The vast majority of parents do not want their kids to smoke, for obvious reasons. Smoking causes a wide range of serious health problems – including lung cancer, heart disease, and strokes – and frequently results in premature disability and death. To make matters worse, kids can start becoming seriously addicted to smoking very quickly, just weeks or even days after first “experimenting” with cigarettes.
Being good parents and role models is important, but it takes much more to prevent kids from smoking. Parents must also work against pro-smoking influences outside the home, including efforts to ensure that schools are doing their best to prevent and reduce youth smoking and to reduce cigarette-company marketing that reaches and influences kids.