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More than 80% of all adult smokers first become regular smokers before the age of 18.Most people could be prevented from becoming addicted to nicotine if they could be kept tobacco-free during adolescence.

Parents and guardians can take a number of effective actions to protect their kids from starting to smoke. What parents say, how they act and the values they communicate through their words and actions have an enormous influence on children, and that also applies to tobacco use.

Studies have found that parental actions, attitudes and opinions about smoking have a great deal of influence on whether or not kids smoke.

Don't quite know how to approach the subject with your kids? Take a look at our tobacco-free kids tips for some ideas.

Is your child already smoking? We've got these ideas to help you help them quit.


Sources: National Center for Tobacco-Free Kids, 2004, Michigan Department of Community Health, Talk It Out, 2002, 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

Additional Resources

Parents and Kids: Tobacco-free Tips

Parents and guardians can take the following actions to help their children stay or become tobacco-free:

Helping Kids Quit

If children are already using tobacco, parents or guardians can still make a difference. These links provide useful guidance.