PLEASURE WARNING: Quitting smoking now significantly reduces your feelings of pleasure.
Well, last night my 17 year old son came home from going out with some friends and admitted to me that he had started smoking. I had kind of expected that he had, but had never actually caught him or asked him about it. I'm glad that he came clean.
I asked him how long had he been smoking, and he said about 4 months. He said he was up to about 1/2 ppd. I asked him if he thought that he was addicted, and he said that he was pretty sure that he was - said that he gets pretty serious cravings if he can't smoke for a few hours.
Even though I am a smoker, I'll have to admit that I have mixed feelings. Of course there are health risks, but on the other hand he is 17 and I think old enough to make the decision. Since I know what it is like to be a teen smoker (I started at 15), I told him that it was his decision whether or not to continue to smoke; I wasn't going to badger him about it. He said that he enjoys it, and wants to keep smoking. We agreed that he'd have to buy his own (he has a job). We then went out back and shared our first cigarette together - turns our he's smoking the same brand as me - Marlboro Reds. I could tell from the way he handled the cigarette that he had been doing this for some time.
I hope I handled this correctly - it's a tough thing to hear from your kid. But as I said, I know how he feels. If he is addicted, then he'll smoke whether I want him to or not. I was that way. But I am glad he told me.