- Tips to keep your teen smoke-free
Understand the attraction: Teen smoking can be a form of rebellion or a way to fit in with a particular group of friends. Ask your teen how he or she feels about smoking and if any of your teen's friends smoke.
Say no to teen smoking: Tell your teen that smoking isn't allowed. Your disapproval might have more impact than you think.
Set a good example: Teen smoking is more common among teens whose parents smoke. If you don't smoke, keep it up. If you do smoke, quit — now.
Appeal to your teen's vanity: Remind your teen that smoking is dirty and smelly. Smoking gives you bad breath and wrinkles. Smoking makes your clothes and hair smell, and it turns your teeth yellow. Smoking can leave you with a chronic cough and less energy.
Do the math: Help your teen calculate the cost of smoking a pack a day. Compare that cost with the cost of teen essentials, like clothes or gadgets.
Expect peer pressure: Rehearse how to handle tough social situations. It might be as simple as saying, "No thanks, I don't smoke."
Take addiction seriously: Teens become just as addicted to tobacco as adults — often quickly and at relatively low doses of nicotine.
Predict the future: Teens tend to assume that bad things only happen to other people. Explain the potential long-term consequences of smoking.
Think beyond cigarettes: Smokeless tobacco, clove cigarettes (kreteks) and candy-flavored cigarettes (bidis) are sometimes mistaken as less harmful or addictive than are traditional cigarettes. Hookah smoking — smoking tobacco through a water pipe — is another alternative sometimes touted as safe.
Get involved: Participate in local and school-sponsored anti-smoking campaigns. Support efforts to make public places smoke-free and increase taxes on tobacco products, which can help reduce the odds that your teen will become a smoker.
— Source: The Mayo Clinic
Posted: Tuesday, March 20, 2012 12:00 am
Updated: 6:06 am, Tue Mar 20, 2012.
Despite restrictions, tobacco advertising continues to persuade teenagers and young adults to take up smoking, according to a report released by the U.S. Surgeon General last week. But the report also finds that current policies are effective in reducing the initiation, prevalence and intensity of smoking among that demographic.
Nearly all adults who are currently daily smokers tried their first cigarette before they turned 18, according to the surgeon general's report. About one in four teenagers smoke regularly, a statistic that doesn't surprise local students.
Tuesday, March 20, 2012 12:00 am.
Updated: 6:06 am.