Recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that many teenagers think smoking is cool. The CDC states that while the number of teens who smoke continues to drop each year, this trend is slowing. This is concerning because cigarette use among teens leads to health problems when those teens become adults.
That is why it is important to be diligent as parents and do your best to prevent your child from starting smoking.
Cigarette advertising is more limited than in the past, but still remains fairly obvious.
Despite various forms of advertising, parents who smoke and allow smoking in the home, and peers who smoke have the greatest impact on whether preadolescents and teens will take up smoking.
Steps for parents
The CDC offers the following ideas to keep children from smoking:
Be a good role model. Don't use tobacco and don't let others use it in your home.
Give your children clear and consistent messages about the risks of tobacco use.
Volunteer to help with prevention programs. If your community doesn't have one, start one.
If your child uses tobacco, support his or her efforts to stop. Help with goal setting and give lots of positive feedback.
The CDC's Office on Smoking and Health (OSH) offers parent information, media campaign resources, and a variety of tobacco-reduction educational ideas. OSH's goal is to reduce death and disease caused by tobacco use and secondhand smoke. Resources can be accessed at: www.cdc.gov/tobacco.