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  No matter what we do as parents, we're never going to seem as cool to our kids as the "cool kids" in school. Even so, studies show that what we do and what we say can make a dramatic difference in the choices our kids make. The way we approach our children about this issue will be most greatly influenced by their age. Studies also indicate that children start experimenting with smoking as early as age 8, with the majority being between the ages of 12 to 14. This statistic, while staggering, clearly emphasizes that it's important to start talking early, and to keep talking often about this critical issue. The suggestions found here can help lead to insightful and beneficial conversations and help develop a better understanding between you and your child when it comes to not smoking. On this site, you'll learn to:
  • Talk to children without lecturing
  • Listen to their answers without being judgmental or critical
  • Continually look for common ground where the two of you can agree
  • Keep the words and ideas you introduce on a level your child can relate to and understand
  • Touch on the consequences of their actions

Getting through to kids about the risks of smoking requires asking good questions, making persuasive arguments and talking candidly about the consequences. Be sure to go beyond the long-term health risks of smoking and touch on the short-term issues as well. By talking openly and honestly, you can make a difference and help your child see the benefits of leading a smoke-free life.

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Q: Why do kids smoke?