We can't expect our
kids to approach us about the dangers of smoking. That's
why we need to be on the lookout for good opportunities
to initiate the discussion ourselves. Whether driving
them to sports practice, going out to dinner, or watching
television, take the time to talk to them and get them
talking to you. Remember to ask good questions, listen
to their answers, and always look for common ground.
And be sure to keep your words and ideas at a level
they can understand. To discover some effective ways
to get the conversation started with your child, just
see the age-specific suggestions below.
It’s never too early to start talking with your
child about the dangers of smoking. Some good ways to
start the conversation with your 6-8 year-old might
"What have they taught you in school about the
dangers of smoking?"
If you see someone put out a cigarette or see cigarette
butts on the ground, comment on how you feel about that
and ask your kids what they think.
Even if you’ve started talking early on with your
child about the dangers of smoking, it’s important
to continue talking often about the subject. Here are
some effective ways to open a dialogue with children
“Why do you think some teenagers
smoke even though it is so dangerous?”
“Why do you think I chose to sit in the 'No Smoking'
Remember that any time together is a good time to talk
with your child about smoking. Some effective conversation
starters you might use with your 12-15 year-old could
“What do you think when you
see kids smoking?”
“What are some good reasons you might give your
own child for not smoking?”
When you’re watching a movie or television show
together where a character smokes, wait until after
the show and ask, “What did you think about that
character who always had a cigarette dangling from their
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