Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Fag Off!

There's been high drama here today.

Yesterday my eldest asked me if I had ever smoked. I told him that I had tried it at university. I didn't tell him about the odd spliff I'd shared before then with some of the delightfully dodgy but ultimately overly odd for comfort friends I'd had in my mid-teens. Or the laced 'brownies' cooked for me by university friends who lived out in the sticks which I munched whilst watching The Blues Brothers movie - surreal stuff when high!

I am not a natural smoker, and when I did try smoking ordinary fags I just had a very strong image of nasty dirty smoke going into my lovely pristine lungs and fouling them up. It was easily enough to dissuade me from persisting with my trial. That and the cost...

I asked him if he'd been approached to smoke and he told me that he hadn't. It turns out that indeed he hadn't but his girl friend had. She has a girl in her class who is redoing the year, so probably seems to be older and more sophisticated. This girl, F, smokes at weekends and when she can - don't know if her parents know, or where she gets the money from, mind.

She offered a cigarette to my eldest's friend J, who accepted. My eldest was horrified and told her he wouldn't be her boy friend if she smoked. It seems that she promised she wouldn't smoke again.

I come home today to find my eldest in a state because he had been with the girls on their way out down the road, but had turned round and come back again when F offered another fag to J who accepted, despite her promise. Hence high drama.

Over lunch we had his mobile phone ringing, him answering, getting irate and hanging up on J or her sister. In the end I told him to let them talk and stop hanging up as it was not calming him down but just working him up more. He ended the conversation by telling his friend J that she had one last chance to keep her promise or he wouldn't be her boy friend any more.

This turning school-kid smokers into social and personal pariahs seems to me to be a good tactic, and I congratulated my eldest on his action. These kids depend on peer approval so if it's withdrawn because they are indulging in socially unacceptable behaviour, it might well encourage them to stop. Unless they are in one of those really annoying phases where they want to do everything to rebel against as many people as possible, even formerly close friends.

I think I'll just keep quiet about the time I shared a Cuban cigar with Russian and Cuban friends in Texas having got plastered on vodka and rum... ahem...


  1. Oh yeah, I'm at the same stage with my 13 year old. I'm deciding how much I want to share with my girls. I've owned up about the smoking but I think I'll be keeping my trap shut about the "other stuff". I can't believe how many teenage girls are cutting themselves though. It freaks my daughter out when she sees scars on her friends' arms. What's with that?

  2. Could you tell "L" that he is quite right to try and stop "J" starting to smoke.

    I started very young whilst swatting for my entrance exams to medical school when a "good pal" said - oh if you smoke and drink black coffee you can stay awake for hours and hours.....15 days later I was hooked, and really hooked on to cigarettes.

    Of course my Father smoked cigars all day and my Mother smoked sigarettes so I suppose I had been a "passive" for some time. But it's a curse. I have stopped....twice.....and then gon back on the grind.

    It's a drug, it smells bad, makes a mess of most people's skins not counting lungs. I managed to wiggle thru skin and lung problems because I was a very outdoor sporty type. But I'm still more or less hooked 50 years later....less.....but still hooked and pouring lovely money into those Kentucky lobby men's pockets!

    It's a dangerous dependance like alcool, or other drugs. Just legalised, that's all.

  3. Cutting? OMG

    I haven't seen any of that around here.... yet...

    Do they all do it to be like their friends, or do they all have issues? Sounds crazy to me.

    You're right, ng, best not to start in the first place!

  4. The smoking ban which had proved so effective in Ireland, and then in Scotland and Wales, duly descended in England over the summer.

    All that talk of pubs and restaurants going out of business - well, it simply hasn't happened.

    It really is such a pleasure to go out to the pub and not come back with all your clothes reeking of cigarette smoke. That dry tickle in the throat the next morning has gone as well, (although an extra morning glass of water or too can still be beneficial, on occasion ...).


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