According to a 2012 Fast Facts report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tobacco use accounts for over 5 million deaths, world-wide, each year. Also, the CDC notes that roughly 3,800 kids and teens under the age of 18 try a cigarette for the first time every day. The KidsHealth website points out that giving kids information about the dangers of smoking can help protect them from ever starting in the first place. Activities and projects can highlight the dangers for the kids in a memorable way.
Poster-making is an easy activity that can help kids get involved in a stop smoking campaign. Creating large-sized artwork that displays the perils of tobacco use can help kids learn about why smoking is unhealthy and show the viewer that this habit is something not to start. Your child can brainstorm ideas for poster themes such as staggering statistics, a stop sign or medical facts. Help him find information to share with others, then hive him a piece of white poster board and brightly colored markers to create the poster. Help your child to make the images bold and the letters and numbers stand out with thick lines and vivid shades to highlight the important information so it sticks out and is more memorable.
Medical Fact Discussion
Saying that smoking kills isn't always concrete enough to help your child understand the precise perils. Engage your child in a discussion about the medical facts or invite a medical professional to speak at your child's school or community group. Having a pro talk about -- and possibly show images of -- what happens to the inside of a smoker's body can hit home and help your child to truly understand the dangers of this entirely unhealthy habit.
Activities to promote not smoking don't always have to focus on the negatives. Sports teams, especially high school athletics, may require kids to sign a promise not to smoke or have smoking policies that prohibit students from playing if they are caught smoking. Additionally, parents, coaches and teachers can discuss how smoking can impact the physical fitness level that is necessary for kids to engage in athletic activities such as football, soccer, baseball or track, and how the athletes will be better able to improve their performance when they can breathe easily.
Stage a peer discussion with your child and her peers that focuses on not smoking. Hold the discussion at your house, a school event or at a community center activity. Act as a moderator and pose questions to the kids about why they think that smoking is unhealthy or how they feel about smokers. Ask them about specific strategies that they might use to combat the peer pressure to smoke and reasons to stay smoke-free.