As a doting parent, you are likely eager to prevent your curious teen from experimenting with cigarette smoking. While it would be nice if telling your child not to smoke was enough to fully get the job done, many teens need a bit more guidance to effectively resist the temptation of the cigarette. To decrease the likelihood that your teen tries this potentially deadly activity, dedicate yourself to smoking prevention and tackle the topic of smoking from several different angles.
Make your prohibition against smoking known to your teen. Don’t beat around the bush when telling your teen that you don’t want her to smoke, but instead come right out and make your wishes known. Clearly tell her that you do not approve of smoking and that, because you love her, you hope she never takes up the dangerous habit.
Establish an open-door policy. Even through you have told your teen that you don’t want her smoking, you don’t want her to feel she has to hide her smoking experiments from you if she does give the habit a try. Tell your teen that she can tell you anything and that you will help her even if she makes a mistake. By doing this, you reduce the likelihood that your teen will take up smoking behind your back and keep the habit from you.
Provide your teen with support if he has already started to smoke. Instead of simply telling your teen to stop smoking, as if doing so is so easy, help her get the monkey off her back by providing her with support and speaking to her doctor about tools that she could use to quit and stay quit.
Set a smoke-free example. If you tell your teen not to smoke between puffs of your own cigarette, she is unlikely to listen. If you do smoke, consider giving it up. Not only will doing so set a better example for your teen, it will help you become a healthier mama.
Illustrate the visible impact of smoking with pictures. Show your teen pictures of what cigarette smoking can do to your teeth, or how those who develop jaw or lung cancer end up looking during or post treatment. If your teen values her appearance, these images may be highly motivational.
Complete smoking cost math with your teen. Gather data on the current cost of smoking and sit your teen down for a potentially lifesaving math lesson. Use these figures to calculate how much smoking costs a week, a month and a year. If your teen works, calculate how many hours she would need to spend on the job to finance this disgusting habit.
Get others involved in your plan. Ask your spouse, other relatives, your teen’s doctor and even her non-smoking friends to become co-conspirators and preach the ills of smoking to your teen. The more people from whom she receives negative messages about smoking, the less likely she is to take up the habit.