'My in-laws offered to teach my kids how to smoke – I couldn't believe it'

One mum was left fuming when she learnt that her in-laws had offered to teach her children how to smoke after she’d told them not to ‘glorify’ the habit in front of her children

Group of two young women in backlight smoking shisha in cafe
Her family enjoy smoking together

It’s no secret that choosing to smoke is one of the worst things you can do for your health – and it’s extremely hard to kick the habit.

And you don’t need to have attended medical school to be aware of the damage second-hand smoke can do, especially to young children.

One mum was left flabbergasted after her husband’s family blatantly ignored the measures she’d put into place to protect her children from the nasty effects.

Writing for, the woman revealed that her sister-in-law had ignored her instructions after she asked them not to normalise the habit in front of her kids.

The woman was left fuming


Getty Images/iStockphoto)

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Her husband’s family love meeting up for big gatherings – and the woman admits that they all missed them while lockdown restrictions restricted them from meeting.

And she thought that his family “only want the best” for her two kids, aged 13 and five – until recently when some of them crossed the line.

When they meet up, the family love to enjoy a barbecue together – and it’s generally a lot of fun.

But a year ago, one of her kids’ cousins, who is in their 20s, “crossed a line” as the gathering was winding down in the evening, and the shisha pipes came out.

The mum admits she’s not a fan – viewing the habit as harmful to them and everyone around the, so she sends her children in to play video games in a bid to not normalise the habit.

The mum explained: “On this occasion, however, my daughter came back out to the table and stared at the large bubbling glass centrepiece with the fluorescent pink hose snaking its way to her cousin’s mouth and asked, “What’s that?”

“Before I could answer, my husband’s niece replied, “It’s cool, it tastes sweet! When you’re 16… no wait… when you’re 14, you come up to my house and I’ll teach you how to smoke it!”

“‘Noooo, it’s yucky! You don’t want that! Go inside and play with your brother’ I countered, ushering her away and following her inside myself.

“I later spoke with my husband about it and he was equally appalled that someone would encourage a five-year-old child to smoke. He had a word with his sister (the mother of the niece who had said it) and she assured him it wouldn’t happen again.”

So the mum was left fuming when her 13-year-old son returned from his sister-in-law’s house with a big secret a few weeks ago.

He told her that his aunt had offered to teach him how to smoke when he was old enough – and warned him not to tell his mum.

Naturally, she was left fuming at the attempt to push the habit on her son and the efforts to keep it private.

Writing about it, the mum described it as a “whole new layer of betrayal”, understandably fuming at her sister-in-law’s efforts to keep it secret.

According to the NHS, shisha smoke contains cancer-causing chemicals and toxic gases such as carbon monoxide.

A 2016 analysis of several studies suggested that during 1 session on a waterpipe a person can take in up to:

  • the same amount of tar as if they had smoked 25 cigarettes
  • the same amount of carbon monoxide as if they had smoked 11 cigarettes
  • the same amount of nicotine as if they had smoked 2 cigarettes

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