Talking to Your Kids About Smoking
Smoking may be glamorized sometimes in movies and television shows, but as a parent, you have the most influence over your child’s decisions about it. There are many approaches you can take when discussing the topic of smoking with your kids, but it’s important to honestly and directly tell them that you do not want them smoking cigarettes, and emphasize that they shouldn’t want to either.
Of course you can set a good example by not smoking yourself, but you can also start to give them some facts and statistics that may keep them far away. We have some of those important facts you can start telling your kids today.
Here are some instant positive effects by quitting or not even starting in the first place:
- Your clothes smell better
- No more bad breath
- Easier to breathe
- Fewer colds and respiratory infections
- Stronger immune system
- Greater physical stamina
- Better-looking, smoother skin
- Brighter and whiter teeth
- More money in your pocket since the average tobacco user spends more than $2,000 a year on tobacco products
Long-term, more serious effects of tobacco use include:
- Smoking is responsible for 20% of all deaths in the United States
- 85% of lung cancer deaths
- 90% of deaths from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (or COPD)
- It increases a smoker’s risk of over eight different non-lung cancers by 300%
Unfortunately, smoking is something that can ensue peer pressure from friends and peers, but it’s important to do as much as you can to steer your child in the right direction (the one away from smoking). For more information on strategies, medicine and other support resources for quitting smoking you can:
- Talk to your doctor.
- Read Blue Care Network of Michigan’s Quit Guide.
- Watch Blue Care Network’s video featuring a doctor’s advice on smoking.
- Call the Michigan Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-784-8669.
Photo credit: Erik Przekop