10 Ways to Talk to Your Kids About Smoking

Remember to Listen
Do your kids have your full attention?
Do your kids have your full attention?
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Open communication with your kids about smoking will make it easier to talk, and continue talking, about the subject.

Give them your full attention, without the distractions of television or your cell phone. Keep the conversation light and resist lecturing.

Put them at ease. Some kids are more comfortable if they're not looking you straight in the eye. If they're doing something that doesn't require their full attention, let them continue while you talk.

Use everyday events to broach the subject. If you see kids on the street smoking, talk about why they might be smoking away from home and why they might have started. If your kids are going to a party or event where smoking might be accepted, discuss their feelings about it. Ask them what they think about an uncle or cousin who smokes.

Find out what your kids already know and show that you value their opinions and ideas. Don't judge. Discuss it in a way that doesn't make them fear punishment.

Be clear, direct and honest with your kids. Know your facts so you're prepared to answer any questions they may have. And if you don't know the answer, look it up together.