Kids think that smoking is cool because most of the macho guys in the movie, TV as well as computer games would spot a stick in their mouth. Of course, with the chic babes hanging by their sides, the world seems a lot more glamorous with cigarettes.
They probably will not believe you when you tried your best to explain to them smoking is bad.
Here is one method you can try:
1. Explain to them that when people try smoking for the first time, they will often cough a lot and feel pain or burning sensation in their throat and lungs.
2. Tell them that some folks might even feel their stomachs churning and wanted to throw up.
3. These are signs that your body is protecting you. Your body can feel that the chemicals entering the body is bad. Your body know it’s being POISONED.
4. Anyone who tried to swallow tobacco may actually get killed.
5. Show them really awful pictures of smoking-related disease – like this one here depicting oral cancer. Kids probably heard of lung cancer, asthma and respiratory diseases but seeing actual pictures might just hit it home. It is true that such images may cause them to have nightmares but it certainly beat having them starting to smoke because of curiosity or harboring the notion that it’s “cool”to smoke.
If by telling the kids cannot convince them, showing the pictures just got you a shrug of shoulder, you might want to consult the school councillor for advice and assistance. I knew some parents will get their kids to try a few puff to prove the point that it actually hurts, and the taste and smell of cigarette are not great. However, you must be extremely careful if you want to go onto that route.
I learn from my Chinese friends here that there is a Chinese saying that: “The children is the creators and masters of the future”. We have to keep our children from smoking to ensure we have a smoke-free tomorrow. It is easier not to start than to stop smoking.
(source of photo: Health Promotion Board, Singapore)
Additional Reading: Hypnosis To Change Your Life by Steve G Jones.