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What can I do to stop, or ideally prevent, my child from smoking?

Despite the rapidly strengthening tide of against cigarettes, it’s estimated that over one third of teenagers in the UK are regular smokers.

If left to their own devices, teenagers will smoke. A combination of peep pressure and the belief that smoking is cool, ensures that this continues to be the case. It’s therefore vitally important for parents to help discourage their children from starting this dangerous habit. There's no definite way to do this but four of the main areas to address are as follows:

Remind them of the danger
The key to stopping your child from picking up a pack of cigarettes is education. You have to make sure they understand the damage they are doing to their body with every puff they take. Cancer, premature aging, yellow skin, bad breath - it’s not a pretty picture.

Help them stand up to peep pressure
Almost all children start smoking because they’re offered a cigarette by a friend and feel pressured into taking it. Peer pressure can be a powerful force so try to you help your child deal with it. Explain to your son or daughter that saying yes is simply taking the easy way out. Tell them to do something because they want to, not because they feel they should.

Address the weight control issue
Many girls start smoking because they believe it will help them lose weight and stay slim. There is an element of truth in this but the small effect smoking can have on your weight is by no means worth the terrible impact it can have on your health. The only proper way to control weight is through a healthy diet and regular exercise.

Smoking's likely extinction
With each passing year, smoking becomes more and more antiquated. Not only is it increasingly incredibly expensive but soon the only place you’ll be allowed to light up is in your own home. Ask your child if he really wants to be doing something that is so old fashioned, it will soon be extinct.

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