Talking to parents

How to Tell Your Parents that You Smoke

Mary Smith
By Mary Smith. Updated: January 16, 2017
How to Tell Your Parents that You Smoke

Telling your parents that you smoke can be a difficult topic to discuss. You're likely to be afraid of your parents' reaction; they might be upset, feel disappointed or even ask you to give up that bad habit immediately. Smoking is damaging to your health but it's also a personal choice. If you have accepted tobacco as part of your life, this article will provide you with some tips on how to tell your parents that you smoke.

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Steps to follow:


The first thing you should do before you tell your parents that you smoke is think about how they are going to react. Knowing what your parents' likely response will be before you make your confession will help you to figure out the right time and place to tell them the news. Avoid telling them when they are busy with other tasks or when they are about to go out.


It's also best to tell your parents that you smoke when you are alone with them. This is a personal issue and, while it may seem normal enough to you, your parents care about your health and will not want anything bad to happen to you as a result of your smoking habit. If you are alone with them you will be able to talk more openly, won't feel intimidated by other peoples' opinions or interventions and, if things get out of control, you'll be the only one there to see it.


The best way to tell your parents that you smoke is to face up to your decision to smoke. Don't just say: "Mum and dad: I smoke". It would be better to tell them that you've wanted to tell them something for a while but haven't found the right time and that you want to make it clear that, while it is your decision, you want to tell them about it so as not to damage your relationship. Then tell them that you started smoking a few months ago and you wanted them to know about it.


Since you know that it's possible that your parents might not take it well, it is important to keep calm when you tell them that you smoke and to listen, without interrupting, to what they have to say. Put yourself in their position and consider how difficult it is to take in the news they've just received and, of course, let them know that while you are being honest with them about it, it is your decision to make and you know very well the consequences of your actions.


If you would prefer to avoid direct communication you can tell your parents in a more indirect way. An alternative might be to leave a packet of cigarettes in plain view or in the pocket of some dirty trousers so that you parents find it and figure out for themselves that you have started smoking. Of course, you should keep in mind that this might not be the most sincere way of telling them and that it might provoke a bad reaction from your parents.

How to Tell Your Parents that You Smoke - Step 5

You could also make it so that your parents know you smoke through your smell. Cigarette smoke immediately permeates clothing with the smell of tobacco. So, if you smoke a cigarette just before going home they will immediately think that you might have been smoking or at least suspect as much and ask you about it.


Telling your parents that you smoke can change your relationship with your family for a time while they take in and adapt to the news. During this process it's important to be sympathetic to their behavior, posture, disappointment or annoyance. Remember that your parents only want the best for you.


Lastly, and without wanting to rebuke you, smoking is damaging to your health. It has been proven that it is much easier for someone to quit smoking when they haven't spent years developing, and becoming reliant upon, their habit. If you're interested, check out our article How to quit smoking. That way, you'll have no need to tell your parents that you smoke and you will avoid future health problems.

If you want to read similar articles to How to Tell Your Parents that You Smoke, we recommend you visit our Family Relationships category.

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How to Tell Your Parents that You Smoke