Are you worried about your children smoking? There is a bit of good news – the teenage smoking rate has dropped nearly 75% over the past 20 years. Less than 8% of high school students smoke cigarettes. However, as a parent, you still have to set a good example to prevent them from smoking. Some children still smoke cigarettes, despite the fact that the habit doesn’t have the same social appeal that it used to.
You need to be an active role model and try to discourage them from smoking as much as possible. You
might think that you have zero control over the choices that your children make. However, your influence probably has a much bigger impact than you might think.
Here are some ways that you can help discourage your teenager from smoking.
Set A Good Example By Prohibiting Smoking In Your House
The “do as I say, not as I do” approach doesn’t hold any water with teenagers. You can’t expect them to avoid cigarettes if you are a regular cigarette user yourself.
You shouldn’t smoke at all around your children. It is best to quit smoking altogether if you are a regular cigarette user. Your kids will be able to smell cigarette smoke on you even if you only smoke outside the house, which makes it harder to emphasize your anti-smoking message. You may want to try using a nicotine alternative such as smokeless tobacco from Black Buffalo.
You should also have a strict rule against smoking in your home, which you should insist that all of your guests follow. Don’t make exceptions for anybody, including your parents or best friends. They need to understand that you are trying to discourage your children from smoking, so it is important to make sure that they are on the same page.
Encourage Them To Participate In Physical Activities
Your children will be less likely to smoke if they realize that they have a lot to lose. You should try to get them involved in sports, band, or other activities that require strong lung capacity. If they enjoy these activities, they won’t be as likely to compromise their abilities by smoking. The United States Department of Health shows that teenage athletes are less likely to smoke.
Find Out If Their Friends Smoke
It is important to know whether or not their friends smoke cigarettes. You shouldn’t outright ban them from hanging out with friends just because they smoke, because that will only make them resentful of you and less likely to take your message to heart.
However, it is still important to let them know that you don’t approve of their friend’s bad habits. You will also know that you need to be more diligent about teaching them skills to resist peer pressure if the majority of their friends are smokers.
Start Teaching Your Children About The Dangers Of Smoking Early
You can’t wait until your children are likely to start facing the temptation to smoke before you start teaching them about the dangers associated with it. It will be too late to get them to appreciate the concerns.
You need to start instilling your concerns about smoking from a very young age. Your child should hear about the dangers of smoking by the time that they are five or six years old.
Use Reasonable Scare Tactics To Make Smoking Less Appealing
You should never lie to your kids. Fortunately, you don’t have to lie to them to make smoking seem less desirable.
There are plenty of problems associated with cigarettes. You can start by talking about the health problems that it will cause. If your child has asthma or another respiratory problem, then the fear of having even more difficulty breathing might be enough to discourage them from smoking. However, sometimes it is more effective to appeal to their vanity.
You can tell them about how smoking causes premature wrinkles, yellow skin, and bad teeth. This might be more than enough to spook teenagers enough to keep them from lighting up.
Don’t Restrict Your Discussions To Cigarettes
Cigarette smoking among both teenagers and adults is at an all-time low. Unfortunately, there are other smoking risks that you can’t afford to ignore.
You need to also teach your kids about the hazards of Vape smoking and marijuana. They need to understand that these alternatives are not much safer, even if they are presented that way.
Do Everything Possible To Keep Your Kids From Smoking
Although smoking rates have dropped over the years, you still can’t afford to be complacent. You need to actively warn your children about the hazards of smoking. The tips listed above should help you succeed.