How Can I help My Teen Quit Smoking?
There are a lot of indications that your child may be smoking. Some of these include: Their teeth are stained, they have smokers’ breath or they are using a lot of mouth wash. The following is a list of clues that they may be smoking.
- Overuse of breath mints and gum
- Comes home and goes directly to room
- They won’t let you in their room
- Hanging out with friends old enough to buy the cigarettes
- Money missing
- Excessive use of Cologne or perfume
So what can you do once you have determined your child is smoking? There are several helpful steps that you can take to help them stop. I have listed them below.
Set a good example. If you are smoking your teen is going to. You have the single most influence on your child and if they see you doing it you pretty much have given them permission to do so. If you want them to stop you are going to have to.
Hear them out. Find out why they started. Let them explain why they first took a puff, but don’t threaten them or give them an ultimatum. This will just make them angry and the lines of communication will break down.
Find out their concerns. Find out if they have any concerns about smoking; see if they understand the full consequences of smoking. You might want to do a little research on this to make sure you are up on all of the negative consequences. Don’t preach or try to scare your child, this is very ineffective and will make them not want to listen.
Make a plan. Help your teen come up with a plan to help them stop. Make sure you child writes down their plan so they can refer back to it and see how much progress they have made.
Quit date. Talk to your child about a date that would be good for them to stop smoking. Do not pick a time where they may be under extra stress because this more likely than not is setting them up for failure.
Craving. Let you teen know that they might experience cravings and if so that they should try some gum or cinnamon sticks.
Stop smoking products. If the cravings get too bad, help your child get some nicotine replacement like nicotine gum. This replacement as well as the others were not made for teens so make sure you check with their pediatrician.
Seek support. Many hospitals and local organizations have stop smoking support groups for teens. Help them find one and help them to get there if they want to go.
Finally, remember that it is your child’s decision to stop smoking all you can do is help them. They have to want to quit.