Smoking mums!

1 06 2010

Having told the world how much I hate smoking mothers to be, it has been my misfortune recently to be confronted by two of them, yes two. I will only recall one of those events because it makes me so angry to think about both of them…

I was parking the car and this truck rolled up next to me. Out popped a rather heavily pregnant mum to be (probably 25 weeks or so gone) with a cigarette hanging out of her mouth. As she walked towards the drink store, she stubbed out the fag on the pavement and her partner, who was also smoking, had got out of the car and was lurching back through the rear window to talk to three kids (none of whom were wearing seat belts). As he bent down, I noticed he was smoking too. The smoke was circulating around the car, in front of the kids and out the other side.

Soon, mum returned with a large case of beer which she threw into the back of the car. She stopped, grabbed her cigarettes from her pocket, lit up, then slid into the front seat. Her partner was still smoking as they drove away, the smoke wafted in my direction. Neither adult had bothered to fasten their seat belt.

I couldn’t help myself from staring as this drama played itself out in front of me. I could not believe that all my angriest clichés were visualised before me. I was incensed, enraged, almost uncontrollably so at this wilful neglect and harm being done to the little ones, born and unborn.

I wonder what it will take to stop this behaviour? I know the answer really, it’s not advertising to stop people from smoking or abusing unborn or young children, it’s to increase the price of everything that we know causes harm and damages lives, if the civil libertarians won’t allow us to ban it. Education also has a major role, but that starts with kids at school, goes into secondary education and parenting skills which I think should become compulsory.

As far as I can see, anti-smoking, anti-domestic violence, anti-drinking and anti-speeding campaigns on television are making the government feel good and lining the pockets of ever grateful advertising agencies, with no evidence that these campaigns themselves are having an impact. The causes and their associated behaviours of the things they are trying to control are far more deeply entrenched than TV can affect.  That money would be better spent being re-deployed into the classroom and voluntary groups.

The more I think about David Cameron’s ‘Big Society’ the more I think he’s right. It’s up to us, each and every one of us to stand up and take responsibility and change the way we live our lives.



3 responses

2 06 2010

My Mummy is also traumatised and horrified when she see’s smoking mothers to be. Why? Because she found out the hard way what can happen and because of me.
My name is Adam and I would be 29 years 138 days old but I am an eternal baby, one of my Mummy’s angels in heaven. Mummy was silly, naive and invisible when she was pregnant with me. Smoking killed me and it very nearly killed Mummy. Smoking whilst pregnant was not as high profile then as it is now, Mummy tried hard and did cut down but never stopped completely, she was sure her beloved baby would be OK and not affected, the bad things happened to other babies.
She got it so wrong. When I was born, we both nearly died but Mummy was lucky and they saved her. Since then Mummy has thought about me every day, she loves me but can’t change what happened. I don’t blame Mummy, life and death is unpredictable and Mummy and Daddy had other babies, not to replace me, I will always be their first-born and have a special place in their hearts, but to have a family. Mummy and Daddy had five other babies, three of them are here with me in Heaven, and not because Mummy smoked as she never ever smoked again.
Why am I sharing this with you all? I love my Mummy and I know she loves me dearly, would she have listened if there were a David out there we will never know. All I know is Mummy has always blamed here self for the way that I died, it took along to be happy and learn to live with what she had done but she will never ever forgive herself for my death.
Born 15/01/81

2 06 2010

Your words have touched me and will touch many who read your comments. What you highlight are the very real risks, not realised fully back in the 1980s, about smoking and passive smoking. Hopefully, your words will stand to educate those left in any doubt as to the risks and dangers involved with smoking. Your sadness must be immense, your pain unbearable and your guilt unassuaged, but know that you are a good person, and no doubt a wonderful mother. Thank you for contributing. David.

3 06 2010

Oh, God, I can’t stand smoking and cannot comprehend how mothers can smoke around their children.
There has been enough coverage about this issue!
My father used to smoke continually,even though he had asthma.
I used to nearly suffocate when confined in a room with him as a child.
I can tell I ‘ve never touched a cigarette in my life.I still have very bad asthma and will not tolerate anyone smoking around my children.
I wrote several posts on motherhood,I was incensed when a French philosopher wrote a book recently about motherhood.Her comments made my blood boil but furthermore when she was interviewed in the Times,she declared quite proudly she chainsmoked when pregnant with her children and what was wrong with that?!

Anyway,great posts,I knew your blog would be a fantastic and enlightning read.
Sorry,I’ve not been online much,trying to rest.

Re previous comment,what a sad story but in those days people were still finding out about the disastrous effects of smoking .

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