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How to Talk with your Kids about Smoking

September 5, 2012 by Shelley Canitz

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It had all the makings of a beautiful mommy-and-me moment. 

My four year old and I were curled up together on the couch, reading a book.  He turned his big eyes towards me and in one graceful gesture, brought his sippy-cup straw to his lips and pretended to inhale on a cigarette - !!!  (Let me say it again - “!!!”).  What was I to do?

Welcome to the club, said the more experienced parents.  Along with sex, drugs and alcohol, tobacco use is one of those conversations you have to keep having over and over with your kids.  It’s never too early for one of those chats – and it’s never too late.

How can we talk to our kids about smoking?  If we don’t smoke, how can we tell them we were once faced with friends who started smoking?  If we are smokers, how can say to them that this is one activity we desperately want them to avoid?

We’re all looking for help on how to raise a non-smoker. 

Check out the advice on these sites:

Experts say it still helps for parents who smoke to talk to their kids about staying away from tobacco. 

Tell them that you don’t want them to become a smoker.  Let them know how hard it has been to stop smoking. 

Am I taking the right approach? 

I’ll let you know in a few years time – if a child can reach adulthood without smoking, evidence says there’s an extremely strong chance they never will start. That’s my goal.

What's been your experience?  How did you talk to your kids about smoking? 

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