addiction to nicotine from cigarette smoking, smokeless tobacco
(chew), and cigars is a major public health problem.
about teen smoking:
at MOST risk for Tobacco use:
3 million U.S. teenagers smoke.
3,000 teenagers start smoking every day and one-third of
them will die prematurely of a smoking related disease (American
school students who smoke cigarettes are more likely to
take risks such as ignoring seat belts, getting into physical
fights, carrying weapons, and having sex at an earlier age.
is considered to be a "gateway drug" which may lead to alcohol,
marijuana, and other illegal drug use.
adult smokers started smoking before the age of 18.
use continues to be the most common cause of preventable
disease and death in the United States.
smoking and tobacco use are associated with many forms of
is the main cause of lung and heart disease.
worsens existing medical problems, such as asthma, high
blood pressure and diabetes.
earlier a person starts smoking, the greater the risk to
his or her health and the harder it is to quit.
can do to prevent Tobacco use:
parents, siblings, or friends who smoke
characteristics such as toughness and acting grown up
the harmful effects of tobacco
fewer coping skills and smoke to alleviate stress
poor self esteem and depression
poor academic performance, especially girls
very influenced by advertisements that relate cigarette
smoking to being thin and/or suffer from eating disorders
If your child
or teen has already begun to use tobacco, the following steps
can help him or her to stop:
are role models. If you smoke, quit. If you have not quit,
do not smoke in front of your children and tell them you
regret that you started.
not allow smoking in your home and strictly enforce your
No Smoking rule.
whether tobacco is discussed in school.
about tobacco use by friends; compliment children who do
not allow your children to handle smoking materials.
not allow your children to play with candy cigarettes. They
are symbols of real cigarettes, and young children who use
them may be more likely to smoke.
school and community anti-smoking efforts and tell school
officials you expect them to enforce no smoking policies.
tobacco less readily available to children and teens—support
higher taxes on tobacco, licensing of vendors, and bans
on unattended vending machines.
with your children the false and misleading images used
in advertising and movies which portray smoking as glamorous,
healthy, sexy, and mature.
the short-term negative effects such as bad breath, yellowed
fingers, smelly clothes, shortness of breath, and decreased
performance in sports.
that nicotine is addictive.
children to say "No" to tobacco by role playing situations
in which tobacco is offered by peers.
him/her to stop. Be non-confrontational, supportive, and
his/her efforts to quit and express your desire to help.
your youngster identify personally relevant reasons to quit.
you smoke, agree to quit with your child and negotiate a
the child's pediatrician or family physician to help the
child stop smoking.
the child is abusing other drugs and/or alcohol or there
are problems with mood or other disorders, evaluation by
a child and adolescent psychiatrist or other mental health
professional may be indicated.
information see Facts for Families #2 "Teenagers with
Eating Disorders," #3 "Teens: Alcohol and Other Drugs," #4
"The Depressed Child," #6 "Children Who Can't Pay Attention,"
#33 "Conduct Disorders," and #66 "Managing Stress."
#68 Updated 4/99
Family Resources wishes to thank the (AACAP) for giving
us permission to use this article.
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP)
represents over 6,900 child and adolescent psychiatrists
who are physicians with at least five years of additional
training beyond medical school in general (adult) and child
and adolescent psychiatry.
for Families© is developed and distributed by the American
Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP).
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