Moms & Dads

South Florida parents share their stories and advice



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This Father's Day, give something to your kids


It's been almost three years since I bought my last pack of cigarettes.

Three years of deeper breaths. Three years of $5 or more a day in my bank account. Three years of nicer smelling clothes. Three years of cleaner teeth and fresher breath.

Three years of my firstborn son never knowing what it's like to see his dad setting a carcinogen on fire and sticking it in his mouth, blowing the acrid result into the air for him to inhale.

Did I say child? Should have said children. Our first, Leo, was born in Feb. 2009. Our second, Angelo, was born in late April this year. Neither will ever see me smoke a cigarette.

Raf%20and%20boys.jpgWe'll probably name a dog Donatello

I'm not going to get holier-than-thou about the damage caused by cigarette smoking. Let's save a few steps and assume you've heard it. I gave up smoking shortly after I learned that Leo was on his way. At a physical check up, my doctor (who must have learned bedside manner from the technical advisers on the TV Series House, M.D.) told me I was... what was the word he used? Oh yeah.

Stupid.

Maybe that approach wouldn't have worked for you. My doctor ripped into me for deliberately doing things to my body that would reduce the time I have on this earth to watch my baby (now babies) grow up. That made me stupid, he said.

He didn't mean it. And he did. I'm no fool, and my doctor knew that (I hope). Lots of otherwise smart people have smoked and continue to do so. President Obama has famously struggled with the addiction to nicotine. Agree with his policies or disagree, President Obama is no fool. Well, except when (if) he intentionally lights a carcinogen, sticks it in his mouth and inhales the vile tasting result for... pleasure?

Whatever.

I can't look at my kids and think about taking up smoking again. Not ever.

Join me.

I won't go into how I was able to quit, except to say that I didn't do it alone. You don't have to either. Visit Tobacco Free Florida online, talk to your doctor, do what you need to do. Father's Day is a joyous occasion. Stick around for a few, would you?

Keep up with Sun Sentinel writer Rafael Olmeda on Facebook and Twitter.

TobaccoFreeFlorida_FathersDayInfographic_EmailVersion.jpg
Categories: Rafael Olmeda 2011 (10)


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About the authors
Gretchen Day-Bryant has a son in high school and a daughter in middle school. She’s lived to tell about the struggles of juggling little kids and work.
Joy Oglesby has a preschooler...
Cindy Kent Fort Lauderdale mother of three. Her kids span in ages from teenager to 20s.
Rafael Olmeda and his wife welcomed their first son in Feb. 2009, and he's helping raise two teenage stepdaughters.
Lois Solomonlives with her husband and three daughters.
Georgia East is the parent of a five-year-old girl, who came into the world weighing 1 pound, 13 ounces.
Brittany Wallman is the mother of Creed, 15, and Lily, 7, and is married to a journalist, Bob Norman. She covers Broward County government, which is filled with almost as much drama as the Norman household. Almost.
Chris Tiedje is the Social Media Coordinator and the father of a 7-year-old girl, and two boys ages 4 and 3.
Kyara Lomer Camarena has a 2-year-old son, Copelan, and a brand new baby.


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