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Maybe hearing from someone from the other side of the situation will help you quit, maybe you need to know how it REALLY feels for some of the more sensitive kids of smoking parents in order to find the determination to quit for the sake of your family?

You sound like a good mother who truly loves her kids so I am assuming that you already won't be smoking in the home or car them so as to protect them from the deadly smoke, if this is not already the case then I must emphasise that not smoking around them is absolutely essential to them growing up healthy.

I am 38 and also a mother of three who has struggled through life with breathlessness, phlegm and coughs on and off, and I put it down to my mother smoking in pregnancy and while I was a child and not making any effort to keep it away from me. I was a sickly child always getting chest infections and coughs and sitting up struggling to breathe at night, I used to stick my head out of the window at night to get better air because the smoke was everywhere in our house and I could smell it in my room so I knew I was never free from it. It made me feel sick just from the stench and I also had splitting headaches all the time, a sore dry throat and frequent mouth ulcers. I was absolutely miserable and moody because of feeling so wretched, hopeless at sport and bullied by games teachers in school because I was unable to run without a coughing fit and breathlessness, the kids picked on me too because I was always sniffing, coughing and clearing my throat! I couldn't help it because I was full up of phlegm all the time.

When I left home as a young adult I suddenly felt different, all my symptoms cleared up within a short space of time, even after a few days I started to feel like a new person. Of course I soon knew I did not enjoy going to smoky pubs and clubs like a lot of young people because I would get a relapse of my horrible and debilitating symptoms for several days afterwards but I certainly enjoyed life, going on walks with friends and getting involved in other interests and campaigning on issues I believed in (not non-smokers rights especially at that time although I am passionate about it now). For the first time in life I was not being slowly poisoned by cigarette smoke and it felt great! I think I probably became a nicer easier person to get on with too, I started to find the real me and it was just amazing, I was suddenly more positive about life and I think a bit more popular and able to make friends, which had been so hard for me before! I had been so snappy and irritable as a kid and as a teenager not because I was really deep down a horrible person but because of the nicotine and whatever other poisoning I was reacting to from the smoke.

Unfortunately in my third pregnancy two years ago I started getting the problems back with a vengeance, I would get my symptoms even from just one whiff of cig smoke in the street, I was even in hospital overnight with breathing problems from just getting into a smoky cab and right now I am up at this time of night because of my wheezy chest due to a downstairs neighbour's smoke getting in through our window early this evening. I'm at my wits end with this reaction to smoke especially over the last two years, it is bad every time I am exposed and does not seem to be getting any better and I believe that it's all because my mother smoked and did not protect me from it. There is nothing else I can think of that could have caused this particular sensitivity to develop.

Even if you don't smoke around your already born kids some of the developmental damage to the lungs IS done in pregnancy if you smoke then because research has shown this to be the case, it has been shown that children have poorer lung capacity if their mothers smoked in pregnancy than if their mothers did not smoke in pregnancy, independent of whether their mothers smoked around them afterwards or not. I appeared healthy at birth and was a good weight, so that really is no indication of future sensitivity or allergy status or lung capacity. Children of smokers have more allergies and asthma and chest and ear infections than children of non-smokers and if they are not extremely sensitive to smoke the way I am they are also more likely than the children of non-smokers to take up the habit themselves because they copy adult role models, especially their parents.

These are some of the facts I've read on various sites and my true life experience, make of it what you will, and by the way if you want a good quitting method I have also heard glowing reports about Allen Carr because apparently his method can change your whole way of thinking about smoking, and good luck whichever method of quitting you choose, whether just willpower, patches, gum, hypnosis or something else. I'm sure you will have tried some already and know a lot about them anyway. As a never smoker I don't know which is the best although getting the smoker's mental attitude changed seems a very good idea. You seem you really want to quit so think of yourself as well on the way there already.

Remember you are not really "giving up" anything, you are gaining a whole new life as a happy healthy non-smoker who is no longer a slave to tobacco addiction.


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