Parents are a child’s FIRST and most important teachers”. – Unknown
The teen years can be a time for your kids to feel more independent, have new experiences, and make great memories. Believe it or not, your teens want to hear from you about some of the decisions they be making. Having open and honest talks about smoking, tobacco, and vaping, can help your child say no when the time comes. According to the Centers for Disease, “Young bodies are more sensitive to nicotine, and youth become addicted more quickly than adults. Even social smoking once or twice a month puts teens at serious risk for nicotine addiction that will keep them smoking longer and increase their chances of getting a serious disease” (CDC).
Avoiding peer pressure can be hard, but when your child is armed with your wise words, they have a better chance at making a positive choice. To help teenagers and young adults stay smoke-free, start off with the basics. First, explain to your child the negative effects related to smoking. It’s harmful to their health, it causes bad breath, it smells bad, it gives you wrinkles, and it’s hard to quit once you start. Allow them to state their opinions, and as a parent, take this time to break myths and misconceptions. Next, use scenarios to help guide your teenager out of potential negative situations. You might say, if your friend offered you a cigarette, what would you say? How would you feel? Make it a point, to let your child know that they can come to you if and when these situations happen.
Encourage your teen to be a part of the generation that is smoke-free and ends smoking for good! Take a look at this video from the Truth Campaign, as a reminder of some of the reasons to BREATHE smoke-free every day!