5 Ways to Talk to Your Teen About Cigarettes Without Sounding Like a Nag

cigarettesAs a former smoker, I am well-aware that smoking is bad for you. That's why I'm a former smoker. In fact, I think it's safe to say that the no smoking movement has been successful enough in their campaigns that even folks still puffing away KNOW that smoking is bad for them.

But it's also totally addictive. And the marketing of those delicious and deadly sticks is totally pernicious. That marketing is still a hot-button issue, especially when it comes to groups who are at higher risk for addiction, you know, like teenagers.

A new study released charges tobacco companies with the crime of deliberately marketing their products to the more easily influenced teenage demographic. It's not shocking, but it's one more reason why talking to your teens about smoking is absolutely necessary. That doesn't make it feel any less lame, though.


Here are some tried and true methods to have this talk without making either them or you flee the room in terror at the prospect of sounding like an after-school special. Part of being the parents to a teenager involves talking about awkward stuff. To that end, we say embrace the awkward and spare your kids' lungs.

More from The Stir: Talk to Your Teens About Smoking Before It’s Too Late

1. If You Smoked: Be Honest

"Yeah, I smoked. I also wore orange Doc Martens and shaved off part of my eyebrow to impress a dude obsessed with raves whose car I would later throw up in. Don't be like me."

2. If You Still Smoke, Remind Them That You Do

"Who is the least cool person you know? Besides your dad. Me. I know. I am aware. So leave my Virginia Slims alone and continue on your sassy, better-than-me way."

3. Appeal to Their Vanity

"Do you want your skin to go from zitty right to Lady Version of Robert Redford? What about your teeth? From braces to meth head? WHO WILL MAKE OUT WITH LADY ROBERT REDFORD WITH A METH PROBLEM? Not that kid from your trig class. Also good job for being in trig, fictional teen."

4. Appeal to Their Vanity Again

"Remember how we watched that commercial and you called that dude shilling that electronic cigarette a 'douche canoe'? Well if you start smoking and decide to try and quit -- that douche canoe could be you.

5. Appeal to Their Vanity a Third Time

"You know who smokes? Reality TV stars."

Is smoking something you talk to your teens about?


Image via amagill/Flickr

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