Celebrate Kick Butts Day on March 18, 2015 by learning the dangers of tobacco use.
Kick Butts Day is a day to empower and educate youth about tobacco use. Why is this important? It is estimated that 2.7 million high school students in America, and over 70,000 in Florida, have smoked tobacco in the past month. How can you prevent your teen from making the same mistake? Try these tips:
- Talk about the consequences. It is well-known that tobacco use leads to health issues such as lung cancer, heart disease, emphysema and stroke. However, most teens that think these effects are far off in the future and won't impact their lives. Make sure your teens are also aware of short-term effects such as bad skin, a weakened immune system, bad breath, and reduced athletic performance.
- Make sure teens know there are no safe alternatives. Hookahs and e-cigarettes are sometimes viewed as safe alternatives to cigarettes, but that is not the case! Hookahs are water pipes used to smoke tobacco, the same dangerous and addictive substance found in cigarettes. Although e-cigarettes are free of tobacco, most contain other harmful chemicals and toxins.
- Be a role model. If you don't want your teen to use tobacco products, set a good example by not using tobacco yourself. If you already smoke, make an effort to quit, and discuss with your teen that starting was a mistake in the first place.
- Prepare for peer pressure. All teens are vulnerable to peer pressure. Try role-playing different scenarios with your teen and planning out ways to say no. Or, share stories from your past where you were confronted with negative peer pressure and discuss how you dealt with it.
At LiveFree!, your teenagers are our top priority. We work to provide education, guidance, and support that keeps our teens safe and healthy during their adolescence. Learn more about our mission and vision on our website.