October 28, 2011 / submitted by The Oracle, United Kingdom

When I answer questions of a personal nature, readers
often get in touch with their own thoughts. So, we now have a weekly
feature, Team Oracle, whereby each Friday (with the question asker's
permission) we open up a question to all of you to answer too. Then,
the following Friday, I'll post a selection of the best answers,
alongside my own reply.
ANYONE can join in so, if you'd like to, please email your response to
the following question, in no more than 250 words, to before Thursday 3rd November.

"I am a 16 year old guy having trouble with a parent who smokes. My mother has been smoking on and off for years, but she's been doing it a lot lately. I've tried countless times to get her to quit over the years, but all my attempts have failed so far. Today, while driving home, I got on her nerves - and like usual, she pulls out a cigarette and starts smoking in the car. I bring up the question "Mom, why do you have to smoke" and like usual, she gets mad and tell me to stop talking about it. I didn't want to - I kept on talking about it as she ignored me, and when we got home, she went off on me because I kept bugging her about it.
I hate to admit it, but I don't think I'm mature enough to really stand up to her and tell her how I truly feel about her smoking problems. My mother means the world to me; she does everything for me, and is just an all around great person - but when it comes to her smoking and thinking about the damage she is doing to herself, it scares me thinking of what could result from it in the future... So I'm asking very kindly if maybe you could lend me a hand here, and tell me how I can really confront her about this. Lliam.

Look forward to seeing your replies.
The Oracle
Please email your replies to