News


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

Nicotine

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

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