Communicating Concepts

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Teens & Smoking

Dangers Associated with Using Tobacco
      Fact: 90% of all adult smokers started when they were kids. Each day, more than 3,900 kids become regular smokers.

      It is extremely important that adults lead by example and continue discuss the dangers of tobacco use to their children. Smoking is the leading cause of preventable deaths in the United States, and can cause cancer, heart disease, and lung disease.

      Children look up to athletes in sports for leadership. It is unfortunate that baseball, our national past time has made chewing tobacco (smokeless or spit tobacco) popular. Those who participate in his bad habit become addicted to the nicotine. It is the method of its consumption that results in high rates of oral cancer, gum disease, as well as an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks.

      The parents don't use tobacco may think that they don't have to open lines of communication with their children about the risks of smoking and chewing tobacco. Parents must establish why they don't smoke and that these same reasons also apply to them.

      Every parent should know how to recognize the warning signs of tobacco use and the use of constructive ways to help someone kick the habit once they have started.

Facts About Tobacco
      Nicotine is a high toxic poison that once was used as a highly effective insecticide.  A new user can get addicted to nicotine within a few days of using it. The nicotine in tobacco is as addictive as cocaine or heroine. Nicotine affects mood as well as the heart, lungs, stomach, and nervous system.

      The short-term effects of smoking include coughing and throat irritation. With continued use, more serious conditions can occur, including increases in heart rate and blood pressure, bronchitis, and emphysema.

      There are numerous studies that young smokers are more likely to transition to experimenting with marijuana, cocaine, heroin, or other illicit drugs.

What is the Attraction?
      Kids are drawn to smoking and chewing tobacco to look cool, act older, lose weight, win cool merchandise, seem tough, or even to demonstrate their independent.

      Parents must combat peer pressure to keep kids from smoking their first cigarette or pinch of tobacco! It is important to start by establishing a good foundation of communication with your pre-schooler. This will make it easier to talk about issues like tobacco use as they grow older.

Suggested Readings:

Teen Smoking - How to Talk to Your Teen  A practical article on how to talk to your teen about smoking.

Teens and Cigarettes: Information for Parents  Know the facts. Talk with your teen about the dangers of smoking. Teens often don't relate to the future health problems caused by smoking, such as lung cancer.

PDF How to Talk to Teens About Smoking?  How to Talk to Teens About. Smoking? Encouraging your children to make the right decisions about tobacco and helping them understand the consequences of their actions.

Teen smoking: How to help your teen quit smoking -  Start talking. You could simply tell your teen to stop smoking. It's an important message. But commands, threats and ultimatums aren't likely to work.

Teen Smoking  Why teens start smoking and the physical and social consequences. ... drug use and overindulgent parents. Teen Addiction - Talking to teens about addiction.

PDF Whose Kids? Our Kids! Teens and Tobacco (B3706-4)  Tobacco and other drug use by teens is greater if parents do not talk with their children and convey the clear message that they disapprove.

Kids and Smoking  The health risks of tobacco are well known, but kids and teens continue to ... It's important to keep talking to kids about the dangers of tobacco use over the years.


Adolescent Behavior



The following internet links have been gleaned from personal communications
combined with information from public institutions and athletic organizations/
associations that have a web presence with information concerning team and
individual sports programs:

The limited use of the materials for education purposes is allowed providing
credit is given for the source of the materials.

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