There are many different resources that parents can use to prevent their teens from smoking. The most important resource is themselves, by setting a good example for their teens by not smoking and by keeping the lines of communication open to discuss smoking issues. Stopping teens from smoking is an important issue since smoking often leads to other drug issues as the need for more stimulation escalates over time. There are programs in place that can help stop teens from smoking once they start, since quitting requires a lot of determination and support in order to do so, whether in teens or adults.
There are different steps that parents can take to stop their teen from smoking once he or she has started. The first is to show the teens all of the reasons that smoking is harmful to their bodies, such as creating bad breath, smelly clothing and hair, and yellowed teeth and nails. The teen has to be brought to the point that they are determined to stop smoking, otherwise it is not going to happen. As with anyone with an addiction, the only way to begin the process to stop a teen from smoking is to get them to admit that they have a problem and to express the desire to get help in quitting. Once this is in place, the teen is ready to take the other steps in the process to stop smoking.
It is usually helpful to the teen in stopping smoking to set a stop date and to put that down in writing. It is also helpful to have the teen list all the reasons that he wants to quit so that he can place it somewhere where he can see it when times get tough. Often it will be important to get the teen into other activities where he can make new friends that do not smoke so that he does not have to be exposed to others who smoke on a regular basis. He also needs to be given words that he feels comfortable using when he is faced with peer pressure so that he can refuse to smoke.
When a teen stops smoking, he will be hit with cravings for a cigarette. The teen needs to be prepared for these cravings and needs to be taught that the cravings usually do not last more than three minutes or so. Sometimes it is helpful for the teen to have a watch so that he can see the time go by rather than feeling like it is an eternity of waiting for the intense longing for a cigarette to pass.