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Thursday, May 31, 2018

Child of a Smoker: How to Prevent Negative Influences

We all know smoking is bad for us. We hear it on TV, read it in the paper, and even see it on the images and warnings on cigarette boxes. However, while most smokers are aware of the damage they do to themselves with this bad habit, they often forget that others, especially their children, can suffer from passive smoking. But not only that, research has shown that children whose parents are current or former smokers are more likely to become smokers as well. Knowing the severe health issues smoking can cause, no parent would want their children to pick up this habit. So, what can you do to prevent your children from smoking and to avoid your addiction to impact their health?

Child of a Smoker: How to Prevent Negative Influences

    An honest conversation goes a long way

    The discussion about experimenting with smoking is one of those big talks parents have with their kids at one point or another. However, this story is paved with more than a few boobytraps. Kids do not like when they are preached to, and they will react even worse if the lecture is hypocritical. As a smoker, you will be more challenged during the communication. Do not turn this topic into a list of do’s and don’ts. Talk about yourself, how you are struggling with addiction and how difficult it is to quit. Acknowledge that you have a problem and that you would like to move past it one day. This could be more motivating for them than listing all the adverse effects of smoking. Here is a checklist of things your conversation should cover:
    • Sympathize with the appeal of smoking (this can be a form of rebellion for some teens, and it can come as a result of peer pressure, show understanding). 
    • Appeal to their pride (smoking is bad for the appearance). 
    • Explain the financial side of smoking (calculate how much money you spend on smoking and what they could buy for that money). 
    • Take smoking addiction seriously.

    Do not light the cigarette in front of your kids

    True, it is difficult to hide the fact that you are a smoker, particularly as your kids are getting older. But you don’t have to light ten cigarettes a day in front of them. Besides turning them into passive smokers, you are showing them that smoking is not something to be ashamed of and basically giving them permission to copy you.

    Make your family home a smoke-free place

    Make your family home a smoke-free place

    A home is a safe place, and it should be safe for all the family members. While you may go out for cigarette breaks with your colleagues at work, the risks that secondhand smoking carries for your family members and the bad example you are showing to your kids should make you think twice before you light a cigarette inside your home. Here are some tips that will help you clear the air:
    • Set a date when you are going to start detoxifying your home and stick to it. 
    • Ban smoking from all the rooms, because smoke can easily circulate through the air via air-conditioning and heating systems. 
    • Choose one place outside the house where smoking will be allowed for you and your guests (e.g. the patio). 
    • Learn what the best air purifier for tobacco smoke is. It should be equipped with carbon filters which are successful in removing smoke and odor from the air.

    Try to quit

    Try to quit smoking

    Finally, smoking is bad for your health too. To show your children you are taking this seriously and that you are not hypocritical, you should take action to quit smoking. In all honesty, quitting smoking is difficult, but it can benefit the whole family. Do not be discouraged if you have already tried to quit but gave up eventually. Most smokers try to quit up to eleven times before they actually succeed. Here are some tips that will help you get it right this time:
    • Make a list of the most important reasons to quit (your kids can help you with that). 
    • Make a plan. 
    • Identify smoking triggers. 
    • Find ways to get through the day without taking a cigarette (and without gaining weight in the process). 
    • Put the money from every cigarette box you don’t buy in a jar and plan a trip or some other experience with your kids. 
    • Take your entire family to the doctor and see the dangers of smoking and secondhand smoke. Get your lungs tested. 
    • Keep a log of every cigarette you light for the first week or so. 
    • Find a way to de-stress (e.g. meditation, yoga, sports). 
    • Find a smoking-cessation aid in consultation with your doctor. 
    • Get counseling. Ask your friends, family, and spouse for support. 
    Smoking is a bad habit, and it can cause severe damage to your lungs and the lungs of your children. Moreover, parents who smoke signal their kids that there is nothing wrong with it. The previous tips can help you prevent the negative influence and make your home a safer place for your children.

    Guest Author: Faith McGregor

    Faith is a writer, seeking beauty everywhere she goes and finding it in art, nature, family, work and home. Passionate about just living life to the fullest, she’s into home decor and healthy lifestyle, trying to be the best version of herself and make her surroundings match.

    That's all for today!
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