More than 80% of daily adult smokers begin smoking before age 18. Nearly one in four high school seniors smokes.
Research suggests that parental attitude is very important when it comes to youth and tobacco use. If a young person believes that his or her parents would be upset if he or she smoked, they are less likely to smoke. Also, the credibility of a parent’s message decreases if he or she smokes.
Parental supervision and communicating with your children from a young age are important tools to help your child stay tobacco-free. Try these tips to help the young adults in your life make good choices.
- Listen: Don’t do all the talking.
- Educate: Inform your kids about the dangers of tobacco.
- Role play: Have your kids practice what to say if they are asked to use tobacco.
- Teach: Help your kids make wise decisions on their own.
- Be a role model: If you smoke, get help to quit.
Other nicotine products
Cigars, pipes and hookahs are not safe alternatives to smoking. In fact, hookah users may inhale more smoke than cigarette smokers, because hookah sessions often last an hour or more.
Smokeless tobacco products like chewing tobacco and snuff can cause mouth and throat cancers. Snuff may increase your risk for cancers of the mouth, esophagus, stomach and pancreas.
E-cigarettes are smokeless devices that vaporize a solution of nicotine, flavoring and other chemicals. E-cigarettes are not a safe alternative to smoking. Their ingredients are unregulated, and there is no evidence they are effective as a smoking cessation tool. While they do not contain tobacco, the nicotine they contain is highly addictive and harmful.