EDUCATING YOUR CHILD ABOUT SMOKING
For parents, starting a discussion about the consequences of tobacco smoking with their children is never too early. A discussion about the dangers of smoking may not seem necessary when your child is only 5 or 6, but the more time you have to reaffirm the harm that smoking may do, the more effective it will be.
Today, smoking is the world’s greatest preventable cause of death. Smoking-related deaths can be prevented by preventing children from starting the habit in the first place.
Early discussions with your child about good and wrong are critical since they will still look up to you as their ultimate authority.
According to a study, the vast majority of adult smokers started smoking as a youngster. According to CDC statistics, 8 percent of high school pupils had smoked cigarettes in the previous 30 days as of 2016.
Consider what your child is interested in.
As you may be aware, smoking is extremely harmful to your health because of the several forms of cancer, lung issues, and other ailments it may cause. A child’s fear of cancer won’t go away just because you inform him about it. Long-term effects may be less important to children than immediate ones.
Kids may be more sensitive to the immediate effects of smoking, such as foul breath, stained teeth, bad breath, skin problems, oral pain, and more that can be caused by smoking.
Talking to your youngster about the financial ramifications of smoking may also help. Use a calculator to show your youngster how much money they could spend smoking a pack of cigarettes every day for 10, 20, or 30 years. Then, talk about what else the same individual may have purchased with their available money.
Relate Your Talk to a Sporting Event
The risks of smoking can be linked to a child’s sporting prowess. Smoking can affect a person’s capacity to run, and they may have to stop the game early since they’ll be out of breath, so explain this to them.
Likely, young children aren’t aware of nicotine’s addictive properties since cigarette corporations know how to advertise their products.
Tell them how hard it is to quit smoking after you start. As you would with more hazardous drugs like heroin and cocaine, explain to your youngster how addicted tobacco is.
Speak Out Against the Perils of Smoke-Free Products
When it comes to smoking, there are more ways than ever for your child to get hooked on a dangerous habit. Children are more likely to regard these alternatives to smoking as a more fashionable and safe way to smoke.
High school students’ use of e-cigarettes increased by 900 percent between 2011 and 2015. Due to the fact that they are now available in fruity flavors like watermelon and bubble gum, many young people mistakenly believe they are sweets. That’s why e-cigarette manufacturers must stop producing and selling flavoring vapes by the end of January 2020, as mandated by the FDA.
Your child should know that e-cigarette aerosol is not safe, and e-cigarette use is highly linked to other tobacco product use among adolescents. Smoke-free options can have major repercussions, too, so make that clear.
Examine the Art of Refusal.
Peer pressure is a natural phenomenon, although it is often jokingly discussed. A cigarette will be more likely to be accepted by your youngster if you’ve never taught them how to decline without seeming bad in front of their peers.
Offer them cigarettes and see if they’ll say no in a role-playing situation if they’re willing to go through with the idea. “No, thanks, I don’t like the way it smells,” “No, I need to be ready for basketball practice, and cigarettes make me feel out of breath,” or “I’d rather not, I don’t like the way it makes my chest feel,” are some examples of responses that could be used.
Talk About Important Things in a Serious Way
The dangers of smoking should not be harped on to your youngster. Studies show that constantly bringing up the subject may lead to an increase in your child’s likelihood of taking up smoking. Constantly lecturing your youngster about the dangers of smoking could lead to them rebelling against you. They may try it because you told them they couldn’t.
High-quality conversations with your child have been shown in research to protect them from smoking. The same dialogue doesn’t work with all children, according to studies. It’s crucial to think about how you can best communicate with your child because you are the one who knows them best.
Let your child know you’re there for them, but don’t make them feel like they have to notify you every time they’re approached with the opportunity to smoke.
Emphasize the Importance of Choosing Healthy Lifestyle Options
Instead of continuously emphasizing the harms of smoking, stress the necessity of making good lifestyle choices. Talk to your child about the need for a nutritious diet, adequate sleep, and regular physical activity to maintain a healthy body.
It is less likely that your child will participate in risky behavior if they value their ability to run quickly or recognizes that getting enough sleep helps them focus in school.
Be an Exemplary Person
For this reason, it is more likely that children who have parents who smoke will start smoking themselves. Your remarks, even if they come from a place of sincerity, are unlikely to help your youngster kick the habit. Your children will copy your actions if they witness you doing them.
As a result, it may be time for you to stop smoking for the sake of your and your child’s health. Consult with your doctor about possible resources for quitting smoking. Quitting smoking can be made easier with many methods, including nicotine replacement therapy, prescription drugs, support groups, and a tobacco helpline.
Ensure that your home is always smoke-free.
According to research, limiting your child’s exposure to cigarette smoke and smokers has been shown to lower their risk of becoming a smoker significantly. To prevent smoking and bringing cigarettes into your home, make it a household rule.
Friends and family members should be made aware that smoking is not authorized on your property. The more persistent you are in setting limits, the less likely your youngster will be to do the same.
Be on the lookout for signs that your child is already a cigarette user.
A little older, you may be concerned that your youngster has already started smoking. Bad breath, shortness of breath, soiled or stinky clothing, coughing, and hoarseness are the symptoms to look out for.
Try to keep the dialogue open and honest when confronting a youngster you suspect has previously tried cigarettes. Ask your child whether they’re smoking and avoid the desire to yell if they say they are.
You can begin by asking them why they started smoking, explaining that you can modify your habit, and working together to develop a strategy for quitting in the future. Never threaten or outline consequences with your youngster because this could lead to increased secrecy. If you penalize them, they’ll be less likely to come to you with their problems.
Your youngster may require assistance to stop smoking if they’ve started doing so regularly. To assist your teen stop the habit, find out what programs are available.