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How To Prevent Children From Smoking
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How to Prevent Children From Smoking

If you have a son or a daughter, did you ever imagine that they would light up a cigarette and smoke with their friends? Most people imagine all the accomplishments and positive experiences their children will have when the get big, not smoking. Yet, the reality is that most kids end up smoking as adults will experiment with smoking for the first time around the ages of eleven and thirteen. Middle School is the time when kids are trying to figure out who they are, test the boundaries, and look for role models outside of the house. What can be done to prevent them children from smoking before they ever start?

One of the first things that you can do is to nip the idea in the butt that "everyone" that is cool is doing it, pun intended. Assuming you know who your child's role model(s) is/are, ask your son or daughter if they smoke. Point out as many people that he or she looks up to that do not smoke as possible.

If you or your child knows someone who smokes, but is having a hard time quitting, perhaps they would be willing to tell her or him about the bad side of smoking and how difficult it is to quit smoking cigarettes.

Tweens are concerned about their image and how they smell. Use that to your advantage. Point out that people who smoke have yellow teeth, finger nails, wrinkles and a foul odor . Show them what the side effects are in the beginning as well as later on in life. While kids like to look mature, they do not like to look OLD or wrinkly. If you happen to go some where and end up in close proximity to someone who smokes, point out the smell once you are at a safe distance from that person, such as back in your own car.

When a road is being repaved, point out that the tar that is being used and how cigarettes have tar, too. Have them imagine their lungs coated with the stuff and how hard it is to get it out again.

Help them to join groups that regularly talk about the staying drug-free. For instance, athletic groups, Boy or Girl Scouts, church groups, 4H, or any other group in your area. The more your child is exposed to kids who are clean, the more likely they are to stay clean, too.

Some say that punishing a child AFTER they start smoking will simply cause them to react by rebelling even more. Instead, have her or him help you create a no smoking, no drugs contract outlining the consequences for smoking as well as some rewards for not smoking.

Since it is hard to quit smoking cigarettes after the habit is developed, drug prevention is key for Tweens, who are at the age when most people start in the first place.


Street Talk

Great article. If you want them to see the effects of smoking, take them to the Body Exhibit

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Thanks for the comment and the suggestion. I hadn't thought about that. I should do that because kids, especially today's kids, are very visual.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
Jane John  

This is great! I will use this ideas on my 17yr old nephew

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Thank you for the comment. I look forward to hearing if it helps him. I'm only at the cusp of raising teenagers, but a few tools in one's tool belt goes a long way, or so I'm told :)

Reply
  about 7 years ago

The peer pressure can be overwhelming at those ages..so these sound like some great ideas.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Thanks for commenting. Isn't it amazing how powerful peer pressure is? I'm thankful that positive peer pressure is just as powerful, if not more so, as the negative influences.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

These are excellent ideas. The best way to stop is never to start.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Thank you for the comment. I agree, the best way is never to start. I hope many parents find these tips helpful.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

I wish someone had done these things for me, I started smoking when I was 10, however I am happy to announce that I have not smoked a cigarette in something like 2 years now, and I can not believe how much better I feel. Quitting smoking is very possibly the hardest thing I have ever done, and it's tough even two years later the damn things still call to me from time to time, at 35 years old I wish to God I had never started, not to mention all the chemicals they add to them, that make it effect your central nervous system.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

The fact that you stopped is commendable. I think that many addictions of all kinds haunt people from time to time as long as we live. Keep up the good fight, it's worth it. I just hope that these tips work for me as my kids go through their pre-teen years. Thank you for the comments.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Great ideas Rebecca! I remember when I was growing up it was cool to smoke. Thank goodness that is changing in our world today. I love the idea of telling them they will smell, brilliant!

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Thank you for the comment, I enjoyed your reaction. When I was a kid, the only way home was to pass the group of kids that smoked. They stunk! I also lived near a bowling alley, which I loved to frequent. It was always smelly, too. I bet that tweens would hate to have teeth that look like some one went to the little boy's room, too.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
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