More than half of heavy smokers acquire this habit since adolescence, when they are more easily influenced. Don’t forget that parents are the first to set a negative example. Statistics show that a child who grows up in a smoking environment has a 26% higher risk of taking up smoking.
So, if you are a smoker and until now you were not convinced to give up this vice, your child’s health is an additional reason to stop smoking. In addition, if you want to keep him away from cigarettes, it is not enough that only the parents do not smoke in the house, but also the guests.
Don’t give him money for cigarettes
Another way in which you can help him to give up or not take up cigarettes is a simple one: stop giving him a lot of pocket money, even if this will lead to tensions between you. And if you catch him smoking, “cut off” any allowance.
You can tell him that he will receive the money only if he can show you what he spent it on, for example, for the purchase of clothes or CDs.
Where do you ask for help?
Keep in mind that at his age the method approached to make him quit smoking is not the same as in the case of adult smokers. For example, we have a program that helps you quit smoking, called “Stop smoking!”, initiated by the Ministry of Health and which consists of making available to smokers free medicines and counseling.
Although effective in the case of adults, it does not give results in teenagers. Specialists say that in their case, the addiction is not primarily physical, the reasons why teenagers continue to smoke are the desire to integrate into a certain group or out of curiosity.
In this sense, you can go with your child to a psychologist for anti-smoking counseling. In Bucharest, you can make such an appointment for your child at the “Marius Nasta” National Institute of Pneumology.
“Let it pass!”
Do not believe that smoking is a passing fad, as most parents think. Statistics show that, in 2008, in Romania, one out of two men who smoked daily and one out of three women smokers started smoking before the age of 18. Makes you think, doesn’t it?
“It doesn’t matter the number of cigarettes”
When the teenager tells you that he smokes very little, do not be swayed by this explanation. You can try to explain to him that even a small number of cigarettes leave traces.
For example, just one cigarette smoked reduces the elasticity of the arteries by up to 25%, increasing the risk of heart attacks in adulthood. As at this age he is very concerned about how he looks, you can take advantage of this to warn him that smoking prematurely ages the skin and worsens acne.
The European Commission has launched a campaign, called “Help – For a life without tobacco”, which takes place online, www.help-eu.com. After registering on the website, the user will receive, for two months, e-mails with advice and encouragement to quit smoking.
Smoking reduces life expectancy
* By 2-3 years at 10 cigarettes smoked daily * By 5-7 years at 20 cigarettes daily * By 8-10 years at 40 cigarettes daily