Kids Against Tobacco

Kids Against Tobacco

“Don’t get me started” kids against tobacco

Download this Don't Get Me Started children’s activity sheet from educators with Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital. Parents can use this creative and fun tool to help educate your children on the dangers of tobacco use.

Kick Butts Day is a national day of activism encouraging each of us to take a stand and educate our children about the dangers of tobacco use. Our Lady of the Lake supports Kick Butts Day and encourages our team members to empower young people in your life to stand up to the tobacco industry.

  • According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, each day in the United States, more than 3,200 kids under 18 years of age smoke their first cigarette and an estimated 700 kids become daily cigarette smokers.
  • According to the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, 2008, children in Louisiana buy and smoke 14.8 million packs of cigarettes each year.
  • In Louisiana 6,600 children become new daily smokers each year.
  • In Louisiana alone, the tobacco industry spends more than $291.5 million on marketing annually.

Empower your children or the children in your life to take control against tobacco:

  • Encourage children to get involved in activities that prohibit smoking, including sports.
  • Discuss ways to respond to peer pressure about smoking.
  • If you smoke, quit. It's important to set a good example.

Prevention Tips

To help prevent your kids from using tobacco, keep these guidelines in mind:

  • Discuss it in a way that doesn't make kids fear punishment or judgment.
  • It's important to keep talking to kids about the dangers of tobacco use over the years. Even the youngest child can understand that smoking is bad for the body.
  • Ask what kids find appealing — or unappealing — about smoking. Be a patient listener.
  • Read, watch TV, and go to the movies with your kids. Compare media images with what happens in reality.
  • Encourage kids to get involved in activities that prohibit smoking, such as sports.
  • Show that you value your kids' opinions and ideas.
  • Discuss ways to respond to peer pressure to smoke. Your child may feel confident simply saying "no." But also offer alternative responses such as "It will make my clothes and breath smell bad" or "I hate the way it makes me look."
  • Emphasize what kids do right rather than wrong. Self-confidence is a child's best protection against peer pressure.
  • Encourage kids to walk away from friends who don't respect their reasons for not smoking.
  • Explain how much smoking governs the daily life of kids who start doing it. How do they afford the cigarettes? How do they have money to pay for other things they want? How does it affect their friendships?
  • Establish firm rules that exclude smoking and chewing tobacco from your house and explain why: Smokers smell bad, look bad, and feel bad, and it's bad for everyone's health.
  • If you smoke, quit. It's important to set a good example.

What to Watch For

If you smell smoke on your child's clothing, try not to overreact. Ask about it first — maybe he or she has been hanging around with friends who smoke or just tried one cigarette. Many kids do try a cigarette at one time or another but don't go on to become regular smokers.

Additional signs of tobacco use include:

  • coughing
  • throat irritation
  • hoarseness
  • bad breath
  • decreased athletic performance
  • greater susceptibility to colds
  • stained teeth and clothing (also signs of chewing tobacco use)
  • shortness of breath

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