Keep Teens from Lighting Up

Smoking isn’t as “cool” among teens as it used to be. Over the past four decades, the smoking rate among high school seniors has fallen 23 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Office of Adolescent Health.

Yet, one in 20 high school students still smokes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, e-cigarettes are now the most commonly used form of tobacco by youth in the U.S.

Say No to Nicotine

Smoking or vaping isn’t healthy, especially for teens. Research shows that the nicotine in cigarettes and e-cigarettes is more addictive to teens and can mess with the brain’s hardwiring, leading to mood disorders. Teens who use tobacco are also more likely to use illegal drugs and alcohol, compared to those who don’t, and engage in risky sexual behavior.

Parents, Listen Up

You have more influence over your teen than you may think. Here’s how to keep your teen from trying smoking or vaping.

Be a quitter. If you’re among the nearly 38 million Americans who smoke, quit. While you’re trying to quit, keep your home smoke-free and don’t use tobacco around your teen.
Fend off friends. Peer pressure is powerful. If your teen’s friends smoke, talk with your teen about ways to say no, such as “No, thanks. My coach would be so angry if I smoked.”
Talk it up. Start casual conversations with your teen about the dangers of smoking. According to the American Cancer Society, teens who have these chats with their parents are about half as likely to smoke as those who don’t.
For starters, you might say: “Do a lot of people in your school smoke?” As the discussion picks up, talk about the health dangers of smoking and inhaling chemicals — that it damages the heart and lungs and causes cancer.

Let us help you. Learn more about the local resources available to help you and your loved ones quit tobacco for good.
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