Is the care system a cancer nursery for developing underage addicts?

the-smoking-effect-lPicture  parents hanging outside  school gates. Their children are having a quick smoke  before class. This is what happens to a child in care.  Smoking kills but for them the message is clear   some lives are  more valuable than others.  The legal age to buy cigarettes is 18. We know that  6 percent of Briish children aged  11 – 15 smoke but how does this compare  with 11 – 15 year old people in care of the state?  Surely it must be less.  Surely there must be statistics?

I can proudly say I’m a non smoker.  I became addicted in the children’s homes. They were  cancer nurseries for developing underage addicts. I’ve spent nearly thirty years fighting a losing battle against the addiction.  At last I’ve won.  It’s no big deal until I look back.  Nobody  encourages their child to smoke.  Why would  the state do that to me (and many other children in their care. Is there  an institutionalised unquestioned unspoken narrative about our lack of worth?  Why would they leave so many of us with a  death wish?  Why has nobody investigated the nature of addiction in the care system?


2 thoughts on “Is the care system a cancer nursery for developing underage addicts?

  1. The worst thing you could do in response to this article is go on the defensive. Foster parents. Staff in Children’s Homes. Social Workers. To me you are the highest noblest profession in society. Smoking is a poison and young people are partially grown humans beings. They are vulnerable and in need of protection from addiction. Smoking is often their first addiction.

    This is not about banning cigarettes in the care system or about pointing the finger at staff and foster parents who turn a blind eye (ie: encourage) the foster child or child in the home to smoke. All I am asking is this. What, if any, is the policy or practise concerning young underage children in care and tobacco?

    I’m guessing that most foster parents and childrens homes allow young foster children or children in homes to smoke. They will say “the children came to us smoking because of trauma”. This is called passing off responsibility and it really isn’t good enough. Helping someone consider being a non smoker for a better life and a better future takes time but at least it shows you care. You really care.

  2. Lemn, congratulations on being an ex-smoker. Liberating, isn’t it? (I stopped 2 years ago, after nearly 4 decades of addiction.) Glad you’ve brought this issue to people’s attention.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *