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Old 01-23-2006, 03:11 AM   #1
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Unhappy Need serious advice on a loved one and his smoking

Until our lives get in order, my husband, 2 year old son and I are living with my husband's parents. They need some help with bills and housework, since my FIL received a head injury last March (no brain damage but severe chronic pain) and has been unable to work, so the whole situation is a positive from both families' standpoints. It was a workers comp injury so my FIL is only now beginning to even get pain relief because of the stupid system.

Anyways, he's a smoker. He smokes this horrible smelling tobacco in a pipe, but not how most pipe smokers I know do it. He smokes tiny amounts, not a whole pipeful, almost like a cigarette's worth. He smokes anywhere from 1-5 times an hour.

Since my son is in the house, he smokes out in the garage. But being a sensitive smeller and allergic to the smoke, I can smell the reek follow him in and I literally have to cover my nose (discreetly so I don't hurt his feelings) if he walks by, and leave the room if he stays (I get nausea and headaches from the smell alone). I can smell the smoke smell when anyone goes out to the garage and the air comes into the room. And unless the garage door is opened regularly, I can't stand to stay in it without holding my breath. I can also taste it on food that isn't sealed properly (an extra refrigerator and most of the pantry is out there).

I have come to grips with my problem with his smoke. But lately my concerns have been growing. He has been plagued with increased allergies, which he blames on everything from dust mites to environmental hazards. He's been having sinus problems and horrible coughing fits. Tonight he was coughing so hard in the living room that it woke my son up (I plan on purchasing 2 white noise generators when we have the money for our rooms). Every time he coughs I worry about him more and more.

I realize that it isn't my place to butt in, but I am truly concerned for the entire family. I know that the exposure to the smoke has been making me sick. I also know from a couple of studies that our son and the whole family are suffering negative consequences since smoke particles (and therefore toxic chemicals) can drift in with the smoker, meaning there is only a minor benefit from smoking outside.

About the only thing stopping me is my concern not to be rude, but also that he's got severe chronic pain to worry about and that the side effects from stopping smoking would probably be incredibly difficult at this point. I've noticed a direct correlation between how bad he's hurting on a particular day and the frequency of his smoking.

I just have a hard time understanding how a man that takes a dozen different types of supplements for his health, is a reiki master, and is well versed in alternative medicine can be so blind to what his smoking may be doing to him.

If I were an unfeeling person, I could easily play the "you're hurting your grandson" card, because he is, but I won't. I sincerely wish I could because it might be the only thing that would get him to stop. All I would have to do is print out the 2 studies I have (and maybe find more) because he probably thinks smoking out there is okay. I'm the only one in the house that can smell the smoke trail he leaves, even when he gets to the back of the house.

*sigh* I don't know what to do. Maybe I just needed to vent here, but I'm at a total loss. I don't feel that I can say anything and especially until after he starts getting more treatment for his pain. And in the meantime, he's coughing his lungs out, I'm covering my nose with my shirt almost every time he's in the room (or hiding in our room), and my son may be exposed to toxic chemicals that could be avoided.

Any comments, opinions? Am I being a horribly insensitive person who worries too much? Should I say something to anyone? I have discussed this with my husband, who agrees with me, but he doesn't want to rock the family boat (and besides the FIL has smoked all my husband's life).

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Old 01-23-2006, 08:16 AM   #2
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It is your place to butt in, buy the man some nicotine patches, tell him you love him, you love your son and you want to grow old TOGETHER. it is not just about his health it is about the family's health
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Old 01-23-2006, 07:58 PM   #3
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I don't know how your relatives will react. It depends on his personality. If he
has a this is my body I do what I want personality be careful. I come from a
family of free birds so if you point out their flaws they will come back at you
with your flaws. So in my family we just agree to disagree. Everyone over 18
gets to live as they see fit. I wish you well with your decision
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Old 01-23-2006, 10:33 PM   #4
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You say that your FIL is in martial arts, takes health supplements and is aware of alternative medicine...humm...pretty sure you don't need to TELL him that smoking is bad for him/you/grandson. Pretty sure he ALREADY KNOWS!

I smoked for many years and it wasn't until after I quit that I could SMELL the stink! He may not be aware of THAT. He probably thinks he leaves the smell outside.

It is HIS house!

I think that a good place to start would be by example...if their is anything you need to work on so that you will be around for your little guy for years to come...maybe a little bet with grampa....he gives up a little pipe...you give up a little desert. Not sure how well you both get along with each other but a little wager (in good fun) may go far.

Good luck for both of you.
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Old 01-24-2006, 12:48 AM   #5
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Boy, this is a toughie! For years growing up around my father's side of the family, who are all die-hard smokers, there would be times when all you had to do was open the front door and smoke would literally just pour on out of it. I'm not kidding! At least this man is being considerate to a point by going out to the garage to smoke. However, I would present your complaints about the food, etc to him and request that he either goes into the bathroom with the vent going on, or else go outside to smoke. Really, he should know better than most to be smoking, especially with all of his health concerns. You are the mother, therefore you have the right to speak up and demand some changes in that area.
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Old 01-24-2006, 10:56 AM   #6
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If it were me, living there would not be an option. You could help with the housework/bills by going over a couple times a week and cleaning for free. That way no one is exposed to the smoke/chemicals etc. for long.
If he has chronic injuries there is usally assistance provided to some degree, at least in Canada there is.
I agree that he most likely is aware of the downside of his habit.......as we all are.
Good luck.
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Old 01-24-2006, 09:39 PM   #7
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Thank you for all the opinions and suggestions!

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