According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly a quarter of high school students in the U.S. smoke cigarettes, and another eight percent use smokeless tobacco. Despite government and professional care warnings on the dangers of tobacco smoking, more and more teens are finding it hard to give up the habit. If you want to help your kids stay away from cigarette smoking, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Exercise Parental Involvement
Like alcohol and other drugs of abuse, tobacco use can be a result of peer pressure and lack of parental supervision. Many adolescents experiment with smoking, alcohol, and other drugs especially when they know they are not being watched by a parent or a guardian. Similarly, they are more vulnerable to try cigarettes when they feel lack of support and attention from their parents.
In a study participated by 1,081 students in four middle schools in a suburban Maryland school district, the researcher found that parents who know a lot about their children’s friends, activities and performance in school are more able to help children overcome peer influence to start smoking.
Talk to Your Kids About the Dangers of Cigarette Smoking
Educating your kids about the risks associated with cigarette smoking will help them understand why it’s more important to stay away from it. Discuss ways for your kids to make responsible choices by explaining to them how tobacco use can affect the body, the possible health problems associated with cigarette smoking, and how getting addicted to it can endanger their social relationships and overall quality of life. And while you’re in the subject, you may as well explain the dangers of inhalants, like gasoline, shoe polish, and glue which are among the most common substances that adolescents inhale to achieve cheap high.