Preventing kids smoking starts off at home, and if you don't get that right, it's much harder to beat the outside influences later.
Kids smoking is discussed at school; then there are smoking warnings on cigarette packets and TV.
Not only kids smoking, but tobacco's dangers in general are in our face repeatedly. Ask even a young child what they think about smoking... It stinks, it kills, it's yucky, bleerck!
Then ask a child if they like exploring new things, if they're curious... yes.
Ask a child if they're curious about what smoking feels like.....well, yes.
Now ask a child if they would like to try out smoking just to see what it's like.... well, possibly yes.
Kids smoking is a fine line between danger and curiosity!
Curious, impetuous, easily swayed, anti-control, bored, upset, peer pressure, looking for the cool factor, or adult wannabes... any one of these reasons can be the reason for kids smoking.
What's the best way to prevent kids smoking?
Studies show that good programs, good policies, marketing and advertising controls and enlightened education are slowly reducing the incidence of kids smoking.
Raising the price of tobacco, usually by taxes, slightly reduces the number of kids who smoke, in some areas. Adults aren't so much affected by high prices, but kids have less money, and their habit is not so ingrained.
Peer to peer involvement holds a lot of sway. Just like peer pressure can be negative and start a bad habit, so too can it be the opposite.
Some oddball reasons that slow down kids smoking figures are:
- The price of petrol. When gas prices go up, teens have to make more of a choice and seem to choose to spend their money on cruising than tobacco.
- Mobile phones. When a new cool in-thing hits teens, nooobody man, wants to be left in the cold. There's not enough time or who cares about looking cool trying to smoke, when you can have a shiny thing attached to your ear or hands.
If tobacco use is the number one cause of preventable death and disease and as 90 percent of current smokers started as kids, well before age 19 — then it's pretty obvious where we should focus...
Parents: Rush on over to Preventing Children Smoking, an enlightening page to help prevent your kids smoking.
Ahoy to teens too. Have a look at Teenage Smoking, for some down-to-earth information and help about you and other kids smoking. Mosey on over to Smoking and Glamour for a bit of eye-popping reality too.
For kindy, pre-school, early childhood teachers and Mothers and Dads. Child Smoking has a great page in PDF format, you can print out and put on a notice board.
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