Preventing smoking

Filed under: Teens, Health & Safety: Babies, Development/Milestones: Babies, Alcohol & Drugs, Day Care & Education

When I was a teenager, tobacco companies used to hand out free sample packs of cigarettes on the sidewalk downtown. I took one once, snuck it home, and squirreled it away until I had a chance to try them. When the time came, I simply couldn't get the thing lit. So I gave up. That was my one and only personal experience with smoking and, now, I'm very glad it turned out the way it did.

I plan to do my best to make sure my kids don't smoke and I imagine most parents would just as soon not have their kids take it up. Aside from the whole dying-of-cancer thing, cigarettes cost a whole lot of money, they smell bad, and they can destroy electronic equipment.

Jacki Donaldson, over at That's Fit relates an interesting story of talking with her son about smoking. I admire her honesty in pointing out that smoking does not always lead to cancer and that one can get cancer without ever having smoked. Overall, rather than taking a cigarettes-are-a-tool-of-the-devil stance, she weaves it into an overall let's-try-to-be-healthy strategy for life. I like that.

She also links to some tips for talking to kids about smoking. These suggestions include the obvious -- be a good role model and don't smoke -- as well as the less obvious -- talking to kids about tobacco advertising. The latter is especially important as the tobacco companies spend an amazing amount of money on advertising and making their product look as appealing as possible

Feel free to share any advice you have for preventing kids from trying cigarettes in the comments.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.