10 ways parents stop teen smoking are tips you can use to help your teenage child fight back the urge to accept invitations from friends to smoke. While teen smoking may start as an innocent act through teen peer pressure, it can turn into a permanent habit. As a matter of fact, many adult smokers started smoking in their teen years. So what’s a parent to do? Your best strategy is to help your teen turn down the invitation to that first smoke. The following 10 ways parents stop teen smoking can help parents steer their teens away from teen pressure to smoke.
Know What You Are Up Against
At times teen smoking may be a form of rebellion against parents’ instructions, or a way to be accepted into a specific group of friends. Also, some teens smoke to escape life pressure or to feel good about who they are. Yet, others smoke to feel cool or liberated. Therefore in order to know what you are up against, ask questions. For instance, find out what your teenager feels about smoking. Ask whether your teen’s friends smoke. Show your appreciation when your teen makes good choices. And discuss the consequences of bad choices.
Be Firm About The No-Smoking Rule
Be ready to take a firm stand against smoking. Ok, your teen may sulk or pretend not to hear your instructions. But go on and put your foot down against smoking. Be sure to let your teen know smoking is not a choice. The truth is that your disapproval of smoking matters a lot. For example, one study confirms teens who are aware of their parent’s disapproval of them smoking was less than half as likely to smoke as those who believed their parents do not care.
As A Parent, Don’t Smoke
When parents smoke, their teens are more likely to smoke. Hence, it is a plus if you do not smoke. However, if you do smoke, this is the time to stop. Talk with your doctor or therapist about products, as well as other tips, that will help you stop smoking. But for now, resist smoking in the house, in the car, or in front of your teen. It is also important to hide your cigarettes from them.
Expose The Ugliness Of Smoking
Let your teen know that smoking is not cool or trendy. Expose the dirty, smelly, and unhealthy side of smoking. For these reasons, give your teens the negative consequences of smoking. For instance, smoking gives you smelly breath, clothes, and hair, and turns your teeth yellow. In addition, smoking may give you a chronic cough with less energy for sports and other activities you enjoy.
Project Smoking As An Expensive Habit
Smoking is not only expensive but also needless. As a result, assist your teen to estimate the weekly, monthly, or yearly cost of a pack-a-day smoking habit. A good strategy may be for you to compare the cost of smoking with useful things like iPhones, clothes, or other teen basic needs.
Be Ready To Resist Peer Pressure
Another weapon of peer pressure is conviction. That is friends who smoke can push your teens into the same habit. Nonetheless, you can provide your teens the tools they need to say no to cigarettes. For example, teach your teens how to act in tough social situations. It couple be a simple “No, I don’t smoke. Thank you.” Thus, with the repetition of this simple refusal, the more likely your teen will say no when the temptation presents itself.
Make Addiction Look Bad
The erroneous assumption teens make is that they can quit smoking anytime. Then again nicotine addiction is not age sensitive, as teens can be addicted to nicotine the same as adults. The bad news is that teen addiction to nicotine is quick and at a moderately low dose. And once you are addicted, it is difficult to quit. A study also reported that of adolescents who smoked at least 100 cigarettes, most would like to quit but are incapable to do so. As such, make addiction look bad as much as possible.
List Long-Term Negative Result
Teens tend to assume that bad things only happen to other people. But the long-term consequences of smoking such as cancer, heart attack, and stroke are real when your teen reaches adulthood. As a matter of fact, you need to show glaring examples of loved ones, friends, or neighbors who have been ill. This is to drive home the long-term negative result of smoking.
Extend Your Focus Outside Cigarettes
Sometimes smokeless tobacco, candy-flavored, and clove cigarettes are advertised as less addictive or harmful than normal cigarettes. Also, smoking shisha or smoking tobacco through a water pipe (hookah) are hyped as safe. But do not be deceived. Since these products, just like normal cigarettes, are addictive and can cause cancer and other health problems. This is because many deliver higher concentrations of nicotine, carbon monoxide, and tar than do normal cigarettes.
Advocate Against Smoking
It is crucial for you as a parent to advocate actively against teen smoking. This you can do by participating in local and school-sponsored anti-smoking campaigns. In addition, you can give your support to bans on public places smoking.
Stopping teen smoking in its tracks is the best thing you can do for your teen’s lifetime of good health. And the 10 ways parents can stop teen smoking will help you as a parent to halt the destructive smoking habit before it starts. But in situations where your teen has started smoking already, shun threats and ultimatums. Instead, love and support. Try to find out the reasons for smoking. Then decide together how to stop smoking. First, suggest dumping friends who smoke. Second, suggest getting involved in new activities that can take your teen’s mind off smoking.
Photo Credit: Creative Commons