I caught my teen smoking!

The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice”. – Peggy O’Mara

 

So you’ve made a horrifying discovery, and found out that your teen has been smoking. Although this can be a very devastating time, there are effective ways to deal with this situation. Communication is key! Identifying the reasons behind why your teen has made the decision to smoke could help solve the problem. Could it be peer pressure, a sign of rebellion, or influence from music and TV? Whatever the reason, consider openly and honestly talking to your children about the realities of smoking and using tobacco products. This conversation could encourage them to stop. In fact, research has shown that teens want to hear from their parents about important topics such as smoking. Below are five suggestions from the American Lung Association to help you get started as you talk to your teen.

Tips for Talking to Kids about Smoking

  1. Tell your children honestly and directly that you don’t want them to smoke cigarettes. Give them clear, consistent messages about the risks of smoking.
  2. If you’re a parent who smokes, the best thing you can do is to quit. Talk to your kids about how difficult it is to quit smoking and how much easier it would have been if you’d never started smoking in the first place. In the meantime, don’t smoke around your children and don’t ever let them have any of your cigarettes.
  3. Find out if your children have any friends that smoke. Talk with your kids about ways to refuse a cigarette.
  4. If you catch your teen smoking, avoid threats. Ask a few questions and find out why your child is smoking; he or she may want to be accepted by a peer group or want your attention. Talk about what changes can be made in your teen’s life to help him or her stop smoking.
  5. As you talk to your child about smoking, point out that he or she may already be addicted to nicotine. This could help motivate them to stop. There are free services to help your child quit. Call 866-NEW LUNG for services.

Click here for the full list of tips on how to help your teen stay away from smoking and vaping.

For more parent tips, resources and information on smoking, please click here.

  

 

Sources:

http://www.lung.org/stop-smoking/smoking-facts/tips-for-talking-to-kids.html

https://www.tobaccofreekids.org/research/factsheets/pdf/0152.pdf

 

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