My brother is starting to smoke

TSE

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Jun 25, 2007
2,988
575
St. Paul, Minnesota
Yeah so I am 16 and my brother is 18. We have become considerably closer as brothers the past year or so. He has recently been starting to smoke cigarettes regularly and I worry for him.

Should I tell him to stop or tell him how I am feeling or what?

On one hand I really don't want to smoke because it kills and I want the best for him but at the same time I don't want to be his mom and I realize he has the right to do whatever.
 

TSE

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Jun 25, 2007
2,988
575
St. Paul, Minnesota
It actually makes sense. He literally never shows signs of stress. Ever.

He is doing fairly poorly in school as a senior and overall doesn't enjoy his life too much but he never shows it.

I never thought of it that way.
 

Ttownbeast

macrumors 65816
May 10, 2009
1,135
0
yea that addiction thing is overrated...:rolleyes:

and most people dont smoke to look cool, but rather to deal with stress
Indeed and tobacco is the biggest industry geared toward ex hard drug and alcohol users as well. Ever walk by an AA or NA meeting hall it's about the only thing sometimes keepin a lot of those poor bastards from relapsing.
 

Huntn

macrumors demi-god
May 5, 2008
17,066
16,582
The Misty Mountains
Comment in general- Have you guys seen the number of young people who smoke? Some can quit, but a good number of them become addicted. The cigarette maker's motto: "Hook'm while they are young". Don't diminish the problem. Same for alcohol and drugs. My son started smoking when he was 17 and he has not been able to stop although he wants to. If he has stopped, every time he gets in a stressful situation he starts right back up.

Now dealing with a person using a "substance", tell them your concerns, but as others have said, it will be their decision. They may respect you enough to quit, but the odds are against it. The bottom line, for most people you can't talk them out of substance abuse. They will only quit when they want to. As an addict, they will only quit when they are jarred out of the habit.

BTW, I am not anti-alcohol, I have a beer now and then, but smoking is a huge health addiction risk.
 

yg17

macrumors G5
Aug 1, 2004
14,888
2,480
St. Louis, MO
It might just be a fad, I'd wait and see before getting involved. I know my sister started smoking when she was around 16 (I remember catching her and snitching on her to my parents :D) but by her early 20s, she completely quit.
 

Knowlege Bomb

macrumors 604
Feb 14, 2008
6,528
2,264
Madison, WI
I started smoking when I was 15 and continued all the way through my four years of active duty. I tried the patch while overseas to no avail.

When I got out I met my girlfriend who always gave me attitude about my smell which eventually led me to quit. I still smoke when I drink but I never have the urge otherwise.

Hopefully he doesn't get into that cycle of addiction but if he does and decides he wants to quit, he just needs to find the right motivation.
 

dankybear

macrumors regular
Jul 6, 2009
174
0
if i ever saw my brother smoke a cigarette i would punch him so hard he would have no choice but to breath through a tube. you do it to let them know you love them,
 

mscriv

macrumors 601
Aug 14, 2008
4,911
586
Dallas, Texas
Pull a Ramona Quimby on him and take all of his cigarettes out of the pack. Then replace them with rolled up notes that tell him how much you want him to stop. For a bonus some of the notes could be smoking statistics related to cost and health. :D Sometimes 2nd grade ideas of how to deal with problems are the best.

 

eawmp1

macrumors 601
Feb 19, 2008
4,130
5
FL
It actually makes sense. He literally never shows signs of stress. Ever.

He is doing fairly poorly in school as a senior and overall doesn't enjoy his life too much but he never shows it.

I never thought of it that way.
Many people start/continue b/c thet are "self-medicating" an underlying depression/anxiety issue.

Don't beat him up with the health issues. In their minds teens NEVER give weight to health consequences.

Money talks - tell him 1/pk day is ~$1,500/year.

http://www.tobaccofreekids.org/index.php
 

benlee

macrumors 65816
Mar 4, 2007
1,236
1
I used to smoke. Starting when I was 16 and continued throughout college and for a couple years after college. I moved in with my girlfriend and she didn't like it. I was lucky that when I moved I didn't really have any friends so I wasn't around anyone that smoked which made it easier to quit. It has been over 2 years since I have had one. I'm not one of those people that can have one here and there. I still crave one every once in a while, just so I can look cool again;)

Anyways, my younger brother smokes (now 18) I don't him my story and that I wish I never started, but there is not much else I think I can do. No one could have made me quit. It was not until I made the decision that I could quit. He obviously knows the health risks, but when you are that age you don't see the effects or consider the long term.

Like others have said, voice your concerns and let him know you are there if he needs help with stress or if he wants to quit and needs your help.
 

usingpond

macrumors member
Feb 19, 2008
59
0
Speaking as a smoker, I can tell you that people trying to speak condescendingly to you about your habit really just makes you like it more out of spite. This is only heightened when done by a family member.

That being said, you should let him know how you feel about it -- as with anything your brother does that you're uncomfortable with.

But, eawmp1 has a good point; cigarettes are expensive ($10 a pack here in New York City)! I don't even want to quit, but if I did that would definitely be the reason, and I can't imagine an 18 year-old has that much disposable income. For me, it's even worse: $10/day x 30 days x 12 months = $3,600!

But everything's more expensive here.
 

63dot

macrumors 603
Jun 12, 2006
5,271
339
norcal
Indeed and tobacco is the biggest industry geared toward ex hard drug and alcohol users as well. Ever walk by an AA or NA meeting hall it's about the only thing sometimes keepin a lot of those poor bastards from relapsing.
Very true from what I have seen. Smokes still kill more people and far outstrips, in the USA, the second biggest cause of death or serious hospital/ER visits from a substance which would be prescription drug use and abuse. While Casey Johnson, MJ, Anna Nicole Smith, Heath, Brittany, Ozzy, and Rush are huge headlines when it comes to legal drugs and medical issues, what is weird is that the many hundreds of thousands who die from smoking (including a celebrity list far too big to post here) is comparatively ignored by the press.

Smoking is terrible not in only in the chance that it can kill you, but also how hard it is to stop once you start.
 

barkomatic

macrumors 601
Aug 8, 2008
4,027
1,798
Manhattan
Speaking as a smoker, I can tell you that people trying to speak condescendingly to you about your habit really just makes you like it more out of spite. This is only heightened when done by a family member.
If telling him that makes him smoke more out of spite, then I would interpret that as a suicidal, attention--loving mindset. "You think smoking is bad for me? Well, ha -- I'll smoke even more and make you worry even more about me!!"

I think the reason people eventually sound condescending about smoking is a response from the smoker themselves. People get frustrated watching someone hurt themselves--especially someone they care about.
 

aloofman

macrumors 68020
Dec 17, 2002
2,206
0
Socal
My brother started smoking at a similar age. There's not really much you can do about it. You can make clear that you wish he wouldn't. You can insist that he not smoke around you. Ultimately he has to decide to stop on his own. As the smoker above mentioned, coming from a non-smoker, it will just make him want to keep doing it.
 

usingpond

macrumors member
Feb 19, 2008
59
0
If telling him that makes him smoke more out of spite, then I would interpret that as a suicidal, attention--loving mindset. "You think smoking is bad for me? Well, ha -- I'll smoke even more and make you worry even more about me!!"

I think the reason people eventually sound condescending about smoking is a response from the smoker themselves. People get frustrated watching someone hurt themselves--especially someone they care about.
See? You don't get it. You're talking as if the smoker has literally no idea that it's harmful. If you approach it like "here fella, sit down and let me tell you about smoking and why you shouldn't do it," then you're going to get a nasty response. And using words like "suicidal" and "attention--loving" are really dramatic and will only make them roll their eyes, not taking you seriously at all.

And of course people get frustrated seeing them hurt themselves -- just think of it as a friend making a terrible life or career decision. It's their business but if you do feel the need to say something, don't act like you're the guy that knows the ropes.
 

Xavier

macrumors 68030
Mar 23, 2006
2,567
1,150
Columbus
Yeah. There is no benefit to smoking. My roommate smokes constantly and has started to take a liking to smoke inside. I am away on vacation right now, but I will have to get in his face about it. Not looking forward to it. Because my clothes and things are starting to smell like smoke and I don't smoke!

He will tell me that he wants to quit, and will do one of two things. Will switch from cig's to dip, or quit for a week and go straight back to it. He has no will power.

Point is that the addiction is terrible. You can say "oh I won't get addicted", but you will. And VERY few have the will power to quit cold turkey.

Personally, I find cigarettes disgusting and a disgusting habit.
 

barkomatic

macrumors 601
Aug 8, 2008
4,027
1,798
Manhattan
See? You don't get it. You're talking as if the smoker has literally no idea that it's harmful. If you approach it like "here fella, sit down and let me tell you about smoking and why you shouldn't do it," then you're going to get a nasty response. And using words like "suicidal" and "attention--loving" are really dramatic and will only make them roll their eyes, not taking you seriously at all.

And of course people get frustrated seeing them hurt themselves -- just think of it as a friend making a terrible life or career decision. It's their business but if you do feel the need to say something, don't act like you're the guy that knows the ropes.
If ever there was an example of a minor mental illness actually written down, its your post. It is exactly this type of response from a smoker that is so difficult for a sane, non-smoker to understand. You know that your habit is very harmful yet you continue to do it -- and you get angry at people who are concerned for you.

Of course its your business to smoke your lungs out. It's also the business of the people around you to point that out. You and the OP's brother are two good reasons why healthcare costs are rising so fast for all of us.
 

usingpond

macrumors member
Feb 19, 2008
59
0
If ever there was an example of a minor mental illness actually written down, its your post. It is exactly this type of response from a smoker that is so difficult for a sane, non-smoker to understand. You know that your habit is very harmful yet you continue to do it -- and you get angry at people who are concerned for you.

Of course its your business to smoke your lungs out. It's also the business of the people around you to point that out. You and the OP's brother are two good reasons why healthcare costs are rising so fast for all of us.
You're one of those people who cough really loudly in bars when sitting next to smokers aren't you? You sound like a fun person.