and Teens Stay Smoke-Free
for Raising Smoke-Free Kids
According to the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene,
16% of Staten Island residents smoke, higher than any other borough. Staten
Island also has the highest smoking rate for adolescents in New York City, with
over 2,000 high school students admitting to smoking. In fact, our youth rates
are double those of Brooklyn and the Bronx.Help your child avoid trying that
“Adult smokers who begin as adolescents have a much
more difficult time quitting, which often leads to serious health problems in
their adult life. It’s important for parents to do
everything they can to teach their kids about the dangers of smoking,” says Dr. Keith Diaz, Board
Certified in Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine at Richmond University
smoking during adolescence poses significant health risks to our children,
including chronic asthma and bronchitis, and increased risk of hypertension and
heart disease. Lung cancer is the number one cancer-related death among both
men and women in our community. We also have the highest cases of heart disease,
with smoking being a major risk factor.
The Centers for Disease Control
stated that electronic cigarette usage is also on the rise,up from 4.7% to 10%
for teenagers.We may ask ourselves if this is really a big deal. The
reason it is a big deal is because the main ingredient in e-cigarettes is still
Nicotine has been linked to:
vessel disease, including the arteries of your heart
risk of stroke
blood pressure and its complications
problems, spontaneous abortions, prematurity
“Adolescents and young adults are extremely
vulnerable to social and environmental influences. Smokeless tobacco and
e-cigarette use has grown exponentially in the last few years and tobacco
companies are spending billions of dollars on smokeless tobacco advertising.
The use of these products lead to potential nicotine addiction and kids
who use them are twice as likely to try conventional cigarettes. This
means that parents should include them when talking about tobacco use with
preteens and teens,” says Dr. Diaz.
What You Can Do.
Have open conversations with your kids about the danger of smoking, how
to avoid smoking all together, and how to quit.Here are specific steps you can take:
you smoke, quit. Children
look to their parents as an example, and children of smokers are more likely to
talking about the dangers of smoking when your children are ages 5 or 6. If you wait until they're 11 or 12, when
they're likely to be tempted to try cigarettes, their health attitudes are
already pretty well established.
to your children how tobacco advertising manipulates people into believing
smoking is cool and image-enhancing. When
looking at advertising, ask "Do you really believe the girl is going to
want to kiss the guy after he takes that cigarette out of his mouth?"
the cost. Point
out that kids who spend money on smoking could have bought CDs, new clothes,
video games, or other things that matter to them.
attention to your children’s friends. The chances they'll smoke are greater if they
have close friends who smoke. If your children's friends smoke, don't wait
until your children start smoking to say something; bring up the subject first
and help them deal with peer pressure.
to know the parents of your children's friends. Are they smokers? Do they condone
smoking? Work together to stay informed about your children’s activities. And keep
your children busy in activities such as organized sports, biking or other
what you're talking about when mentioning the dangers of smoking.It's essential to communicate facts. There's no
need for embellishment, to say smoking is worse than it is. The truth is bad
your children with feelings of self-confidence and self-worth. What does self-confidence have to do with not
smoking? Everything. Children who feel belittled or who are overly controlled
will seek to escape one way or another and could take up smoking to rebel
against authority figures.
teenagers about the negative effects of smoking that should matter most to them
at their age, such
as bad breath, yellow teeth, and reduced athletic abilities. Teens often don't
respond to warnings about long-term health consequences.
If your teen has already started smoking, avoid threats and ultimatums.
Instead, find out why your teen is smoking — and discuss ways to help your teen
Take an active stance against teen smoking.
Participate in local and school-sponsored smoking prevention campaigns. Support
efforts to make public places smoke-free and increase taxes on tobacco
products. Your actions can help reduce the odds that your teen will become a
smoker. Call us for more information, 718-818-1234.