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Contemporary Parenting Questions

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Last updated on 08/22/08

How can I convince my child to stop smoking?

Built into parents’s nature is an innate desire to protect their children from harm. Therefore, it is especially painful for a parent if their child takes deliberate steps to harm their own health. Bad breath and stained teeth are only an example of some of the immediate side effects that smoking can cause; its’ long-term affects can be deadly. If your child already smokes, you are not alone. More than 2 million 11- to 17-year-olds start smoking each year. Nearly half of them will become regular smokers. In fact, 90% of smokers start before they are 21. If your child has not started yet, do not let him become another statistic. Talk to your child about the dangers of smoking and focus on the benefit of abstaining from this harmful habit.

In the Jewish Community:

Smoking is one problem that is impossible to hide or ignore. A midnight stroll down Coney Island Avenue in Brooklyn, NY easily shows any passerby that many Jewish teens are not excluded from the millions of teenagers who smoke. Peer pressure exists in every society; Judaism not excluded. It is well known that many Jewish teenagers start smoking on Purim when “everyone is doing it”, and “one won’t make a difference”. Nicotine, however, is addictive and does not discriminate among whom it addicts. Many good kids in fine Yeshivos are sucked into the whirlwind of smoking because of that one cigarette that they had only to be “cool”. In addition, many teens excuse their actions stating that a revered figure in their school, such as a distinguished Rebbe or Rosh Yeshiva, smokes also. Although these proofs are meaningless as many people began smoking before the harmful effects became known, it is nonetheless easier for Jewish teenagers to justify their smoking habits.

Use the following links to educate yourself about smoking, its’ dangers, and how it can be prevented.

Frequently Asked Links:

Why do teenagers want to smoke?

What are some of the dangers of smoking?

How can smoking pose a danger to my child’s health?

By Rabbi Yakov Horowitz

What is the relationship between smoking and Asthma? more

How can I discourage my child from starting a smoking habit?

What can schools do to discourage their students from smoking?

By Rabbi Yakov Horowitz

How to kids under the age of 18 obtain cigarettes?

How can I help my child stop smoking?

What is secondhand smoke?

What are the dangers of secondhand smoke?

How can I protect my family and myself from secondhand smoke?

Related Articles

Dealing with Addiction

Find out what you can do if you think you or a friend has a drug or alcohol addiction - from recognizing the warning signs to suggestions to help you stay clean.

Quit Smoking Guide

Lungs and Respiratory System
Each day you breathe about 20,000 times. Find out more about the lungs and breathing process in this article for teens.

Smokeless Tobacco
Chewing or dipping: These terms are familiar to the millions of teens who use smokeless tobacco. If you are ready to quit or you want to learn more about smokeless tobacco, read this article.

Smoking in the Jewish Community

Jerusalem Municipality, leading haredi leaders join forces to fight widespread phenomenon of smoking in sector through halachic rulings, educational campaign.

Articles about smoking in the Jewish Community

Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
http://www.cdc.gov
The mission of the CDC is to promote health and quality of life by preventing and controlling disease, injury, and disability. Call: (800) 311-3435

Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
http://www.tobaccofreekids.org
Launched in September 1995, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids was created to protect young people from tobacco addiction. Contact them at: Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids 1400 Eye St. Suite 1200 Washington, DC 20005 (202) 296-5469

American Lung Association
http://www.lungusa.org
The mission of this group is to prevent lung disease and promote lung health. Contact the group at: American Lung Association 61 Broadway, 6th Floor NY, NY 10006 (212) 315-8700

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