• All threads and posts regarding Coronavirus COVID-19 can be found in our area specifically for Coronavirus COVID-19 discussion.

    You can directly access this area >here<.

My chain smoking mum


New member
Sep 23, 2021
My mum was diagnosed with alzheimers a few years back. She is on medication to stabilize this and its been helping her until this year. At the beginning of the year my dad died of lung cancer and now my mum has all but given up.

One of the things I am struggling with is her chain smoking. Firstly because of the health implications but secondly for a more selfish reason. I am an only child and therefore there is no other carer for her. I hate going into her house as she is sitting in a big puff of smoke all the time. When she comes into my house, she is smelling really badly of the cigarettes. We are together most of the time...no-one else likes to visit due to the house being so smoky.

I'm exhausted and I want my mum back


Volunteer Host
Apr 1, 2016
Welcome to Dementia Talking Point @Awe1

I’m sorry to read of your dad’s death. It must make things doubly difficult for you. I’d hate the smoking too but don’t know what to suggest to reduce it unless distraction might work.

I know others have had problems with their PWD smoking continuously so perhaps someone will come along with a suggestion soon.

In the meantime feel free to vent whenever you need


Registered User
Jun 12, 2020
Unfortunately it seems unlikely that your mum will voluntarily give up smoking, we all know that rationality fails to convince a person with dementia. Probably all you can do is open the windows for now. However I can see more trouble ahead. If she needs to go into a care home, they probably won't allow smoking. Her addiction may be difficult to manage and you will need medical advice on how to control this.

In the short term there is a significant danger of fire. Smokers' materials used to be a leading cause of house fires, and we all know that dementia patients often leave things lying around carelessly. The combination of dementia and matches, lighters, cigarettes etc is a dangerous combination. She may need residential care earlier that would otherwise be necessary simply to keep her safe. Has the house got a comprehensive fire detection and alarm system?

Unfortunately you have an extremely difficult problem to manage here, I don't have answers, maybe others will have ideas.


Volunteer Moderator
Dec 15, 2012
hello @Awe1
a warm welcome to DTP
my condolences on the loss of your dad, that will have hit you and your mum very hard
it may be that your dad was managing to cover the problems your mum is having, and it's tough taking over from a husband who was there all the time

your mum's heavy smoking is such a worry for you

you say you are the only one to care for your mum, and maybe that's true as far as loving her ... however, you do not have to provide hands on cars alone ... contact her Local Authority Adult Services and request an urgent assessment of her care needs, making clear her full time carer, your dad, has died so she is now on her own and you are not in a position to be with her (I appreciate that you will do whatever you can BUT Social Services are likely to leave you to get on with it if they have the idea that you can take over care) ... tell them about the smoking, that she is a 'vulnerable adult' who is 'at risk of harm' due to the dangers around her smoking, and that her dementia means that she doesn't understand those dangers

are you able to contact her GP and discuss your concerns about her smoking ... they may have contacts that can help you with ideas

and just to mention, if LPAs aren't already in place and you can help your mum arrange these, it will make helping her in the future more straight forward

now you've joined us, do keep posting with whatever is on your mind

Recent Threads

Members online

Forum statistics

Latest member