Most parents don't expect their child to smoke. However, youth are exposed to millions of misleading images that glamorize tobacco, and their messages working: one out of eight middle school students uses tobacco.
Every day, 6,000 youth try cigarettes and some will die from their addiction.
Preteens who report they regularly eat meals, follow a family calendar, and discuss free-time activities with their parents are less likely to smoke, and as a result they are likely to live longer, healthier lives. If you find a way to stay better connected with your child, you can help us with our mission of preventing youth from trying tobacco.
We know it's not always easy. We know there's not always time. But getting more involved with your preteen today will help you stay connected tomorrow. Not only that, it will help your child make better decisions, even about things like smoking, which kills one out of every three people it hooks.
Parents who get involved in the community, in their schools, and in local organizations help meet their goals of having a tobacco-free child. They learn from other parents, health professionals, and even from their own kids. And if they have a kid who already smokes, they can help them stop.
Got a Minute? was created to help parents connect with their kids in ways that can help prevent them from smoking. Find out more about the Got a Minute? mission at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Take a stand. Find out about what Communities are doing to prevent tobacco use.
Are you a coach? Coaches play a crucial role in tobacco prevention. Visit our page about Athletic & Recreational Programs.
If your teenager is smoking or chewing tobacco, it will be up to him or her to quit, but you can help.
Quitting is difficult for adults and teens. When cravings hit, knowing what to do can help:
Find out more about Quitting Tobacco.
Quitting for a day is easy. Quitting for life is a bit tougher. Make a list with your teen or preteen describing why they want to quit. Refer back to this list when your teen is tempted. And remember, it is best to quit cold turkey. Slowly weaning yourself from cigarettes only delays the withdrawal symptoms.
Prevention is most challenging for young adults. As youth grow up, leave home, and enter the workforce or go off to college, peer and life pressures escalate. During this age of experimentation, youth feel invincible and are most vulnerable to the pressures of trying smoking or chewing tobacco. It is then that Big Tobacco’s slick marketing tactics and flood of messages to teens that smoking is an “adult behavior” start to work.
Learn more about the Tobacco Never Quits TV Campaign and how the tobacco industry targets 18-year olds and college students.
Teens who are working to get out of the house, get a job, and pursue their newfound freedom are particularly vulnerable to tobacco. Those who choose to enter the workplace instead of going to college can present unique challenges when it comes to prevention. Tobacco use can be used to reduce stress, provide a respite, and make social connections. Read more about Colorado’s Straight to Work Research.
Get facts that kids respond to. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides facts about tobacco use that your teen will listen to. Let them know that smoking increases acne, makes your hair stink, and can affect their athletic performance.
How Parents Can Protect Their Kids. The Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids offers help for concerned parents and how to take action to protect their kids and help them from becoming addicted.
Parenting Skills: 21 Tips & Ideas to Help You Make a Difference. Parents are the biggest deterrent for their kids when it comes to using drugs and alcohol. The U.S. Department of Education helps parents get involved.
The Maine Tobacco-Free College Network is helping to create a tobacco-free lifestyle in colleges across the state by creating a campus culture that supports a tobacco-free lifestyle, reduces fire risks, decreases maintenance costs, and improves the health of students, faculty, staff, and visitors.
A Comprehensive Approach to Campus Tobacco Prevention by the TobaccoTechnical Assistance Consortium (TTAC) is a comprehensive strategy for campus tobacco prevention combines traditional tobacco education/cessation programs with efforts to create a physical, social, and policy environment that supports tobacco-free campuses.
TheTruth.com is an interactive, in-your-face website that helps young adults learn the truth about Big Tobacco.
The Tobacco-Free Family Kit helps parents learn how to talk to their child about tobacco, be a good role model and prevent dangerous effects of secondhand smoke. Download these resources for parents:
Talk about Tobacco. Tobacco is a threat to every child, and starts with the first cigarette. Find out how to Talk to your kids about tobacco and what to do if they smoke.
Quit for Your Kids. Need help quitting? Quitting smoking makes you a role model. The earlier you quit, the less likely your kids will smoke.
Don’t Smoke Around Your Kids. Children exposed to secondhand smoke risk getting asthma, bronchitis and many other illnesses.