August 12, 2010

Time to butt in

How to encourage your kids to stop smoking

If you were to tell a teenager they had to do something that shortened their life, made them smell, and could potentially have a negative impact on their relationships and dating, chances are they'd actually listen to what you were saying.

So why are youth still lighting up cigarettes? In fact . . .

  • One in five students in grades 9 - 12 indicate they are smoking.

  • Fourteen percent of students are smokers in the ninth grade. This number rises by eleven percent more for grade twelve students.

The good news is that approximately 80% of students do not smoke. That's what the recent numbers in the Youth Health Survey told us. Click here to view a sample survey and here to read the report.

For those students who do smoke, half of them have plans to quit sometime in the future. So how can we help them?

1. Talk to your kids about smoking. Not sure how to start? Click here.

2. Put it in a context they can understand.

  • Remind your teenager that most kids their age do not smoke

  • Statistics say the average teen smoker spends $1,000 year on cigarettes. Ask them how they'd spend that money differently.

  • The majority of people asked usually prefer to date non-smokers. That hot guy/gal in their class? Along with being healthier, they just may have a shot with them if they butt out.

  • Smoking causes premature wrinkling, makes it take longer for acne to heal and yellows your teeth. You don't need to be an image consultant to realize that smoking can seriously cramp your style.

3. Talk to your kids about how to say no to cigarettes.

4. Work to strengthen your teens' self-esteem - kids who feel good about themselves are less likely to start smoking.

5. Develop smoke-free spaces. Your house, the yard - identify where you have a zero tolerance policy for no smoking.

6. Model good behaviour. If you smoke, cut down or discuss quitting with your kids.

7. Don't buy or borrow cigarettes for your kids.

More reading


Smoking and your body

Facts on smoking

Inside the human body - the respiratory system

Smoking and your teenager

Improving Adolescent Health and Development - World Health Organization Report

Benefits of quitting

Resources to quit smoking

Getting Ready to Quit

Bookmark Email Print Share this on Facebook SHARE Share this on Twitter Tweet RSS Feeds RSS

Latest Headlines

Press Releases

News Archive

Make text smaller Make text bigger
Traditional Territories Acknowledgement
The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority acknowledges that it provides health services in facilities located in Treaty One and Treaty Five territories, the homelands of the Métis Nation and the original lands of the Inuit people. The WRHA respects and acknowledges harms and mistakes, and we dedicate ourselves to collaborate in partnership with First Nation, Métis and Inuit people in the spirit of reconciliation.
Click here to read more about the WRHA's efforts towards reconciliation

WRHA Accessibility Plan Icon
Wait Times
View the Winnipeg Health Region's current approximate Emergency Department and Urgent Care wait times.

View wait times
Find Services
Looking for health services in Winnipeg?

Call Health Links-Info Sante at 788-8200

Search 211 Manitoba

Explore alternatives to emergency departments at

Find a Doctor
Contact Us
Do you have any comments or concerns?

Click here to contact us
The Winnipeg Health Region has a variety of career opportunities to suit your unique goals and needs.

Visit our Careers site
WRHA Logo Help| Terms of Use | Contact Us | En français