How to talk to your kids about smoking

Did you know that 7.5% of 12-17-year-olds in Australia report being weekly or daily smokers?

It’s a horrible scenario for parents to have to imagine; your child picking up a pack of cigarettes rather than a book. But despite a universal understanding that smoking is bad for health, parents still grapple with how to raise the subject with their children.

It may seem premature to sit down with your kindergartener or third grader and spell out the dangers of smoking. The best time to start talking to children about the topic, however, is before the dangerous teen years.

The messages you give your child today will shape their decision-making in the future. So, how does one broach the hard topic? Here are three tips to get you started.

Start conversations
Look for the teachable moments. Say you see someone smoking and coughing on the street, bring it up. Why? Because your child will be able to clearly see cause and effect and it's more powerful. Point out that smokers are more likely to get sick, have their appearance change, and die young. Appealing to vanity is a powerful technique.

Ask open-ended questions
It’s also important to ask open-ended questions such as, “how do you feel about smoking?” By letting your child have their say, you will make them feel valued. This will also help ward-off poor attention spans and potential conflict.

Equip for peer pressure
You must also empower your child to resist peer pressure. Seeing people around them smoking is the single biggest influence. Explain the dangers, and arm them with the tools to say no to their friends.

Empowering young minds

The two modules below help students to make safer choices around drugs and alcohol. Empower your children, and others at their school by submitting a booking enquiry today.

Think Twice Decisions

Secondary school program