According to Tracy Holt, 43, there are a "lot worse things" her daughter Sam, who has had four sexual partners, could be doing than smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
The mum believes that because she herself hasn't yet suffered from cancer, "she'll probably be alright anyway".
She knows her daughter, 13, hangs out with friends in the street, drinking cans of lager and smoking pot, but says she is simply glad Sam is not "a proper drunk" and has not graduated to harder drugs.
"I don't see the point in punishing her. If I ground her, I'm just punishing myself because I have to put up with her in the house," the Telegraph quoted her, as saying.
"Instead, I reward her good behaviour by giving her cigarettes. If she's bad, she goes without.
"She's a little comedian. I let her get away with a lot of cheek. It's sweet," she added.
Mrs Holt, a jobless single mother with two other grown-up children who smokes 20 cigarettes a day herself, said giving them out as a reward "works".
She said: "There are a lot worse things she could be doing. We've all got to die sometime. I haven't got cancer from smoking so she'll probably be all right anyway."
Sam agrees that she will do more around the family home, in Gosport, Hampshire, when bribed.
"If Mum tells me to tidy my room, I ignore her but if she offers me a fag, I do it," she said.
She admits to having had four sexual partners in less than a year, but told Closer magazine: "I only sleep with boyfriends. I worry about getting pregnant because I don't want kids until I'm married so I always use condoms."
When Sam told her mother that she lost her virginity, Miss Holt said she was shocked at first but hid her feelings well.
"I thought it was a joke, so I laughed. I was disappointed. No mother wants to know her 12-year-old is having sex but I'm glad she told me. I didn't show I was angry and just kept it to myself. It wasn't a one-night stand. She had been dating the guy for a couple of weeks. I took her to the doctor's the next day to get her on the Pill. I've told her to use condoms," the mum said.
Sam's track record at school leaves a lot to be desired, and she has been excluded for bad behaviour more than 40 times.