Q: My dad smokes cigarettes, and now my brother is starting the habit. He says, «Well, Dad hasn’t died yet from smoking.» What can I do to help both my brother and my dad?
A: You’re right to be concerned about your dad and your • brother. They’re both literally «playing with fire.» Each of them probably smokes for different reasons, but the sad fact is that the end result—early death—could be the same unless they quit the habit.
It sounds as though your brother is misinformed about what smoking really does to the body. Why not try to help your brother realize the dangers of smoking. Many kids think it’s cool to smoke, but the truth is, smoking gives you bad breath, makes you look old, turns your teeth yellow, and leaves you stinky. Now, that’s not cool!
With your dad you might try another approach. Let him know how much you love him and want him around for a long, long time. Ask if he would consider attending a Breath Free program at your local church, or a similar program in your community. Remind him of what secondhand smoke does to others, and make sure he knows about the new habit your brother has started.
Most of all, be patient and loving. And remember to pray for your dad and brother. Only God’s power can help them quit smoking.