Talking Points: should smokers who become parents be forced to quit smoking?

Talking Points: should smokers who become parents be forced to quit smoking?

Hate it when you can’t talk back? Well, you can with Young Post. Have your say and share with students around Hong Kong

Matthew Lin Kai-Him, 17, Law Ting Pong Secondary School

Absolutely! The majority of parents understand the drawbacks of second-hand smoke, which deteriorates everyone’s health, so they should not smoke tobacco in front of them.

They should also remember that third-hand smoke can also be dangerous. These are the chemicals left on the clothes, skin, and hair after smoking. When children breathe in, those chemicals may go into their lungs, which affects their health.

In a bid to guarantee the health of their kid, they shouldn’t try to find a short-cut or hesitate to quit smoking. They should be compelled to quit smoking.


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Selene Mak Sum-yuet, 14, Daughters of Mary Help of Christians Siu Ming Catholic Secondary School

Definitely. It is essential for the government to set up rules to force parents to quit smoking. It is common knowledge that smoking is hazardous for one’s health.

As a parent, you are not only responsible for your own health, but also your child’s. Children’s lungs are developing. Inhaling second-hand smoke is bad for their health. It may lead to permanent damages to their body such as lung cancer or heart disease.

It is unfair for an innocent child to suffer from illness because of his parent’s smoking habits. Moreover, children may accidentally touch the burning cigarettes and hurt themselves. The government should force parents to stop smoking to protect the children.


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Hannah Faith Chak, 17 year-old, Po Leung Kuk Wu Chung College

A definite yes! Smokers should quit smoking, especially when they become parent. For the child’s sake, they should do it ASAP!

Children see their parents as their role models. They copy their parents’ ways of living, their values and habits no matter if they’re good or bad. Some children may acknowledge that smoking is bad. However if they see their parents smoke every day, they may think smoking is not that bad or that it’s just a part of life.

Therefore, smokers who become parents should be forced to quit smoking as it’s harmful to the children.

Dennis Chow, 13, Island School

I think yes because smoking in front of children is bad for their health. If they smoke, their children will smoke too, notwithstanding the harm from second-hand smoke as well. Smoking for children is also bad because of lung disease. If this cycle goes one, the whole family may continue this horrible cycle of bad habits. Therefore, smokers should definitely be forced to quit smoking if they become parents.


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Christy Ho Wing-yiu, 16, Pui Kiu College

Yes, they should! If the parents smoke, their children will be forced to become passive smokers, meaning their health will also be severely damaged. Moreover, as children and toddlers’ bodies are still developing, the damage cigarettes may do is irreversible. Parents also act as a role model for their children; therefore, they should quit smoking to cultivate the correct social behaviours in their children.

Helen Liu, 16, Fung Kai Liu Man Shek Tong Secondary School

As far as I am concerned, smokers who become parents should be forced to quit smoking.

As everyone knows, second-hand smoke is a known risk factor for lung cancer. It is bad for children. Also, cigarettes are very expensive so parents may have less money to buy essential items like diapers or milk powder for their children.

In conclusion, there is no reason why they shouldn’t be forced to quit smoking.


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Karen Ho Ka-man, 16, Fung Kai Liu Man Shek Tong Secondary School

I think smokers who become parents should be forced to quit smoking.

First of all, smoking itself is not good for health. If you smoke every day you get cancer or a respiratory disease.

Smoking also reduces your life expectancy and it doesn’t just affect the smoker. The second-hand smoke is still dangerous to children. Besides, you are a role model because you are a parent, so you have to think about the next generation instead of just yourself.


In our next Talking Points, we’ll discuss: 

Should the requirements be different for men and women applying to join the police force?

We are now accepting your answers for this topic. To take part, email your answer with your name, age, and school, along with a nice, clear selfie (make sure it’s not blurry), to yp@scmp.com by lunchtime on Monday. Don’t forget to include “Talking Points” in the subject line.

Edited by Nicole Moraleda

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Should smokers who become parents be forced to quit smoking?

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