Page:Your teenage children and smoking.djvu/10

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The American Public Health Association warns: "A million children will die of lung cancer before they reach the age of 70."

As they hear more and more such statements, parents are asking:

"How can I help my child never to smoke?"
"How can I help my child to stop smoking?"

It is understandable that parents want to do something about their children's smoking—especially when they learn that more and more young people are taking up smoking, earlier and earlier.

No one seems to know all of the best ways to get a young person to stop smoking or never to start. Persons who study why children do certain things and who try to find ways to get them to change often disagree about smoking prevention. They do agree, though, on at least a few things that seem to have much weight with some children:

The smoking pattern in the home.
The medical facts.
Ideas about smoking.


SET THEM A GOOD EXAMPLE


Possibly the most important thing that influences a child to smoke or not to smoke is his family. If his parents smoke, the chances are greater that he will smoke also. Even when one parent smokes, it increases the chances of the daughter or son smoking.

So if you want your child never to smoke or to give it up if he already smokes, don't smoke yourself.

An example in others can work, also; for instance, the practice of anyone he likes or who is important in his life: his teacher, the members of his gang, his club leader, his coach, his doctor, his minister, his older brothers and sisters, his relatives, his "heroes" whether they be movie or TV stars, athletes, or national leaders.

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