According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention
, approximately 9 out of 10 teen cigarette smokers had their first cigarette by age 18. Additionally, every day in the United States, almost 3,200 teens pick up the habit.
When it's your son or daughter opening the pack, it's easy to get angry. Instead, we suggest considering these five tips about how to prevent your child from smoking.
Open a dialogue
Having a screaming match is never fun. It can also be counterproductive and can muddle the fact that you’re just trying to help. Instead, consider opening a dialogue that invites them to talk to you about smoking and how they feel about it. If you keep a respectful tone and have a calm demeanor, you’re more likely to make a positive impression.
Also on Z Living: 6 Things to Never Say to Your Kids
Make your home smoke-free
Tell everyone who enters that your home is a smoke-free environment. By setting these rules and expectations across the board, your child won’t feel singled out. The less time your he or she spends around tobacco, the more likely they are to avoid it.
Be a good role model
If you are a smoker, it’s tough to ask your child to abstain. Take your parental ambitions and let yourself benefit from them. Drop your smoking habit to ensure a healthier life for you and the kids.
Also on Z Living: Behind Epigenetics: How Habits Affect Your Grandkids
Show them the facts
Your teen might not think smoking is a bad habit, especially if they see their peers and adults puffing away. Health class and smoking ads help, but be sure they know the statistics. Consider showing your son or daughter some important and shocking facts about smoking
, like the fact that tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States.
Instill a healthier habit or hobby
Try suggesting some new activities for your child to take part in. Whether it be a sport, a regular hike, or a new diet, there are plenty of healthy substitutes for cigarettes.
WATCH on Z Living: Change The Day You Die
, where each week, one lucky person will get the chance to rewrite their future and start living a much healthier life. See a sneak peek here.
Have more tips on how prevent children from smoking? Tell us in the comments section.