10 Questions Kids Might Ask Their Parents About Smoking

Why shouldn't I smoke if you do (or used to)?

If you're a smoker, or you used to be and your kids know about it, this can be a very tricky question to answer. It can feel hypocritical to tell your children not to smoke when you go through a pack a day, or if they remember you smoking in the house when they were younger. The best thing to do is to be honest. Explain that you regret becoming a smoker and wish you'd never started [source: Dowshen]. That can also be an opportunity to teach an important lesson about how addictive cigarettes are and how hard it is for smokers to kick the habit.

If you're ready to quit, you can make a pact with your child that you will quit if they agree not to start smoking. Or if they've already started, you can agree to quit together. If you don't think you'll be able to quit, at least try to stop smoking in the house, in the car and around others. Explain that you smoke outside because you know it's an unhealthy habit and you don't want to expose other people to second-hand smoke.