Tobacco use produces significant health problems in teens, including an increase in the number and severity of respiratory illnesses, like asthma and bronchitis, and decreased physical fitness. Tobacco use also increases the risk for cancer, heart disease, stroke, emphysema and other health problems later in life. The first symptoms of nicotine dependence among 12- and 13-year-olds can appear within days to weeks after occasional use begins, often before the onset of daily smoking.
It is important to realize that kids are exposed to cigarettes from a very early age, so it's never too soon to start talking with them about the health dangers of smoking. Use any opportunity, such as movies that depict people smoking and tobacco-related situations you may see in your own neighborhood, to start the conversation about why it's important not to start smoking cigarettes or using other drugs. The following are a few tips to help your kids stay cigarette-free:
Remember: The most important thing is to continue anti-smoking, anti-drug use conversations as your child grows.
If your teen does start smoking, here are some tips to share to help her stop:
Suggest to your teen to do one of the following when he or she feels like smoking when trying to quit:
Sources: National Women's Health Report, American Lung Association, Tobacco-Free Kids, Partnership for a Drug-Free America and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
1400 Eye Street, NW, Suite 1200
Washington, DC 20005
Makes available fact sheets, research information and resources on how to help teens stop smoking, as well as prevent them from starting.
Office on Smoking and Health
National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
A division of the CDC, this office provides online and print resources on tobacco research and quitting tips.
Presented by the National Women's Health Resource Center, Inc.