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  • 3/10/2012

Ways to Teach Children Not to Smoke


By Lily Mae


According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), smoking causes a host of health problems, including an increased risk of coronary heart disease, stroke and several types of cancer, including lung. The CDC also notes that lung cancer is the top cause of cancer-related death among men and women. To this end, it is of utmost importance to teach children the importance of not smoking to help put an end to these easily avoidable health problems.


Startling Statistics

For older children, use a harsh, albeit effective approach to promote the importance of not smoking. Gather startling statistics, such as the number of cancer-related deaths that are caused by smoking and other frightening health hazards. Show them images that depict the effects of smoking on different parts of the body. Pick up pamphlets from a local doctor's office that highlights the importance of not smoking. Though this approach may be brash, it will likely make older kids think twice before lighting up a cigarette.


No-Smoking Posters

After having a discussion with children about the effects of smoking and how important it is not to start smoking, enlist their help for promoting smoke-free bodies and environments by having them create no-smoking posters. Provide children with poster board, markers, colored pencils and other art materials that they can use to craft their posters. Encourage them to think of clever slogans and pictures that illustrate their desire for not smoking, or their desire to not have others smoke around them. Hang the posters up in your home, classroom or in the hallways of a school to spread the message of the importance of not smoking.


Role Playing

Often, children succumb to the effects of peer pressure, which may lead them to try smoking if they are pressured into it. Use role playing as a means of helping children overcome the peer pressure they may experience to smoke. Act as a bully, or someone who is pressuring children to smoke and encourage them to think of responses to reject the pressure. If they seem standoffish or afraid, offer them clever quips to give back to the person who is pressuring them to smoke, or encourage them to simply walk away from the situation.


Financial Burden

In addition to being a health burden, smoking is also a financial burden. Find out the price of a pack of cigarettes in your area. Use that price to determine the cost of smoking per-year for a pack-a-day-smoker. After determining the total (which is likely to astonish children), ask them other things that they could do with that money instead of purchasing cigarettes. In addition to having to pay for cigarettes, you could also explain to children that life and health insurance is also more expensive for smokers and it can also impact the chances of getting a job, as many employers look down on smoking.

Other Links:

The Role of Eating Healthy for Your Body

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The Importance of Healthy Eating in the Life

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