatural.

Personally, my kids are welcome to live here as long as they wish. They will have to pull their own weight and be respectful, but I see no reason to push living independently. I sometimes wish I'd been born in a time when 3-4 generations still lived under one roof.

One of my best friends rents a downstairs apartment in the house her father owns. He lives upstairs; she and her daughter live under him. Yes, he could get more $$$ if he rented to a stranger, so in that way I suppose he is "taking care" of his 48yo daughter. However, she and her daughter also "take care" of him in many ways. My husband's aunt also lives beneath her parents in a multi-family house. It's pretty common around here.
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Old 12-21-2009, 01:51 PM
 
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This is off on a tangent, but I am finding it a little strange that a natural family living community seems (in general) to be against adult children living at home.

People are communal animals. I think the way we live now, with everyone apart in their own little houses and in their own little rooms, is unnatural.

Personally, my kids are welcome to live here as long as they wish. They will have to pull their own weight and be respectful, but I see no reason to push living independently. I sometimes wish I'd been born in a time when 3-4 generations still lived under one roof.

One of my best friends rents a downstairs apartment in the house her father owns. He lives upstairs; she and her daughter live under him. Yes, he could get more $$$ if he rented to a stranger, so in that way I suppose he is "taking care" of his 48yo daughter. However, she and her daughter also "take care" of him in many ways. My husband's aunt also lives beneath her parents in a multi-family house. It's pretty common around here.
I don't think that anyone's against adult children living at home.

But, at some point, the relationship changes from being between a parent and child to being between 2 adults. Not all adults are compatible as room mates.

I'm compatible with my dad. He and I could live together as adults. My mother? No way! She thinks it's amusing to push my buttons.

When I was 18 (and in 2nd year of university) I realized that we weren't good roommates. So I moved out. There's no shame in that.

The fact is that in the OP's case she made a reasonable request which her son refused to honor. That tells me that at this point in his life, he needs a different living situation. Maybe in a few years he'll be ready to live at home again.
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Old 12-21-2009, 02:00 PM
 
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This is off on a tangent, but I am finding it a little strange that a natural family living community seems (in general) to be against adult children living at home.
I didn't see ANYONE say that. You didn't even address the issue of his smoking in the house, AFTER he said he wouldn't.
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Old 12-21-2009, 04:43 PM
 
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This is off on a tangent, but I am finding it a little strange that a natural family living community seems (in general) to be against adult children living at home.
I just posted about "adultlescence", but I didn't mean that as a blanket attitude towards adults at home, just an observation that sometimes it can be healthy, sometimes not. But I don't think anyone has said or is saying, get the son out b/c he's an adult. I'm saying--and I think others are too--that if she asks him not to smoke, and he says he won't and then does it anyway, repeatedly, he's violating their agreement and she's well within her rights to ask him to leave.
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Old 12-21-2009, 06:28 PM
 
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This is off on a tangent, but I am finding it a little strange that a natural family living community seems (in general) to be against adult children living at home.
Natural Family Living has nothing to do with letting your adult children disrespect your rules. NFL is that you have raised your children to be as respectful of your needs as you are of theirs.
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Old 12-21-2009, 07:08 PM
 
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I would be very clear that he could not stay if he so much as smoked one more cigarette in the house. Being a gentle, kind mother does not mean that you let someone do whatever they want.

He owes you a lot of money for clean-up. I have no idea how much it would cost to clean the furniture, carpets and walls of the smell, but I'm guessing it would be several thousand dollars.
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Old 12-22-2009, 12:12 AM
 
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I just saw this thread and I didn't read all the replies, but OP, I am only 22 years old, I had to move out of my parents' home at 18 and have since stayed with them several times, so please take this as coming from someone young: NO WAY can I imagine disrespecting a parent like that.

Forget to wash the dishes all the time? Sure. Coming in late and waking people? Yeah. Those are annoying behaviors and I guess you could say disrespectful but things that you can LIVE with. Smoke is a BIG totally different deal.

I mean, if he goes to someone else's house and pulls out a cigarette and they ask him to please take it outside, I bet he'll do it, right? Why should he treat you with any less courtesy?

Also, does he pay rent? If he doesn't, and he works 35 hours a week, then, uh........wow. If he does, then you guys should have some kind of written agreement. Not because you are his landlord and suddenly not his mom, but I have always had a written and signed lease between my dad and I whenever I have lived with my parents, and it is great documentation of the start of a rental history which at some point I'm assuming he will want to have. And if you do have something written and signed, then include "smoking outside" in that, and if he breaks that rule, give him a warning, and if he does it again, give him his 30 days' notice.

Seriously. I am 22 like I said, and I openly admit to having disrespected my mom and/or ticked her off with my sub-par housekeeping from time to time, but I can't imagine pulling something like that. Heck, I don't even run the washing machine when she's asleep. Being 20 is no excuse. He's taking advantage!

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Old 12-22-2009, 04:09 AM
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I didn't see ANYONE say that. You didn't even address the issue of his smoking in the house, AFTER he said he wouldn't.
If you go back and read everything, you'll see that I've addressed that issue more than once, thanks. Or you can click the hyperlink where my username is, and you can see all my posts in this thread.

For everyone who jumped on me about not letting an adult child disrespect the rules of the house, I'd just like to say that I was one of the ones who suggested asking him to find a different living situation....on the first page.

A few people have mentioned that it's time for the kid to find his own way, stretch his wings, gain independence, etc. This is the same community that encourages extended breastfeeding and co-sleeping, both of which the mainstream community tends to see as over-the-top. But it's somehow over-the-top for a 20yo to still be living at home??? This particular point I'm making has nothing to do with the smoking situation (which is why I stated in my last post that it was tangential). I'm talking about attitudes regarding family, in general. What's wrong with living together if it works for everyone?
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Old 12-22-2009, 04:10 AM
 
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So, BedHead, how do your other two children feel about living in a house that smells like smoke?
Um, yeah. The thing that I sometimes wonder about CL-style GD is this: It seems to emphasize, a lot of times, consensuality as something that exists between pairs of people in a situation, without taking the larger group into consideration. Why does this come down to Mom v. Son? There are other people who live in the house whose needs and wishes and desires in this need to be taken into account! Why do the desires of one 20 year old with the means, if not the inclination, to go *elsewhere* to smoke trump not only his mother's wishes for a smoke-free home, but those of every other individual who lives there?

savithny, 42 year old moderate mom to DS Primo (age 12) and DD Secunda (age 9).

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Old 12-22-2009, 04:15 AM
 
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This is off on a tangent, but I am finding it a little strange that a natural family living community seems (in general) to be against adult children living at home.

People are communal animals. I think the way we live now, with everyone apart in their own little houses and in their own little rooms, is unnatural.
e.
People may be communal animals, but if you want to pull the "natural" card in this discussion, remember that in most of our closest primate relatives, young males are driven out of the community at adulthood to go find another group, full of unrelated females, to live in. In many "more natural" human societies, there are places for adolescents to move to, specifically to get them out of their parent's home and allow them to spread their wings and find their way a bit.

Human society also has come up with a myriad of different ways to deal with the issue of adult children living with parents -- many of them strict and patriarchal, and few of them allowing for the adult child to do whatever the hell they please and ignore their parents' very reasonable house rules.

savithny, 42 year old moderate mom to DS Primo (age 12) and DD Secunda (age 9).

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Old 12-22-2009, 02:22 PM
 
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This is off on a tangent, but I am finding it a little strange that a natural family living community seems (in general) to be against adult children living at home.

People are communal animals. I think the way we live now, with everyone apart in their own little houses and in their own little rooms, is unnatural.

Personally, my kids are welcome to live here as long as they wish. They will have to pull their own weight and be respectful, but I see no reason to push living independently. I sometimes wish I'd been born in a time when 3-4 generations still lived under one roof.

One of my best friends rents a downstairs apartment in the house her father owns. He lives upstairs; she and her daughter live under him. Yes, he could get more $$$ if he rented to a stranger, so in that way I suppose he is "taking care" of his 48yo daughter. However, she and her daughter also "take care" of him in many ways. My husband's aunt also lives beneath her parents in a multi-family house. It's pretty common around here.
I've been reading but not posting as others have already posted my views but I had to respond to your post about multigenerational living as that is our situation. Joy and family moved in with us 18 months ago. My SIL smokes but not in the house. He smoked before he met Joy and has never smoked around her or in his house before he met her. My mom has never smoked in our house. Our dd, Erica used to smoke before she got pregnant and has never smoked in our house nor around her brother even when she was watching him while I worked. Her dh still smokes and goes outside away from the house he owned before they became a couple. The op's son is, imo, flaunting his adulthood and daring her to "kick" him out. Chances are he was smoking while he was underage but it's only now that it's legal for him to do so that he is doing in her face. As a mom who's adult children have (and in the case of Joy and her family, lives) lived at home, the relationship between parents and adult children needs to change into an adult roommate relationship. And the adult son of the op isn't acting as an adult.

Chris--extended breastfeeding, cloth diapering, babywearing, co-sleeping, APing, CLW, homeschooling before any of this was a trend mom to Joy (1/78), Erica (8/80), Angela (9/84), Dylan (2/98)
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Old 12-22-2009, 03:09 PM
 
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He's 20 and will NOT quit smoking in the house and it it making me want to really really smack him.

I wake up in the middle of the night because I can smell it - he's downstairs smoking. He smokes while I'm at work. I tell him not to and he says OK and then just keeps doing it. I've reasoned with him, gotten mad at him, thrown out his smokes, his lighter, not spoken to him for days, nothing works. He spends a few days smoking in the garage and next thing I know he's back in the house. How do I punish an adult who simply ignores the rules like that??? He works 35 or so hours a week and other than that he's home almost all the time, in the basement, playing WoW. And smoking. My house smells disgusting and I am SICK of it. Right now I just want to puke the smell is so gross.

I can't make him do anything - that simply doesn't work. Hasn't for a few years now. I need to come up with a way to make him want to do it, or for it to be more uncomfortable for him to do not it than do it, if I want him to do anything.
To me, what I've bolded seems dramatic and passive aggressive and you're not treating him like an adult. Smoke in the house and I won't talk to you? Most people of all ages work best in the world when they have rules and consequences for breaking them. A lot of people do the right thing just because, but clearly your son doesn't seem to be one of them. I'm 36 years old and would never break one of my dad's rules in his home. Out of respect. You're giving your son way more respect than he's giving you. If it were my home, my health and the health of my other children I would tell my child that they needed to stop or find somewhere else to live. That's a natural consequence of breaking the house rules, not having your mommy be mad at you.
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Old 12-22-2009, 06:37 PM
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The op's son is, imo, flaunting his adulthood and daring her to "kick" him out. Chances are he was smoking while he was underage but it's only now that it's legal for him to do so that he is doing in her face. As a mom who's adult children have (and in the case of Joy and her family, lives) lived at home, the relationship between parents and adult children needs to change into an adult roommate relationship. And the adult son of the op isn't acting as an adult.
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For everyone who jumped on me about not letting an adult child disrespect the rules of the house, I'd just like to say that I was one of the ones who suggested asking him to find a different living situation....on the first page. <snip>

<snip> This particular point I'm making has nothing to do with the smoking situation (which is why I stated in my last post that it was tangential). I'm talking about attitudes regarding family, in general. What's wrong with living together if it works for everyone?
Okay, I'm done beating the dead horse. It does seem, however, that Savithny is the only one who "gets" what I was talking about.
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Old 12-23-2009, 02:57 PM
 
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2xy, In the case of the op and her son, it's not working for everyone. It's not like the op allowed smoking in the past and has arbitrarily changed the house rules all of a sudden. The rule was there and her son is chosing to ignore it and his mother's reasonable request to follow it. There was an attempt at a compromise--smoke in the garage. He has chosen to ignore that as well. He is the one with the choice to be an adult and follow the existing rule just like he does elsewhere or he can look for another place to live that will allow him to smoke indoors. This isn't a case of "oh, I forgot"; an excuse that I don't accept from my 11 yo son, let alone from a 20 yo adult. In rl, that excuse doesn't fly with the officer stopping a speeder or DUI or confronting a shoplifter or with an employer. Why should the op accept it from her adult son?

And for the record, my adult children have lived at home well into their 20's and we are now a multi generational household, for 18 months and counting, with no plans to change it in the foreseeable future. It works because the adults respect each other. We have rules and all abide by them. If there is any question, it is addressed and some sort of compromise/agreement is reached.

Chris--extended breastfeeding, cloth diapering, babywearing, co-sleeping, APing, CLW, homeschooling before any of this was a trend mom to Joy (1/78), Erica (8/80), Angela (9/84), Dylan (2/98)
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Old 12-23-2009, 06:05 PM
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2xy, In the case of the op and her son, it's not working for everyone.
Yes, I know. For the third time, my tangential question had nothing to do with smoking or the OP's situation. I was talking about adult children living at home in general.
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Old 12-24-2009, 02:15 PM
 
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Yes, I know. For the third time, my tangential question had nothing to do with smoking or the OP's situation. I was talking about adult children living at home in general.
And that is what I was addressing. Smoking is just the sign that the living arrangement isn't working. That the normal and usual give and take of any adults living together isn't working regardless of the relationship. Since it's not working, the son needs to be told to move out as the house "belongs" to the mother. As an example, Erica rented a room in a co-worker's house for a time in her 20s. She didn't smoke in the house; it was against the house rules. She smoked outside on the porch. If she had gone against any of the rules of the house (not just the smoking), she would have been evicted. Her roommate/landlord would have been well within her legal rights to ask Erica to leave. If you remove the personal relationship from equation with the op and her son, that is exactly the situation. Because of the relationship, the op has tried to meet her son more than half way but he isn't willing to reciprocate.

Edited to add. If when Erica was 20 and living at home, she was smoking in the house and/or around her brother, yes, I would have given her the same choices: smoke outside/in the garage or move out. We never had to give her those choices. The rules hadn't changed simply because she became an adult and she respected them.

Chris--extended breastfeeding, cloth diapering, babywearing, co-sleeping, APing, CLW, homeschooling before any of this was a trend mom to Joy (1/78), Erica (8/80), Angela (9/84), Dylan (2/98)
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Old 12-24-2009, 03:33 PM
 
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I'm sorry but I would kick him out! If he has money to burn then he can find his own place to polute. Sounds harsh but why put up with someone who shows you no respect?
this is kind of how I feel. Although I do have a 14 yr old and I know that he will probably do things I don't agree with in life. I do know that after seeing his grandmother die from lung cancer due to years and years of smoking that he thinks it's a very nasty habit.

Perhaps you can get a video showing what black lungs look like or people with breathing difficulties like emphysema and lung cancer and what it can do to some people. I know that's harsh but it's really a very nasty and dangerous habit. He's so young that he can stop now and possibly add more years to his life.

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Old 12-24-2009, 03:37 PM
 
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A few people have mentioned that it's time for the kid to find his own way, stretch his wings, gain independence, etc. This is the same community that encourages extended breastfeeding and co-sleeping, both of which the mainstream community tends to see as over-the-top. But it's somehow over-the-top for a 20yo to still be living at home??? This particular point I'm making has nothing to do with the smoking situation (which is why I stated in my last post that it was tangential). I'm talking about attitudes regarding family, in general. What's wrong with living together if it works for everyone?
I agree somewhat. I have no problem with my children living at home until they are 30 or until they decide to get married if that's what they want to do. "But" they would have to respect my rules since it's my home. They would also be required to pay towards utilities and our mortgage once they are adult age and working, especially if they choose to waste $$ on cigs or anything else that is a waste of money (IMO anyway).

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Old 12-24-2009, 04:49 PM
 
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Perhaps you can get a video showing what black lungs look like or people with breathing difficulties like emphysema and lung cancer and what it can do to some people.
i have been reading this thread, but havent commented until now.
this will not work. i smoked for a long, long time. i saw all sorts of horrible pictures, videos, etc. it didn't change anything, not one bit.

I have to agree with all the PP's who have suggested that if this is as big a deal to you as your OP made it sound, he can either choose to stop smoking in the house, or you can help him find a place where he can smoke indoors. This is the only thing that will get him to stop smoking inside.

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Old 12-24-2009, 08:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MadiMamacita View Post
i have been reading this thread, but havent commented until now.
this will not work. i smoked for a long, long time. i saw all sorts of horrible pictures, videos, etc. it didn't change anything, not one bit.
My FIL was a heavy smoker after he got out of the Army. He went through med school, and seeing the lungs of smokers is what made him quit.
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