Teens are at the right age where they can either get addicted to tobacco or forever be warned about the habit. The only condition is proper guidance. This guidance and support must be provided by parents, guardians, and other adults in the teenager’s life. While putting down strict laws and finding out the reason why the child started smoking are meaningful first steps on the path, there is more you can do. Here are some of the tactics and tips that parents can employ to ensure their teenager doesn’t get addicted to tobacco.
1. As parents, we can be shy of talking about issues and topics that are awkward. Tobacco and smoking are two of them. But it has been noted that young adults who never smoke or consume tobacco before 26 are not likely to ever do it. Therefore, your job is to speak to the child before they start smoking. If tobacco use is suspected, then talk to them about its adverse consequences.
2. We all know that parents who smoke are more likely to have children who also do. The same logic applies to other adults in their lives. Thus, while it is important for parents to stop smoking, it is equally vital to ensure that adolescents do not have any form of second-hand smoke exposure. To that end, do the following:
a. Don’t allow smoking by anyone in the house
b. Don’t let others smoke in the car children ride in
c. Make sure that the school they attend is a tobacco-free zone.
d. When it comes to restaurants and eating out, always opt for smoke-free places. If that is not an option, then sit in the no-smoking sections.
3. Monitor the child. It can lessen the risk of them getting addicted to cigarettes or tobacco. Some steps you can take are to set limits on when they have to come home and keep a check on their outing plans.
4. Movies, videos, songs, images, ads, and the whole of the internet is filled with content that glamorises smoking. So set limits on what the children can access and watch online or on movies. It will prevent them from seeing smoking as a cool thing.
5. Rope in all adults in your child’s life to prevent tobacco addiction. From teachers to grandparents, from tutors to elder siblings, everyone should know about the no-smoking rule and enforce it.