Its really amazing how far this country has come in its recognition that smoking is bad for you. During the 1950s almost half of American adults were lighting up, today that number is below 20 percent according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The American Lung Association says that 68 percent of adult smokers say that started smoking regularly when they were age18 or younger.
Tobacco use among middle and high school students is gradually going down, but far too many kids are still giving cigarettes, cigars and smokeless tobacco a try.
Kids are attracted to smoking for a lot of reasons. I dont think anyone of any age thinks cigarettes smell good or finds a brown slimy wad of spit attractive, but kids will overlook the gross factor if they really want to try a cigarette.
So how do you talk to your child about the dangers of smoking without it going in one ear and out the other? What if YOU smoke- how do you tell your child not to smoke?
The number one reason for smoking among kids is peer pressure. Kids want to fit in. So, the first conversation to have when you talk to your child about smoking is how to respond to peer pressure other than just saying no thanks. Other suggestions might be It makes my clothes and breath smell bad. I dont like that, Smoking can make you sick and I dont like being sick, You may want to smoke but I really dont want to. If you are going to smoke, please dont do it around me, and smoking will make my teeth yellow. Give your child some optional ways to respond when pressure is applied. Create a plan and even let your child practice responding by role-playing.
Another approach to talking with your child about smoking is to ask them why they think kids start smoking. There are actually a lot of reasons kids (and adults) start smoking. Anxious or worried kids like the calming affect it has on them. A lot of girls think smoking will help them lose weight. Top
A Virginia Senate committee endorsed legislation that could make smoking with children in the car illegal.