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Health Information For Parents
The health risks of smoking, vaping, and using chewing tobacco are serious. Among them:
But kids and teens continue to smoke and use tobacco products. Many young people pick up these habits every year. In fact, 90% of adult smokers started when they were kids. So it’s important for parents to learn all they can to help kids steer clear.
One reason that smoking and chewing tobacco are major health hazards is because they contain the chemical nicotine. Many e-cigarettes also contain nicotine. Someone can get addicted to nicotine within days of first using it. In fact, the nicotine in tobacco can be as addictive as cocaine or heroin. Once a person starts to smoke, it’s hard to stop.
Smoking and tobacco use can harm every body system and lead to long-term health problems such as:
People who smoke also can get:
Smoking is linked to diabetes, joint problems (arthritis), and skin problems (like psoriasis). For women, smoking can make it harder to become pregnant and can affect a baby’s health. It can also make women’s bones weaker and and easier to break.
Tobacco and other chemicals also can affect the body quickly. Their effects on the heart and lungs make it harder to do well in sports. They also irritate the throat, cause bad breath, and damage the airways, leading to the well-known “smoker’s cough.”
Finally, many studies show that young smokers are more likely to try marijuana, cocaine, heroin, or other drugs.
Kids might be drawn to smoking, vaping, and chewing tobacco for many reasons — to look cool, act older, lose weight, seem tough, or feel independent.
But parents can fight those draws and keep kids from trying these things — and getting addicted to them. Talk openly about tobacco use and vaping with your kids early on to make it easier to work through these tricky issues.
To help prevent your kids from smoking, vaping, and using chewing tobacco, keep these tips in mind:
Even when kids are well aware of the health risks, some still try smoking. If that happens, try not to get angry. It’s better to focus on communicating with your child.
These tips can help:
Kids are quick to spot gaps between what their parents say and what they do. And most kids say that the adult whom they most want to be like when they grow up is a parent.
If you’re a smoker:
Find out what the experts say.
Chewing or dipping: These terms are familiar to the millions of teens who use smokeless tobacco. If you’re ready to quit or you want to learn more about smokeless tobacco, read this article.
Everyone knows tobacco is unhealthy, but what do kids think about it? We asked 1,433 kids to give us their opinions.
You love your mom and dad, but what if they smoke? Find out how you can help them be healthier.
Being a smoker is an obvious risk for kids and teens with asthma, but just being around people who smoke – and breathing in secondhand smoke – can cause problems, too.
Everyone says smoking is bad for you. Why? Find out in this article for kids.
Smoking – or even breathing in secondhand smoke – can make asthma worse. Find out more in this article for kids.
Smoking is on the decline, but some people are still lighting up. Why? The answer is addiction. Find out more in this article for teens.
Experts now know that breathing in someone else’s secondhand smoke is bad for you. Find out what you can do about it.
Find out why smoking is a bad idea – especially for people with asthma.
Nicotine is a highly addictive stimulant. Those who start smoking before age 21 have the hardest time breaking the habit.
Nearly 1 in 5 deaths in the United States is related to tobacco. Are you ready to kick the habit?
Did you ever feel like another kid was trying to get you to do something you didn’t want to do? If so, you’ve felt peer pressure. Find out more in this article for kids.
E-cigarettes are marketed as a safe alternative to smoking, but they’re not. They still deliver nicotine into the body and damage the lungs. Here are the facts on vaping.
Breathing in someone else’s secondhand smoke is hazardous to our health. Find out what you can do about it.
Find out what the experts have to say.
E-cigarettes aren’t a safe alternative to smoking, they’re just another way of putting nicotine into your body. Get the facts on e-cigs and vaping.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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