Whether your children are in elementary school, middle school or high school, it's never too early -- or too late -- to talk to them about not smoking cigarettes. It has been estimated that more Americans die from tobacco-related illnesses than from alcohol, car accidents, HIV/AIDS, firearms and illegal drugs combined.
Research shows that strong parental support is significantly associated with reduced risk of smoking among youth. Parental support involves such things as emotional support and good communication--key elements in developing the relationship you want to have with your children.
One conversation with your child about smoking is never enough. Introduce the subject when your child is still very young, in simple language with clear rules. As your child grows, repeat the message in terms that he/she can relate to.
Related links on this page will give you suggestions on what to say, when to say it, and how.
If your child has already started smoking, use the information below to continue the "no smoking" message. You may also try to limit the places he/she can smoke around you (in the house, the car, etc.) and report businesses or individuals that sell tobacco to underage youth.
Be a good role model. If you smoke, talk to your family physician about quitting.
Ready to Quit? There are a variety of programs that can help you or your child quit using tobacco products and keep away from using tobacco products in the future. Talk to your family physician or contact the American Lung Association.