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This post is sponsored by CVS Health.
Do you feel confident that your child will make smart choices if pressured or influenced to try tobacco products? How versed are you in his or her knowledge of the dangers of tobacco products, and the health risks associated with using them?
Don’t worry if you do not know the answers right now, but now is the time to make it a priority. Peer pressure or concerns about what friends might think can make it difficult for kids to make healthy decisions. There are also products which may seem harmless, such as e-cigarettes.
Summer vacation is the perfect time for parents to start (or continue) the talk about staying away from tobacco and other related products, like e-cigarettes. Helping kids consider what they might do and say in certain situations before they happen can better prepare them to make healthy decisions when they need to. The good news is that a wealth of tools and resources are available for both parents and educators to help kids get a better understanding of how tobacco use can seriously affect their health.
Kids can kick off their summer by learning how to protect themselves from the dangers of tobacco in a fun and engaging way with a variety of free resources. Check out the Stay Smart About Tobacco student magazine, which features more than six pages of articles and graphics about the health effects of tobacco and related products, including electronic cigarettes. Kids can also try an illuminating hands-on experiment during summer vacation to get a visualization of the impact of tobacco use on the lungs. There’s even a Mini-Poster kids can stick to their bedroom wall or locker upon their return to school that highlights important facts about tobacco.
Helping kids stay smart about tobacco doesn’t have to end once summer is over. There are a host of free lessons and worksheets available for teachers to keep the conversation going throughout the school year. There’s a special worksheet that assesses students’ knowledge about tobacco, as well as lesson plans that teach students about how tobacco, tobacco smoke, and nicotine affect different parts of the body. In addition, there are scenario activities about how to make smart decisions when faced with situations. Teachers can add these valuable resources to their current curriculum to supplement other resources. An example is this free printable with tips on creating a healthy home.
If more is not done to reduce youth smoking rates in the U.S., an estimated 5.6 million children alive today will die early from smoking. As parents, we can do something about it. We can commit to working together with our schools and communities to equip our youth with the facts and help build a tobacco-free generation.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of CVS Health. The opinions and text are all mine.