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How to prevent your child from smoking?

The other day our 13 yr old son went over a friends house (his Mother was home). Apparently she allowed the boys to walk down to a nearby strip mall where his friend took out a pack of cigarettes that he had taken from his Mom (both of the boys parents smoke). The boy lit a cigarette and offered one to our son. Our son is not strong enough to resist peer pressure so he took one, and then another. Apparently the police showed up at this point (they were called about something unrelated) and saw the 2 underage boys smoking. They came over, talked to the boys for a while then crushed up the cigarettes and told the boys not to do it again. Our son was paranoid that the police would contact us so he came home and told us what happened. We didn't flip out on him at the time, but Lord knows we were very upset. The question is, what is the best way to deal with this so it doesn't backfire? FYI, no one in our household smokes. None of our close family members smoke. We have educated our kids about the dangers of smoking and they always seemed against smoking.


Asked by Anonymous at 10:19 AM on Mar. 6, 2011 in General Parenting

This question is closed.
Answers (13)
  • Kids with poor self-esteem give in to peer pressure. You need to boost your son's self-esteem. This time it was cigarettes, next time will it be drugs, alcohol, stealing...?


    Answer by JSD24 at 9:18 AM on Mar. 7, 2011

  • Just tell him the truth about smoking and if he wants to smoke he will have to wait tell he is 18. And what a wast of money it is and most important girls hate to kiss a ash tray.

    My parents smoked and I never like the smell or the taste and I would tell my kids when very young around age 5 about the dangers about smoking. And also they grew up going to none smoking areas, like restaurants.

    Answer by gammie at 10:27 AM on Mar. 6, 2011

  • thats a tough one, the best you can do is what you have done already and pray that he listens. Just keep talking to him about it, show him pictures of what it can do to you. I know i probally have no room to talk because i smoke but am trying to quit, but thats one thing i never want my kids to do either, the biggest mistake i ever made. but i do tell them that and how hard it is for me to quit, i hope they will listen.

    Answer by jenn4443 at 10:26 AM on Mar. 6, 2011

  • There isn't anything you can do to prevent them from making choices for themselves. The only thing you can do is educate them on not smoking and helping them build self control and confidence to resist peer pressure.

    Answer by JazzlikeMraz at 10:30 AM on Mar. 6, 2011

  • You just keep telling him about the dangers of smoking, and maybe work on his inability to resist peer pressure. That is probably more of the problem right now. If he isnt able to resist peer pressure there are other things out there he can try that are more harmful & illegal. I would try that angle. I would just say you know I realize you smoked to try it and hopefully didnt like it, but I am worried about you not resisting peer pressure since there are drugs out there that can be laced with bad things. I dont want to worry about you not being able to say no.

    Answer by gemgem at 10:31 AM on Mar. 6, 2011

  • Gosh, I wish I knew. Neither my childrens' father, nor I smoke. It wasn't our influence, rather it was the friends. Neither child started smoking until they went away to college. Argh... Not sure, but I am constantly on them...

    Answer by m-avi at 10:42 AM on Mar. 6, 2011

  • No one in our household smokes, but hubby's grandmother smoked and my children watched their great grandmother wither away and die a horrible death due lung cancer. That's been the best deterrent.

    Answer by twinsplus2more at 10:47 AM on Mar. 6, 2011

  • This is pretty extreme and nothing I ever did, but a close friend of mine is a Director of Nursing at a large hospital. Her daughter was a Candy Striper and volunteered. Her mom had her placed in the room of a woman who had lung cancer and needed tube feedings. Her daugher's job that day was to assist the nurse with feeding (not the actual feeding, but getting things to prepare her). Her child was 13 or 14 at the time and told me what her day was like. She told me that she'd never smoke and already told her friends that smoked why!

    Answer by AlisonAstair at 10:49 AM on Mar. 6, 2011

  • Sounds like that friend is a bad influence. This might be a little extreme but you should try to find a person who has or had lung cancer who is willing to talk to your son. My mom had lung cancer from smoking and fortunately it was found in time and she has been cancer free for 2 years:) However, she is in her early 50s and only has one lung and has to use an inhaler several times a day. She is more than willing to share her experience with people if she thinks it will prevent someone from going through what she went through. Im sure most survivor are the same way.

    Answer by Mel_in_PHX at 10:52 AM on Mar. 6, 2011

  • Just be honest about how horrible smoking is and hope they listen.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 11:46 AM on Mar. 6, 2011