Smoking is a common, unhealthy habit that most teens pick because of peer pressure or as a symbol of looking cool. As opposed to what teens think, smoking is extremely dangerous for their health and if they start so early as their age, they are likely to become addicts by the time they are adults. A lot of teens find it hard to quit because they think it is too hard a task. But, as a parent or a concerned individual, you can try this no-nonsense approach and really help the teen out of his problem.
Set An Example
As a parent or a guardian, you will be the most influential person in the teen’s life. And this will let you express more strongly with actions than words. If you are a smoker, it will be difficult to get your teen to stop smoking without him questioning your action and the chances of him quitting are quite feeble here. It is likely that your child endorses your smoking habits. Start to help your teen to stop smoking by trying to quit it yourself. As you try to quit the habit, try to avoid smoking when inside the house or whenever the teen is around. Do not leave cigarettes where your kid can find them. Try to explain to the teen how bad you feel about smoking and why it is important for you to quit.
Talk And Then Talk Some More
Expressing your contempt to your teen may not always be the right way to help him quit. You could just sit across the table and simply tell your child to stop smoking. It is an important message when it is polite, strict and coming from someone the teenager respects or looks up to. Commands, ultimatums and threats are less likely to work. Instead of being angry, try to be supportive and curious. Try to find out how the teen started smoking. There could be myriad reasons as to why a teenager started smoking; it could be to “fit” in school, to deal with stress or to just feel more grown-up and cool. Once you know what caused your teenager to start smoking, you’ll be able to address it as a potential problem and help him to stop smoking.
Let The Teen Express His Concerns
Most people know and recognise the many consequences of smoking on health such as heart attack, cancer, stroke, etc., but the child may fail to understand the depth of these concerns. Instead of talking to your child about the long-term dangers of smoking, speak to him about what it is that he thinks that the negative aspects of smoking are. Once your child finishes talking about the negative effects, offer your list of negatives. Tell him how smoking causes bad breath, makes the clothes as well as hair smell, turns the teeth as well as fingernails yellow, leaves one with a hacking cough, causes wrinkles, saps energy completely and is of course, expensive.
Help Him Make A Plan
Help your child decide what method to employ to quit smoking. While you do so, offer your suggestions as well. Start by putting the plan on paper; encourage him/her to write down why he would like to quit smoking. This list can keep the motivation levels high whenever the teen feels tempted. Set a quit date and make sure it does not collide with a stressful time such as during exams.
Consider Seeking Support
If your teen cannot stop quitting, get in touch with a tobacco-cessation specialist. This specialist will give the teen tools as well as support that he needs to quit smoking. You can look up hospitals as well as local organisations that offer anti-smoking groups meant especially for teens. You could look for these groups online as well. Certain web-based programs can also help the teen to quit smoking.
Remember to be supportive, even if your teen ends up slipping during the quit-smoking process. Instead, encourage the teen to not give up. Helping your teen to identify what went wrong can bring him back to the agenda. Above all, whatever little improvement your teen brings, do not forget to celebrate it. It is important to be supportive and this, in turn, will motivate your teenager to give up smoking.