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The American Lung Association lists these guidelines to help parents talk to their kids about not smoking:
- Clearly and consistently tell your children that you do not want them to smoke, and start the conversation around age 5 or 6 and continue into high school.
- Explain that smoking will endanger their health and cause unpleasant side effects such as bad breath.
- If you smoke, quit. Don't allow your children to be around smokers and don't allow anyone to smoke inside your home.
- Teach your child how to say no when someone offers a cigarette.
- If you find out that your child is smoking, ask questions to find out why he or she started. Avoid threats and ultimatums.
- Support your child in quitting smoking, and talk to your child about the ways that cigarettes are addictive.
-- Diana Kohnle
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