PLEASURE WARNING: Cigarette smoke contains pleasureable substances.
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.