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Teach Your Child the Affects of Smoking

The effects of smoking can be devastating, even deadly. Tobacco use is the leading cause of emphysema, respiratory infections (such as pneumonia and bronchitis), cancer of the lungs, throat, mouth, bladder, cervix, bladder and stomach, heart attacks, strokes or coronary disease, stomach ulcers and peripheral vascular disease. Not only can smoking cause these deadly diseases it also weakens a person’s taste buds and sensitivity to smelling, have a shortness of breath, tend to get more facial wrinkles and it can be a terribly addictive habit.

Many smokers have complained of the difficulty of quitting once they have used tobacco for the first time, especially if they have started smoking at a young age. Just one cigarette can create an addiction so strong that it will turn individuals into lifetime smokers. Therefore, preventative awareness is the most important step for parents to establish this information to children as young as possible.

Grades K-3rd
Children as young as the kindergarten level begin receiving educational instruction on the effects of smoking. This is a perfect opportunity for parents to place their thoughts on this subject, when your children come home talking about smoking from school sit down with your child and talk to them about what they learned. This is a perfect opportunity to talk about smoking with your children, as many parents never know when to bring the topic up.

Ask your children how they feel about what they learned. Once your children have given you their opinion, add your own opinion to their thoughts. “Yes, and cigarette smoke really stinks, it makes the person who smokes stink and it really costs a lot of money also. It’s a really gross habit. Even those people who smoke don’t like to do it, but they tried it once because a friend asked them to and because cigarettes are so addictive they can’t quit.”

Young children may ask about addiction, if so be honest with them and explain how addiction works, how your body becomes dependent on the drug and the affects your body goes through once smokers do quit.

Main points to address:

  • Talk to your about what they learned in school about smoking.
  • Ask them how they feel about smoking.

Grades 4th-6th
There is an amazing effect that seeing things first hand has on children. Show your children pictures of a smoker’s lung. Talk to them about how cigarettes have tar in them, which is the reason a smoker’s lung turns black. “Could you imagine having this lung in your body just to smoke a stinky cigarette?”

It’s also a great idea to go over statistics associated with smokers, look specifically for the percent of people who die early from smoking, the percent of people who die in pain from cancer because of smoking and the other diseases that smokers normally get because of smoking. And again talk about the addictive affect of smoking, “I’m sure when these people found out that they were going to die because of smoking they wanted to stop smoking, but probably couldn’t because of the addiction.”

Main points to address:

  • Show your children pictures of a smokers lung.
  • Show them statistics of people who die early from smoking.
  • Talk to them about how addictive cigarettes are.

Resources
Resources that can help you in your venture include:

Posted in Health.

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