I tricked my daughter into smoking
I have a confession to make. I tricked my daughter into smoking. A little background. When I came home from the last day of classes in the sixth grade my mother gave me a cigarette and told me it was time I started smoking. I had just turned 13 and all the adults in my family smoked. Several of my older cousins smoked as well. It was expected that you would start smoking before you entered junior high school. Before I was through with the first cigarette I knew I was going to like it. By the time the summer was over I was smoking over a pack a day. Back then you could smoke in school in designated areas so it was not a problem. I started dating the boy next door who also smoked and we were married right out of high school. We both went to college and I had our first child, a daughter Rachel, when I was a junior. I had our second daughter right after we graduated. My husband went into the Air Force and was killed in Vietnam. I raised the girls without help, got an advanced degree and a good job.
Now years later I have a 14 (almost 15) year old daughter, Rachel, and a 13 year old daughter, Jennifer. Rachel is anti-smoking and is constantly ragging on me about it. We have had a couple of arguments about it. I have tried to quit to no avail because I do not want to quit. Every time I light up Rachel is on my case. In a way I did not want her to smoke but if I was honest with myself I wanted her to smoke so she could enjoy like I did and I wanted her to grow up. Smoking was a right of passage for me and I thought it could be for her. So I get an idea. Jennifer wanted to go to a 2 week camp. I arrange for Rachel and I go visit my mother while Jennifer is at camp. It is a 1+ day drive. We drop Jennifer off and start on our way. After an hour or so I ask Rachel to get my cigarettes out of my purse and get one for me. She gripes but does it. I use the opportunity to explain to her that I know it is not necessarily healthy but it is something I enjoy very much and something I need. I ask her to light it for me because it would be safer. She balks and we talk some more. Finally she agrees and after a couple of tries gets it lit and does a terrible face and says it taste terrible. I told her I understand but thanked her. An hour or so later I ask her to light another for me. After a little more grumbling she does. This goes on for the rest of the day. She becomes less grumpy as the day wears on. We stop for the night and have dinner and after getting in the car to go back to the motel she asks if I want another cigarette because she knows I always smoke after dinner. By now she takes a couple of puffs before handing it to me. That night as we are getting ready for bed she asks if I want her to light my last cigarette before we go to bed. I told her no that I would. Her face showed a little disappointment. I gave her the pack and told her she could have one for herself. She smoked her first cigarette. I taught how to lightly inhale and when she was finished we went to bed. I knew then that my daughter was a smoker.
The next morning we had one together with coffee in the room. We filled up with gas before we left and I bought her a pack of cigarettes and gave them to her. She continued to light my cigarettes as I drove and would light one for herself. By the time we got to my mothers she was inhaling deeply and said she really liked it. When we got to my mother’s she proudly told her that she had started smoking like her grandmother and mother.
By the time we picked Jennifer up she was smoking 6 to 7 a day. It was no longer allowed that kids could smoke it school so we set a rule that I would buy her a new pack every 3 days and she would smoke 6 to 7 a day. Two before school, one after school, one when I got home, one or two after dinner and before bed and one just before bed. She was to do this even if there was no school. We hoped this would keep the cravings down during school and for the most part it did. Later, I am sure she smoked more with friends and on dates. When we picked Jennifer up Rachel had to show her how she could smoke. Jennifer was never anti-smoking and said it was no fair and she wanted to smoke. I told Rachel to show Jennifer how to smoke and within a week I had 2 more smokers in the house.
Fast forward 20+ years and Rachel comes to me with a complaint about how her daughter is ragging her about smoking and tells me she is going to trick her into smoking just like I tricked her. I never told Rachel I had tricked her so I guess she was smart enough to figure it out. Soon my granddaughter was a smoker along with her sister and brother. Jennifer’s 3 kids also started before they got into high school. And just last month my great granddaughter became a smoker at 13.
I am glad I allowed my daughters to smoke and enjoy it as I do.