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My best friend's little brother is addicted to smoking

Discussion in 'Helping an Addicted Child' started by Pendulum, Jun 10, 2015.

  1. Pendulum

    Pendulum Member

    Hello guys. About a month ago, I attended the wedding of one of my best friends, who's 25 years old, and whose name I will not be revealing, to protect her identity. I have been feeling guilty ever since, not because of the ceremony itself, but because of something I saw...

    During the party, I went outside to make a phone call, and I saw my friend's little brother (12 years old) surrounded by some teenagers, who were saying things like "Do it", "Don't be a (...)", "Man up" to him. I got next to them, quietly, and, to my surprise, one of the teens was handing him a cigarette and lighting it up for him! He tried it, and then they noticed I was there - of course, they tried to hide it, but I had already seen it. I reprimanded them for encouraging him to do something so nasty as smoking...

    Later on, when I got a chance of talking to him, he promised me he would never smoke again... but I was left worried. The problem is that I did exactly the same thing as a child - when I was 11, I was a victim of peer pressure, having been forced to smoke, which I repeated until I was 13, despite having been warned to stop multiple times before...

    Yesterday, I went to the inauguration of my friend and her fiancée's house and I found her brother outside, smoking once again! I confronted him yet again, and threatened to reveal the problem to his parents. He promised he would never do it again, but I just knew those were empty words.

    What am I supposed to do now? I'm already regretting my decision to not do anything about it at the wedding... maybe he would've stopped by now. :(
  2. 6up

    6up Community Champion

    You should have acted the first time you saw him by telling your friend about it. You can still take a step by informing your friend. Ask your friend if she can avoid being harsh to him. You should advice him on the negative effects of smoking. You realise that his friends are influencing him. If possible suggest if he can avoid them. If he doesn't listen then inform the parents.
  3. Nergaahl

    Nergaahl Community Champion

    You should warn you friend about her brother's "new hobby" and she will decide whether she can talk to him about this or tell his parents about it. It's not a very nice thing to do, but it's the right thing, it will make him stop doing this at least. Good luck!
  4. kassie1234

    kassie1234 Community Champion

    I definitely would tell your friend. The reasons that I think that's the best course of action come from a couple of aspects. Firstly, the fact that you busted him the first time and he went back and did it again is concerning...but secondly if there's still no consequences for him after being busted a second time, he's just going to assume that what he's doing doesn't have any repercussions. He's at that vulnerable age where peer pressure is so rife, I definitely would tell someone so that they can really intervene.
  5. Winterybella

    Winterybella Community Champion

    Pendumlum, I regret you felt the need to make a pact with the little one. When the second opportunity presented itself I would have thought you would have acted then. If you have this child's interest at heart and I am sure you do, you need to let him know that you can't keep this secret and it's because you care. Don't delay on this. Decide if you will tell her together or if you will be the one to tell her. I would let him know about my intentions. I won't do it without letting him know.
  6. smartmom

    smartmom Senior Contributor

    I think its just sad to know that children are smoking anything. It seems that they are really starting early. I mean by the time they are 25 their lungs will be a mess. Children have changed so much to. They don't seem to listen when people tell them what is right. I've even heard one say that he smokes to keep himself calm. What kind of stress could a child have. I mean someone else works to put food on the table and a roof over their heads in most cases.
  7. MyDigitalpoint

    MyDigitalpoint Community Champion

    Agree with you @smartmom! It's always sad to hearing a young boy is going the wrong way.

    However it's no new that youngsters push one another to do something wrong as a way to demonstrate they aren't longer little kids. There's a saying about one rotten apple infecting all in the basket, and many times happens the same with kids.

    Maybe the boy wanted to never do it again, but if he remained in touch with the same pushing guys, he might have give it up in his need to fit in the group of friends he believes to belong to.

    Saying your friend on her wedding day would never be a good idea, but you might tell her now if you see the guy keeps lying because right now is just smoking cigarettes, but later will be wed, recreational drugs, alcohol or even worst, a mix of all of these.
  8. Lizel

    Lizel Community Champion

    I started smoking myself when I was 13 years old, and I'm 15 years old right now, already addicted to smoking.
    I regret that I wasn't assertive towards the pressure of society, but that's how it works for everyone.
    I was just curious myself, and then I thought that smoking was cool, while I didn't notice how I slowly got addicted to it.
  9. KNH

    KNH Active Contributor

    I would definitely tell your friend so she is aware. Then the decision whether to talk to him about it or not will be hers and not your responsibility. It sounds like he is being pressured into smoking, or at least was at the beginning, and needs to choose whether or not he will break the habit before it's too late.
  10. Tremmie

    Tremmie Community Champion

    You need to tell the parents OP, it appears this kid has already taken a liking for smoking, he is still a minor so he is under the jurisdiction of his parents and they need to be informed asap, so they can take action and decide what is the best option to help their soon. At 11 years of age that kid is far too young to be smoking!
  11. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    The best way to help the kid is by telling the parents before it's too late. He's just started smoking so confronted about it, quitting won't be too hard for him. While there is no guarantee that he won't smoke secretly at least by telling his parents you absolve yourself.

    Report him to his parents, clear your conscience.


    Dare to be true: nothing can need a lie: A fault, which needs it most, grows two thereby. ~George Herbert
  12. BayouBilly

    BayouBilly Member

    Couldn't have said it any better. Parents need to have an open mind, and not think that scolding them is the right answer.

    The best answer is stopping the habit, but also informing the child of the dangers that smoking has. And to quit now, while they're young.

    Maybe a cancer treatment hospital is a good visit. Or to hear from someone who had/has cancer due to smoking. There's only one result from smoking cigarettes. And it isn't a good one.
    Rainman likes this.