Smoking: What To Do if Your Child's Friends Smoke

Imagine that you are standing outside of a movie theater. It's dark, and the slight glow of a cigarette catches your eye. You glance up and see the face of your 14-year-old daughter's best friend behind that lit cigarette. Now, what would you do?

Parent Soup, one of the largest parenting sites on the Web and America Online, posed this scenario to parents recently. Of the 307 votes, 33.55 percent said they would report the incident to the girl's parents. Running a close second at 32.57 percent was the response, "I don't know what I would do." Another 21.82 percent said they would talk to the girl about the dangers of smoking and threaten to tell her parents if she didn't quit. Only 12.05 percent responded, "I would discourage my daughter from seeing her."

ann_marie_is_me said, "I'd probably have my daughter invite her friend over for dinner some night, and then have a long talk with both of them afterwards. I'd explain to her friend the hazards of smoking and also maybe have a pamphlet ready to give her. I'd tell her that she is young and has a whole life ahead of her that she wouldn't want to ruin due to cigarette smoking. Hopefully I would have taught my daughter well enough for her to back me up and give her friend support."

liz321 put herself in the other parents' shoes. "I tried to think about what I would want someone to do if it was my 14-year-old (caught smoking). I would want to be told."

dao663 said, "I don't know that I would threaten to tell her parents or if I would even tell her parents. That one I'm not sure of ... kill the messenger and all that. What if the girl doesn't care if her parents know? What if her parents don't care?"

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