Third hand smoke. How big of a deal is it?
August 22, 2014 9:59 AM Subscribe
We are expecting our first child in just over a month. My in-laws want to visit ASAP, but FIL is a heavy smoker. How concerned should I be?
posted by tealcake to Health & Fitness (38 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
My in-laws would like to visit ASAP after the baby is born. That's great, except that FIL is a heavy smoker. Like chain smoking, 2 packs a day heavy smoker. I'm really concerned about how this will affect the baby (SIDS, carcinogens, breathing problems in the future, etc, etc, etc), but I can't tell if I'm being crazy or not.
He already knows that he can't smoke inside our house. I want to go a few steps farther than that, especially since the baby will be so small when they visit. I would like him to arrive freshly showered in smoke free clothes if he wants contact with the baby. After he goes out for a smoke, he's done holding the baby for the day unless he changes his shirt and washes his hands and face. I would also like to drape his clothes with a blanket because everything that has been in their house REEKS of smoke. My husband alternates between thinking I'm nuts and supporting my position (although he doesn't think smoking one or two cigarettes and then holding the baby is a big deal).
This is a big deal because we don't see my husband's parents very often and this will be only the second time they've visited us in the almost 11 years my husband and I have been together. We visit them at least once yearly although this is sure to change because I will not have a tiny baby hanging out in their house (there are additional issues besides the smoke that are significant but not relevant to this ask). My husband is worried about offending them or giving them so many requirements that they don't bother to come at all. He thinks that my requests are too cumbersome for his dad. Neither of us think that his dad realizes how bad the smoking is - for him or the people around him - or that he's in deep denial about it.
Am I being crazy about the smoke? We're talking about limited contact for a few days to a week BUT when the baby is very small - 1 month old or less.
How can we approach this with my father-in-law in a compassionate way? I have to admit that I don't have much sympathy for his addiction. In all the time that I've known him he has not made one earnest attempt to quit - he refuses to try the patch, gum, an e-cig, or just cutting back because "that's not really quitting."