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Parents, Children and Tobacco

One of the most significant life choices your child will make is to stay smoke-free. As a parent, you are the most important influence in helping your child make this choice.

Children whose parents talk with them about smoking have the best chance of staying smoke-free.

  • Talk to your child about smoking throughout childhood and especially as they move from elementary to junior high to high school. 
  • More than one conversation is necessary; have the discussion about smoking many times and in different places. 
  • Point out that tobacco is an addiction.  Once you start smoking, it is hard to stop.
  • Ask your child what he or she thinks about smoking.
  • Discuss peer pressure with your child. Find out if your child has ever felt pushed by friends to do something he or she did not want to do. Help your child practice how to say NO!
  • Be a positive role model.  If you smoke, talk to your child about when and why you started and how it is affecting you now. Children need to understand why you do not want them to smoke. 
  • Get family and friends involved to reinforce the smoke-free message.  Make sure that anyone who smokes does not smoke around your child and does not provide your child with tobacco.
  • Make your child’s world smoke-free! Exposure to smoke increases the likelihood that a child will start smoking.
  • Encourage your child to be involved in structured activities and hobbies.
  • Team up with your child’s school and other parents to reinforce your commitment to keep your child and your child’s school tobacco-free.
YOU can make the difference.

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Updated Aug 31, 2017