Do you or someone you know smoke cigarettes and are considering adopting or fostering a child? A question to be asked could be, can I adopt a child if I smoke?
Smoking will likely disqualify you from adopting a child. Not only does smoking have a negative impact on one’s health and longevity, smoking also sets a bad example for a child whom you surely would not want picking up the smoking habit.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cigarette smoking remains the leading cause of preventable disease, disability, and death in the United States, accounting for more than 480,000 deaths every year, or about 1 in 5 deaths. Yet despite this reality, people are still smoking cigarettes.
We will discuss the following topics in this article:
- You May be Asked to Quit
- Are You Being Fair to Your Child?
- You Have a High Chance of a Preventable Disease
- Disadvantages of Smoking Cigarettes
- Quit Smoking – Resources to Help
Even though smoking is on a steady decline and losing its popularity, there are those who have picked up the habit and either want to quit but do not know where to find the strength to do so, or they simply enjoy the habit and have no desire to stop smoking cigarettes.
The 5 things to consider if you are a smoker who wants to adopt a child:
1. You may be asked to quit
Be honest, do we really think a parent should be smoking cigarettes while calling themselves good parents? That may be a very controversial can of worms to open, and it is a fair question to contemplate.
Now true, a parent can still be an amazing and wonderful nurturer in all other ways and truly can still raise a happy, healthy child while also being a smoker of cigarettes.
Knowing the very real health risks of smoking cigarettes, it is very hard to believe that a parent wants to be a smoker and also raise children.
The struggle is not realizing that smoking kills. We get it. We also know that the preaching about the preventable and deadly health issues is more than just rhetoric.
The real problem here is that quitting smoking cigarettes is hard. That craving is all too consuming for so many people, that they cannot find the strength to stop.
2. Are you being fair to your child?
You know the ol’ saying, monkey see monkey do. Children typically look up to their parents and want to be like them, especially small children.
The average age of a first-time cigarette smoker is 15 years of age. And how do you think they got their hands on cigarettes? More than likely, they had access to cigarettes through someone’s parents.
All it takes is the first couple of cigarettes and the hope to look cool in front of one’s friends to become addicted to cigarettes. And once the child has matured into making their own decisions rather than caring about appearing cool, it is too late.
They have become addicted, and many die due to health problems that could have been prevented.
NCBI – BMC Public Health – Youth’s narratives about family members smoking: parenting the parent- it’s not fair!
3. You have a high chance of a preventable disease
The following are a few of the preventable diseases you are putting yourself at risk of getting.
Smoking increases your risk of the following types of cancers, Courtesy of the American Cancer Society:
- Larynx (voice box)
- Pharynx (throat)
Nearly 9 out of 10 adult daily smokers smoked their first cigarette by the age of 18.
Courtesy of U.S. Food & Drug Administration
Additional risks of smoking cigarettes are as follows, courtesy of the CDC:
- Smokers are 2-4 times more likely to have coronary heart disease
- Smokers are 2-4 times more likely to have a stroke
- Men who smoke are 25 times more likely to get lung cancer
- Women who smoke are 25.7 times more likely to get lung cancer
Logically, we know that smoking is very bad for our health. Yet sadly, many people are addicted to smoking and find it very difficult to stop.
4. Disadvantages of smoking cigarette
Below are some common disadvantages of smoking:
- The cost of smoking cigarettes is enormously expensive.
- It is no secret the smokers give of an off-putting smell. Their clothing smells like smoke. And if they happen to smoke inside of their home, their walls have slowly turned yellow due to the nicotine, as well as their curtains, and the entire house reeks of cigarette smoke.
- Kissing is a thing. If intimacy matters to you, then you know that when you kiss someone who smokes, you get a huge whiff and taste of nicotine.
- You develop the facial wrinkles of a smoker, particularly but not limited to those all-too-famous wrinkles around the mouth.
- Age spots are more common in cigarette smokers and many times show up on the face.
- Most smokers will eventually show signs of damaged gums and yellow teeth.
- Stained nails and fingers are a sure sign of a chronic smoker.
- Studies in Taiwan show that male-pattern baldness is exacerbated in males who smoke, causing a faster rate of hair loss.
- We could go on and on about the sagging skin and poor skin quality, most noticeable in women, but you are probably getting the point here. Smoking is not worth it. Not for you or for the future of your child.
5. Quite smoking – Resources to help
Quitting smoking is said to be very difficult. Below are some credible resources that will hopefully help you on your journey to preparing yourself to be the best parent you can be for your adopted child!
- How to Quote Smoking, courtesy of the CDC
- How to Quit Using Tabaco, courtesy of the American Cancer Society
- I Want to Quit Smoking, courtesy of the American Lung Association
It is not the smoker’s fault as much as it is the cigarette companies who make the cigarettes. Cigarettes are made to be addictive on purpose. Even though the manufacturers of cigarettes are fully aware of the health damages they cause, they only care about the profits they make.
To learn more about tobacco companies intentionally conspiring to get you addicted, read more at npr OBP.