As parents, it’s important to talk to your children about the dangers of smoking and why it’s important that they don’t smoke.
Parents should start the conversations when children are young, before they encounter the opportunity to smoke. Everyday situations can be used to bring up why smoking is bad, such as actors smoking in TV shows or movies, anti-smoking commercials, people smoking on the street and “no smoking” signs. You can encourage your kids to stay smoke-free by:
- Not smoking or letting others smoke in your house and telling your kids why
- Explaining the dangers of smoking and the long-term consequences
- Discussing strategies for saying “no” to someone who asks them if they want to smoke
- Talking about why smoking isn’t “cool”
- Telling them if you or a relative used to smoke, why you quit or why you regret smoking
- Talking about how addictive smoking is
- Having them participate in activities that won’t put them around smoking or will discourage them from smoking
- Avoiding restaurants that allow smoking
- Knowing their friends and whether or not they smoke
Remember, these actions and conversations shouldn’t be focused on the trouble they would get into for smoking. These conversations should act as an open dialogue about why smoking is dangerous and the long-term consequences associated with it.