Help Your Kids Stay Away From Smoking Cigarettes
I used to smoke, in fact, back in the 60s, before we were all aware of the terrible consequences of smoking, it was considered cool among teens to smoke. I smoked Marlboros because I wanted to be as cool as that famous guy in the cowboy hat I saw on billboards and in magazine ads. Back then he was even on the TV. He smoked by the campfire and was even portrayed riding his horse with a cigarette dangling from his mouth.
I also tried smoking Camels, in fact I started smoking Camel Reds with no filters. Even though they tasted terrible, my friend Frank and I thought we were cool Buy Dime Carts Online . What’s interesting is that the pack is emblazoned with a camel with a desert backdrop. I never did quite get the meaning of that. Did it mean that the cigarettes taste as bad as a camel smells? Or was the illustration supposed to mean smoking one would give you an exotic experience similar to smoking opium? I guess I’ll never know.
Today everyone, at least in the United States, has been educated to know that puffing on tobacco increases your odds of getting lung cancer, emphysema and a host of other health problems. The issue is that even with this information, many kids today, just as I did 40 years ago, still consider smoking to be cool. In fact a couple of years ago I found that my daughter was experimenting with smoking tobacco and I did everything I could to prevent it. The good news is that I was successful and she doesn’t smoke. The reason I’m telling you this is that as a parent, you might think that children smoking is uncommon, or that surely your kids wouldn’t be tempted to smoke. What you need to do is think again. 1 in 4 high school students smoke cigarettes and over 4,000 kids that take up this deadly habit every week in the United States alone.
The first thing you need to know that if you are a smoker you greatly increase the odds that your children will smoke. In fact, if you’re still smoking, it’s twice as likely that your kids will take up the habit than if you are a non-smoker.
Now, even though it was a long time ago, I had smoked and my kids know this, so this may have contributed to my daughter’s experimentation, but even if you’ve never smoked, make it clear to your children that smoking is a ‘bad’ habit that you frown upon. Don’t make the mistake of simply assuming that they are listening. If their friends smoke there is a good chance that they’ll also try it. The problem of children smoking is still alive and well. In fact, studies show that kids are starting to smoke at an even younger age than ever before, some as young as elementary school!
There’s no difference between the influences to smoke today than from back in the day when I started. Peer pressure, wanting to fit in with your peers, is one of the major contributors to children smoking. The ages of 11 to 21 are known by psychologists as the socialization period. This is the period that we are all trying to form friendships and fit in. Just like when I was a kid, kids today want to feel that they are a member of the cooler crowd in their peer group. If they perceive that the more popular kids in school smoke, they will want to be perceived as cools and may equate this behavior with increasing their own popularity.
There is also the concept of the ‘forbidden pleasure’, which can be another major reason for children to begin smoking. I don’t know about you but if someone nags me too much about something I sometimes do just the opposite. Sometimes as parents we harp so much on the virtues of not smoking that the kids begin thinking as the Queen did in Hamlet that “The (parent) doth protest too much, methinks” and that it must be one of those forbidden pleasure of which you wish to deprive them.
So there must be a balance between the nagging and facts. Here are five ideas you can use to drive home the point that smoking cigarettes is a really bad idea.
1. Do a Google image search on ‘lung cancer’ and ’emphysema’ for some graphic displays that aren’t pretty. Print some of the more graphic images and paste them on your refrigerator door. It has been my experience that kids visit the refrigerator frequently, if not hourly, so this not quite subliminal messaging is going to make an impression.
2. Do a Google text search on ‘cigarette additives’. This will pull up many results of pages which list the 500-4000 chemical compounds contained in a burning cigarette. Print out one of these lists out as well. Give your kids a home assignment to research the effects of some of these additives. Set a time limit and review their results with them. What you will find is that it’s enough to gag a maggot.
Let them know that the FDA has approved the addition of all of these substances. If you want to know my opinion about what the FDA should do then read my article “Some Ideas About How to Use the New Tobacco Tax Revenues”. Ask your kids if they think that these should be considered acceptable for consumption. Now that’s a tough assignment and an excellent argument against children smoking – or anyone for that matter.