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Youth use of tobacco products in any form is unsafe, irrespective of whether it is smoked, smokeless, or electronic. If cigarette smoking continues at the current rate among youth in this country, 5.6 million of today's Americans younger than 18 will die early from a smoking-related illness. That's about 1 of every 13 Americans aged 17 years or younger alive today.

Find links to data, infographics, reports and other resources at CDC

 
   

Adolescents and Tobacco: Tips for Parents

When it comes to preventing teens from using tobacco or helping them quit, parents and other caring adults can take several steps. First, you can set an example and choose not to smoke or use other tobacco products. In addition to modeling desirable behavior, this would prevent adolescents’ exposure to second-hand smoke, which can cause many of the same negative health effects that adolescents would experience if they smoked themselves.

Don’t be shy. You should speak up before adolescents begin smoking or if tobacco use of any kind is suspected. Youth who do not use tobacco before the age of 26 are likely to never start.1

Go the distance to prevent secondhand smoke exposure. In addition to not smoking yourself, you can prevent adolescents’ exposure to secondhand smoke by not allowing anyone to smoke anywhere in or near an adolescents’ home; not allowing smoking in the cars they ride in, even with a window down; ensuring that adolescents’ schools are tobacco-free; and - if your state still allows smoking in public areas - frequenting restaurants and other places that do not allow smoking (note that “no-smoking sections” are not enough to shield a person from secondhand smoke).

Monitor. The amount of monitoring you do (such as having expectations about when adolescents will be home and checking on their plans) can lessen your teen risks of nicotine-dependence.2

Strongly disapprove. Adolescents whose parents or other adults in their lives strongly disapprove of their smoking - even if the adults themselves smoke - are less likely to take up smoking. Your disapproval has even been found to counteract the influence of peers on smoking.3

Know what children watch. Setting limits on adolescents’ movie choices may help prevent them from starting to smoke; many adult-oriented movies include depictions of smoking that may glamorize the habit.4

Enlist allies. Other adults in adolescents’ lives, such as teachers, grandparents, aunts, and uncles, influence whether teens start using tobacco and whether they stop. These adults can be important allies in communicating a no-smoking message to teens.

For more tips on how you can have meaningful conversations with your teen about tobacco use and its dangers, visit Talking with Teens, OAH's resource for parents and other adults working with adolescents.

Source: https://www.hhs.gov/ash/oah/adolescent-development/substance-use/drugs/tobacco/tips-for-parents/index.html
   

Talking With Teens About Tobacco: Talk With Your Teen

  • Critique what teens hear about tobacco. Friends, movies, music, celebrities, or advertising may give teens the impression that tobacco use is sexy, helps lose weight, or can help them fit in. These are myths. Using tobacco is not a sign of maturity, and most adults who started using tobacco as teens later regret it.
  • Highlight the risks.Young people who see smoking or tobacco use as less harmful (or focus on what they see as positive sides to it, such as peer acceptance) are more likely to start using tobacco. Here are some of the short- and long-term risks of smoking (with similar risks for other forms of tobacco use)

Short-Term Effects of Smoking

  • Addiction to nicotine and exposure to other dangerous chemicals
  • Higher likelihood of respiratory problems
  • Shortness of breath
  • Phlegm and a gross-sounding cough
  • Impaired lung growth and function
  • Bad breath, yellow teeth, and stained fingers

Long-Term Effects of Smoking

  • Addiction to nicotine and exposure to other dangerous chemicals
  • Lung, mouth, throat, kidney, and stomach cancers
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Emphysema and other chronic diseases
  • Shorter lifespan (up to 20 years shorter)
  • Foul-smelling clothes and hair
  • Provide accurate information about different forms of tobacco.Cigarettes are the most common form of tobacco use, including tobacco use among teens. But there are other forms of tobacco that teens may try or use. Sometimes they do so, thinking that the health risks or chance of addiction are lower. And though the levels of specific risks vary by type of product, all of these tobacco products contain nicotine and other chemicals, so they are not “safe” alternatives to smoking cigarettes. Other tobacco products include:
    • BeTobaccoFree.gov is a comprehensive "one-stop-shop" for tobacco information from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
    • Smokeless tobacco, including chewing tobacco, snuff, and snus—Most smokeless tobacco users place the product in their cheek or between their gum and cheek, then spit. Snus are small pouches of dry tobacco that are placed between the gum and lip but usually are not spit.
    • Bidis ("bee-dees") and kreteks—Bidis are small, hand-rolled cigarettes typically imported from India and Southeast Asia. They may be flavored (such as chocolate, mango, or strawberry). Kreteks, from Indonesia, are also called clove cigarettes because they include cloves along with tobacco and other additives. These products contain more nicotine, tar, and carbon monoxide than conventional U.S. cigarettes.
    • Cigars, cigarillos, little cigars, and blunts—Most cigars include tobacco that is air-cured or dried, then fermented to give it a different taste and smell. Regular cigars are larger than cigarettes. Little cigars or cigarillos look like cigarettes, but are filled with pipe tobacco. They may be flavored (chocolate or apple, for example) and are sold individually or in packets like cigarettes. Blunts are wide, somewhat stubby versions of cigars. All of these products contain higher levels of nicotine than cigarettes.
    • Pipes—Pipes use loose, fermented tobacco that sits in a chamber or bowl and is inhaled through a mouthpiece.
    • Hookah or water pipe—This pipe, originally from India and the Middle East, is used to smoke a combination of tobacco and fruits or vegetables (called Shisha) that is heated and filtered through water.
    • Electronic cigarettes or E-cigarettes—E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that turn nicotine and other chemicals into a vapor that the user inhales. E-cigarettes often look like regular cigarettes, but they do not produce smoke or burn tobacco. They do, however, contain nicotine and other chemicals.
    • Dissolvable tobacco—Dissolvable tobacco is finely processed to use on strips, sticks, orbs, or tobacco lozenges. They can look like a breath mint or candy. They contain nicotine and other chemicals.
  • Find teachable moments. If it’s hard to talk about tobacco with your teen, try these ideas to make it easier:
    • If your teen is going to be where tobacco might be used, talk about how to deal with the situation.
    • Comment on an advertisement or TV show that shows someone smoking.
    • If you see someone using tobacco—such as a relative at a family gathering or one of your own friends—ask your teen what he thinks about it.
    • Discuss rules about tobacco use at the school or on sports teams.

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Source: https://www.hhs.gov/ash/oah/resources-and-training/for-families/tobacco/teen-talk/index.html

   
   

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