Talking to your Kids About Smoking:
They Can Break the Habit Before it Starts
|Make no mistake
about it. Cigarettes are a deadly and highly addictive
drug. The fact that theyre also a legal drug makes
them all the more dangerous. Technically, its
illegal in many areas for anyone under 18 to buy
cigarettes. But teenagers can be lured by the attractive
advertising and easy availability of cigarettes. Even if
your children are never exposed to illicit drugs, there
is little chance that they can avoid seeing and hearing
Many Smokers Start Young
Habitual smokers often report having started as teenagers, or even younger. You can save your teens the painful and sometimes unsuccessful process of quitting cigarettes by convincing them not to start. If your teen is already smoking, discuss the social and health risks. It may encourage him or her to quit.
Smoking is advertised as being "glamorous" or "sophisticated". The truth is not attractive. Smoking makes your clothes, hair and breath smell bad and can permanently stain your teeth and fingers yellow. Its an expensive habit, costing hundreds of dollars a year. Nowadays many people shun smokers and consider cigarettes a nuisance. And, contrary to popular belief, smoking doesnt help you stay slim.
Cigarettes contain arsenic, cyanide, carbon monoxide and formaldehyde. These are just a few of the 4,000 toxic and carcinogenic chemicals found in cigarettes.
These dangerous chemicals can cause serious health problems such as: emphysema, bronchitis, heart disease, strokes, and lung, throat and mouth cancer. Chewing tobacco is just as dangerous. It can cause cancer of the mouth.
Teaching By Example
If you, the parent, are a smoker now, a good way to encourage your children not to pick up the habit is for you to quit. Not only will your youngsters avoid the perils of smoking, but youll improve your own health as well.