You Can't Stop Your Teen From Smoking But This Person Can

This Just In 8

cigarettes443,000: the amount of people that smoking kills every year in the United States alone. It's a lot. It's scary. And as a parent, it's natural to want to do everything you can to prevent your child from being part of this statistic. However, new data reveals that you may not be the person that can stop your teen from picking up the cancer sticks. The person who can? Their doctor.

According to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, teens are less likely to try smoking if they received some sort of counseling from their doctor or another health provider. I'm not talking about a marathon sit down meeting, either. The study says that even a "very minimal intervention" from a doctor's office like a mailing of pamphlets can make a major difference.

Hmmmm. I don't know if I 100 percent believe getting a pamphlet in the mail would prevent a teen from smoking over a one-on-one with Mom and Dad. Regardless, it doesn't matter what gets them to stop -- it's just that they do.

Sometimes that's a hard theory to accept as a parent, though. When it comes to what's best for your child, you want to be the person who helps instill good values in them. The reality? As this smoking study indicates, that's not always how things work out. What's important is that your child has access to the right information at the right times. What's important is the simple fact that they're learning about the things that are good for them, not necessarily who they're learning it from.

More from The Stir: 10 Clues Your Kid Is Smoking Weed

Besides, we can all relate to that natural inclination that so many teens have to want to discover the world and find things out for themselves. When Mom and Dad tell them what's best, even if it is for health reasons, that curiosity still lingers. It's part of growing up. As a parent, the best thing you can do is keep an open dialogue and let them know that no matter what their decisions may be -- you'll be there to talk it out with them in the end.

Do you think this study is legitimate? Do you think your teen listens to others before you, sometimes?


Image via Fried Dough/ Flickr

drugs & alcohol


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

Tarot Tarot

We're their parents. As much as we'd like to think that means our word or experiences hold more weight than others', they simply don't. We're their safety net, the people that have a tendency to be over-protective and imbelish dangers. Teens are far less likely to really believe what we tell them, no matter how much they trust/respect us.

Even toddlers show signs of this behavior, listening to a relative over their parents. Is it a blow to our ego? You bet, but our ego should never get in the way of facts. Sometimes, we have to relegate partial raising of them to others... for their own good.

littl... littlelamb303

I preached to my child since she was old enough to understand and she still smoked.  I even told her what my mom(non smoker) and uncle(smoker) went through, died a horiffic death of lung cancer.  Still did not get her to not smoke.   Sorry, this is BS.  Some kids will do it anyway, regardless

Shlamoof Shlamoof

I've never picked one up in my life.  Not only did my mom ask me occasionally if I knew that smoking was bad for me and I should never do it, but we also received the talk at school, with a real black lung and all.  *gag*  I think sometimes it is better to hear it from someone besides your parents because who listens to their parent at that age?  A black lung is far more effective than pestering parents.

Melissa Orruego

I have 11 children, neither I nor their fathers smoke or have ever smoked. But the first 8 all smoked and the last 3 look up to them. Thankfully the oldest one has stopped smoking but anything that would help, would be better than nothing, you know. My parents and siblings and their spouses all smoke.

Carla Meek

i had my daughter's doctor talk to her about the dangers of smoking. I guess I did something right becasue she doesnt smoke. Of course threating to take away her cell phone prolly made a difference too!!

Jen Roberts

Well yeah. KIds rebel at some point so there needs to be an expert that they know that can give them the low down on this. Although I've got an ace in my sleeve as my husband (their dad) has COPD from this. I can show them his list of medication he has to take every day. If not then a talk with the doc is fine too. 

nonmember avatar Me

We had a person cone to our school ( elementary and middle, I remember seeing the wjole thing at least three times) with the black lung, other pics and stories etc. Im the most hypochondriac person and have always had anxiety over getting seriously ill. I still smoked as a teen. Not regurlarly but when out with friends etc. Sometimes kids will just do it, no matter what. Ill try my hardest to teach them not to but sometimes you just have to let them learn themselves. I dont think teens are affected by the getting cancer in 30 years speech, they dont think that far ahead and many have im invincible syndrome going on..

nonmember avatar Tammy

I am a smoker. My son did a report on the effects of smoking. I learned not too long ago that he has picked up smoking. He lives with his Dad. So, if he picked up smoking after doing a report on The Effects of Smoking. What makes you think a Doctor talking to them will be any different?!

1-8 of 8 comments