Slater’s Five-Year-Old Son Is Asking Him About Cigarettes; What Would You Say?
My father, while smoking a cigarette, once said to me as a young teenager, "If I ever see you smoking a cigarette, I'll break your hand". Now, even though I knew he wasn't serious, the message was clear; cigarettes are BAD for you.
Although both my parent smoked at the time, I never understood the benefit or the reason for it, I just knew I was INTERESTED in it. I, like many other kids in the '90s, found smoking to be cool.
After months of stealing my mother's cigarettes and going into the woods with friends to smoke them, I eventually became a semi-regular smoker. However, just after turning 37 with my father battling cancer and my then-wife being newly diagnosed with cancer herself, I quit cold turkey. I haven't had a drag since.
This has now come full circle for me as my son is asking me about cigarettes. This is because of two things. One, his grandmother is a heavy cigarette smoker, and two, his current favorite band (The Strokes), smoke in some of their music videos.
He was pretending he was "at the bar", like in the video, and he was fake smoking paper and said it was "his cigarette". Now, my first reaction was to disdainfully denigrate him.
"Liam, stop that, no one smokes anymore, just old people. Smoking can kill you.", I said.
Luckily, he really didn't carry on too much about it; however, it will definitely come up again. Now, thankfully I don't smoke anymore, so I don't have to be the "do as I say, not as I do" parent, but I'm struggling with this.
If smoking is SO BAD for you, how does one explain why people still smoke?
On a related note, the Biden administration is considering lowering the nicotine level in cigarettes to the point where it is no longer is addictive, according to thedailybeast.com.