It’s important to remember that tobacco is a drug, and incredibly dangerous to people of any age. One of the saddest statistics is this: 90% of tobacco users started using tobacco as a child under the age of 18. And it only takes about four cigarettes (on average) to become addicted. It is so important to talk candidly to your children about tobacco and the tobacco industry. Studies have shown that teens with a negative view of the tobacco industry are much less likely to use tobacco than those with a neutral or positive view. While some teens may see tobacco use as simple experimentation, rebellion or independence-seeking behavior, it often becomes a lifelong addiction. It can result in poor health, disease, decreased quality of life and an early death—not to mention it’s a very expensive habit!
The tobacco industry spends big money getting product placement in movies. They have stars that kids look up to smoke, trying to convince kids and young adults that it’s cool. The Tobacco industry wants your child to start smoking so they have a customer for life—even though their product will have a negative affect on the life of the smoker!