A very similarly thing happened to me when I was a kid.
My dad used to pretend he didn’t smoke when we were around because children are suggestible types/idiots. On our holidays one year we were out in London and something fell out of his pocket in front of us. He looked down at his pack of Marlboro, picked it up and showed it to us saying, “See? It’s empty.”
My dad would rather us think that he was a secretly collecting, and possibly hoarding, tobacco related rubbish than admit he was a smoker.
(Source: joaquinsphoenix, via theroyaltenenblarghs)