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Explaining the dangers of Smoking to Children

I used to smoke.  I stopped the minute I found out I was expecting Maxi nine years ago.  But I do know how hard if can be to stop smoking. I  do not want to judge people who smoke, but Maxi has a chest condition and it is important that he is not exposed to cigarette smoke and also that he understands the dangers of smoking. 

My Mum also smoked in fact she died of smoking related complications and it was horrible.  Both my mother in law and father in law smoke, but have really cut down.  

This makes discussing smoking and its dangers a double edged sword as I do not want to make the boys too frightened for the lives of their remaining grandparents.

First of I talked about how when Nana, Grandad and Grandma started smoking we didn't know that it was dangerous and that it is very addictive, which is why people find it so hard to stop.

We discussed the fact that if they want to keep up with their sports how smoking can affect the lungs and make it hard to breath.

I want the boys to know that it is OK to ask questions about smoking, but it is NOT OK to smoke.

For me a big part of this discussion has been talking to the boys about peer pressure and knowing that it is OK to be different to other children and to feel that they are strong enough to make their own decisions and to stand by them.  

I also want the boys to understand that it is much harder to look at quitting smoking than it is to not start in the first place.

I have looked on the web and can not find information about discussing smoking with younger children and I really do not want to show then images of lungs etc, but I do want them to understand the dangers and to not have to have this conversation once they have tried smoking.  I think for me it is much better to discuss it now and head it off at the pass, rather than try and stop then if they ever start.

What would you do? 


  1. Try googling in smoking lessons for children. I found many sites but did not look at them all. One that I did check out was It might have something of interest for you.

    Myra, from Canada, where we are enjoying mild autumn temps.

  2. My daughter made my parents quit smocking when she got upset and told them she did not want them to died, she was 3 at the time. They quit then and there.


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