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Smoking is injurious for the health of any human being. This warning is prominently printed on the packaging of cigarettes and other tobacco products. Of late, as per the amended regulations, it is necessary to print a picture of the consequences of smoking on the packaging. This is just to discourage the existing and prospective smokers from this activity. It can be rightly said that smoking is the worst thing anyone can do to himself. Despite notices and awareness, as per a survey, about 4000 children worldwide start smoking every day.

The habit of smoking starts at an early age. Once a child develops this habit, it generally continues for the whole life and it becomes difficult to quit smoking. Up to middle level only 1 of 16 students are said to smoke. By the time they reach high school level 1 in 5 students smoke. This reflects the extent of indulgence of kids in this habit. As the children move upward in age and study, the number or ratio of smokers continues to increase. About 90% of adult smokers developed this habit during school or college time.

Why do kids start smoking?

Kids may start to smoke out of curiosity to know the effect of smoking on their body. Other children who have a revolting nature may start smoking with an idea to do something dangerous or as a mark of rebellion to the society or parents or other relatives who may have told them not to smoke. Other set of kids may start smoking as they see other adults smoking and want to look like adults. Some others may start to smoke to reduce tension of life, studies or exams. As such no one reason could be pinpointed for starting of smoking by kids.

To discourage starting of smoking habit at the young age many governments have banned the sale of tobacco products around schools and colleges. Selling tobacco products to kids up to a particular age has been made an offence in many countries. Warning signs printed on the packaging and on the shops selling tobacco have also resulted in dissuading children from smoking and now fewer kids start smoking as compared to earlier years. This could also be a result of health consciousness developing amongst the section of society.

Effects of smoking for kids

There is growing enlightenment amongst the members of the society about the adverse effects of tobacco on human beings. In addition to the likely hood of contracting by a kid at the later life dread diseases like cancer, lungs disease and heart attack, both of which are life threatening, the child may get cough and cold which may not be easy to cure, he will have yellow teeth and will have bad breath and the clothes will also stink. This will force his non smoking friends to part company. Smoking results in reduced stamina and the child will not be able to participate in sports events in school and college and above all will have empty pocket thus disabling him from enjoying many events and activities.

How parents can help children to prevent smoking ?

To dissuade the kids from starting this habit parents can play an important part. Parents are the first teachers of any child. They should establish clear communication with their children about any and all subjects. If there is the slightest suspicion in their mind about smoking by their child, they should immediately establish communication with the child and explain ill effects which can befall them in future life. It is important to keep cool and indulge in continuous persuasion. A lot of material is available on the net about the ill effects and even dread pictures of the cancer patients are available on the net. You may show them to the child. This will help dissuade him or her from smoking.

In case the parents are non smokers it will be easy to persuade the child to quit this habit. In case one or both the parents smoke, it will be advisable not to smoke in the presence of the child or at home and not at least in the room of the kid. Do not smoke in the car with children as this is passive smoking for children and also this act may encourage kids for smoking. Even passive smoking is equally bad for health for kids. In case the child does not listen to you and continues the smoking habit it will be necessary to take the child to a doctor or a counsellor who can be of help.