My parents got divorced when I was 15. My mom, sister, and I moved to the east coast from California, and I started smoking a couple of months after that.
My mom didn’t know I smoked for about 4 years.
My dad didn’t find out I smoked for almost 6 years. And when he did he wasn’t at all happy about it.
My parents are not the best of friends, but they’re not enemies either, they treat each other with respect and don’t usually talk crap about each other to my sister and I.
But after my dad found out I smoked he said it didn’t surprise him, but that he had always hoped it would never happen. He blamed my mother for smoking in front of us all these years (not right next to us, but I remember we could see her smoking in the yard or out in public), and he said I had probably been inflicted by the addiction even before I was born …
Because, he said, my mother smoked while she was pregnant with me.
Wow. Ok. I wasn’t sure how to feel about that at first.
My dad must’ve noticed my expression because he then softened up and said my mom hadn’t smoked that much while pregnant, but enough to worry him.
He said my mom just couldn’t quit, and then he lecture me a bit about smoking.
Of course … I knew that was coming.
I’m not at all in favor of introducing smoking to kids or babies. My gut instinct is to not smoke while pregnant (though I don’t know that I could completely quit either, I guess I’ll worry about that later), but my dad is a doctor so I asked him if I had been born with any problems, underweight or whatever, since that’s the kind of stuff I heard happened when pregnant women smoked.
He said that I was born just fine, but still, he believes I became a smoker because my mom smoked while pregnant and that might’ve caused neurological changes which probably made me predisposed to smoking. He also said (and I had heard this complaint before) that she used to smoke around us too much back then since we were very little and impressionable.
So was I just lucky to be born just fine while my mother smoked pregnant?
Or is there some kind of exaggeration being spread out there about the possible effects of smoking while pregnant?
I read that this professor and researcher in 1999 was asked to analyze the data of pregnant women with respect to smoking for a major health insurance company. They were running a campaign to get pregnant women to stop smoking and they expected to find interesting data to support their case.
He found that there was no risk from reduced term for smoking mothers and there was no indication of a health risk from smoking based on weight.
He said smoking women tend to light up when under stress. This is less harmful to the baby than over-eating. For this reason smoking mothers tended to have better outcomes for baby and mother.
He also said the company never released this research.
I don’t know and I’m not about to argue about this since I’m no expert, I just feel smoking may not be as bad as people say. I want to write a post on this blog about this article I read saying exactly that, but I’ll do that later.
For now I’ll just say that my mother smoking while pregnant, even though it looks like she didn’t smoke that much, didn’t affect me negatively at all from what I can tell.
And if the only “bad” effect from my mother smoking was that I eventually started smoking myself …
Well then I guess I have to thank her for that because I LOVE smoking and it makes me feels good, and in life I think people have the right to feel good as long as they’re not harming other people or animals.
What do you think?