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Cold Hard Facts about Smoking for Teens

What It Takes to Raise Kids Who Will Make Good Decisions

Kids, Parents, and Power Struggles

Uncommon Sense for Parents with Teenagers

Parents – How to Keep your Children Tobacco Free
by Katrina Hayday Wester, adapted from the Center for Disease Control Material

Did you know that approximately 80% of adult smokers started smoking before the age of eighteen and that every day; nearly 5,000 people under the age of 18 try their first cigarette? Did you also know that tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death? In fact, smoking causes more than 440,000 deaths each year at an annual cost of $75 billion in medical costs. Don’t you think it’s time now to start educating our children about the dangers of tobacco?

In the early days of the Tour de France, cyclists believed that smoking would enhance their performance. It was not uncommon to see the competitors riding with a cigarette in their mouths. If they only knew…

  • Smokers suffer shortness of breath.
  • Smokers run slower and can’t run as far
  • Cigars and spit tobacco are NOT safe alternatives.
  • Nicotine in cigarettes, cigars, and spit tobacco is addictive
  • Nicotine narrows your blood vessels and puts added strain on your heart.
  • Smoking can wreck lungs and reduce oxygen available for muscles used during sports


  • Smoking makes your clothes and hair smell. (Perfume doesn’t mask the smell.)
  • It yellows your teeth, skin and fingernails.
  • Tobacco makes your breath smell – and mints don’t help.
  • Don’t waste money on cigarettes. You can spend it on, music, books, magazines, or clothes. A pack of cigarettes costs between $4.00 and $5.00 per pack, just think of all the good uses for that money!


  • If you use tobacco, don’t use it around your children. Don’t offer it to them and make sure it is inaccessible.
  • Start talking to your children early about the dangers of tobacco. If you wait until middle school or high school they could already be addicted.
  • Discuss with them the fact that smoking is not glamorous. It is a dependency like any other drug. That it is used in movies and television but that it isn’t glamorous. Even in movies and on TV, every time actors take a drag on a cigarette, they shorten their lives.
  • If anyone you know has died from a tobacco related illness tell your child.Teach your child how they can refuse tobacco if their friends use it.


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