December 2012 - Raising Smoke-Free Adolescents
Tobacco use continues to be the most common cause of preventable disease and death in the U.S. While progression in youth tobacco control and prevention has reduced tobacco use among youth, a significant percentage of your people are still using tobacco. Each day in the U.S., nearly 3,600 young people between the ages of 12 and 17 years start cigarette smoking, and an estimated 1,100 young people become daily cigarette smokers per CDC.
Additionally, candy-flavored tobacco and smokeless tobacco product use is on the rise among teenagers. Many tobacco manufacturers are making tobacco products that taste and packaged like candy. “Kid flavors” include chocolate, cherry, vanilla, apple grape and watermelon. The design of flavored tobacco make it especially appealing to young people, and like all tobacco products, flavored tobacco can pose serious health risks and lead to a lifetime of tobacco addiction per Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. There are various reasons why young people experiment and use tobacco, including their susceptibility to social, physicals and environmental influences. It is important that parents understand the risks of tobacco use and the ways in which they can protect their children from being exposed to these risks.
Tips for parents:
Talk directly to your children about the immediate harms of all forms of tobacco products, yellowing of teeth, bad breath, smelly clothes and hair, respiratory problems, increased stress, decreased physical performance and increased chances of being ill.
Discuss the myth and misleading images used in ads and movies which portray smoking as attractive and sexy.
Maintain a smoke-free home. This makes smoking less convenient and sets an example.
If you are a smoker, QUIT! Though it is not simple for parents to quit smoking, parents who quit smoking are more likely to raise children who are less likely to smoke and more likely to quit if they start.
Have a wonderful vacation and happy holidays!
Vision screenings have been completed for both schools.