Parents and Kids: Tobacco-free Tips

Parents and guardians can take the following actions to help their children stay or become tobacco-free: 
Be Smoke Free
  • Set a good example and be a positive role model by not using tobacco.
  • If you don't smoke, don't start! If you do smoke, quit!
  • If you smoke, share your struggles to quit with your children.
  • Maintain a smoke-free home and car.
Talk With Kids
  • Give clear, consistent messages about the dangers of tobacco.
  • Emphasize the immediate, health effects of smoking or using tobacco.
  • Emphasize the effects of smoking on physical appearance.
  • Tell your kids that you don't want them to smoke and will be disappointed with them, if they do.
  • Help children critically analyze messages that glamorize tobacco use on television, in movies and in magazines.
  • Destroy the myth that everybody smokes.
  • Share tobacco-use prevention information with children and talk with them about anything and everything.
  • Teach children to manage emotions.
  • Teach children to be social without tobacco.
Talk With Teachers
  • Work with the school board to provide youth tobacco cessation programs, rather than punishment, for students who violate tobacco-use policies.
Other Helpful Links
Sources: Tobacco-Free Kids, 2009, Schwebel, R., How to Help Your Kids Choose To Be Tobacco-Free, 1999, Distefan, J.M., Gilpin, E.A., Choi, W.S. & Pierce, J.P., 1998.