Whether you believe smoking is a sin or not, the fact remains that teaching kids about the dangers of smoking is important. There are great resources out there to help us talk to our kids about why they should refrain from smoking. You will find some useful Dangers of Smoking Resources below.
Talking to kids about smoking has been quite tricky for me. We have people or family members whom we love, who smoke. Therefore, trying to explain to my kids that smoking is wrong has not been easy.
I hate smoking. Even as a teenager, before I knew the Lord, I tried it and never tried it again. I do know, from living with people who smoke and hide their smoking, that smoking is addictive. What’s worse is that people who are addicted to smoking, don’t really think they are addicted.
People say they can quit. They even have immediate excuses for why they smoke. The biggest reason I have heard is stress. They need it to calm down, or they need it to help them through their day. Well, that is addiction folks.
So how do we prevent our kids from even starting in a world that says it’s OK to smoke? It’s tough. Don’t even get me started on vaping.
Because we know that smoking has been proven to damage our lungs and our heart – and effects teeth color, shortness of breath, circulation, aging, etc – we can begin teaching our kids with some Biblical truths.
Here are some Biblical truths in 1 Corinthians to talk with your kids about the dangers of smoking:
1 Corinthians 6:12 says, “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be dominated by anything.” Even though smoking is permissible for us, we should not be mastered by anything, therefore, an addiction to smoking can clearly be applied here.
1 Corinthians 6:20 says, “..for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” There is no justification for smoking when it comes to this verse. You were bought with a price, therefore use the care of your body to glorify God.
1 Corinthians 10:31 says, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” The hurt that smoking does in our bodies, explains why smoking doesn’t glorify God.
Note: I understand that people are addicted to other things like food and caffeine. Those things can also be addressed, however, an excuse like others being addicted to food or caffeine is a repudiation and still does not make smoking honoring to God.
It truly is never too early to talk to your kids about smoking and its effects. The more you repeat its dangers to your kids the better. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention research shows that 90% of adult smokers picked up their first cigarette when they were a child.
Here are a few practical tips for talking to kids about the dangers of smoking:
Use their interests to talk about smoking.
If your kids are into dancing or sports, remind them how smoking affects the lungs and impairs their ability to run and play. Smokers often get out of breath with physical activities.
Practice saying “No” with your kids.
Discussions about being unique, standing alone if they have to, and saying “no” when everyone else is doing wrong, is key when talking to kids about smoking. Peer pressure and needing to feel cool is real and we should be addressing it head-on.
Model the behavior you would like them to follow. I had anger problems for many years. It was extremely hard to tell my children not to argue and not to let anger be their first reaction when I was doing it myself. Seek the Lord and be the example your child needs when it comes to not smoking.
Be intentional about talking about the dangers of smoking with your kids.
The 21st of November is the Great American Smokeout Day. This is a great time of year to remind your kids about how smoking is dangerous. On this day, thousands of people who smoke across the country take an important step toward a healthier life and reducing cancer risk by choosing to quit smoking.
State the facts about smoking.
Facts about smoking help kids see for themselves what smoking does to people, apart from what mom thinks and feels about smoking. Here are a few facts for you to explore from the American Cancer Society:
- About half of all Americans who keep smoking will die because of their smoking.
- Each year more than 480,000 people in the United States die from illnesses caused by smoking. This means each year smoking causes about 1 out of 5 deaths in the US.
- Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States, accounting for 29% of all cancer deaths.
- (NOT ALL IS BAD NEWS) Strong tobacco control laws are now reaping the fruits of their labor. From 1965 to 2016, cigarette smoking among adults in the United States decreased from 42% to about 15.5%. Strong smoke-free policies, media campaigns, and increases in the prices of tobacco products are at least partly credited for these decreases.
Here is your one-stop-shop for resources that help you talk to your kids about the dangers of smoking:
Right Decisions Right Now: FREE Anti-Smoking Resources For Teachers & Parents | The Cornerstone for Teachers
5 Ways to Communicate with your Kids about the Dangers of Using | What You Talkin Bout Willis?
Help Kids Stay Tobacco FREE | Upstate Ramblings
40+ Dangerous Smoking Facts to Share with Your Kids | Mom Junction
Effects of Smoking on the Body – Lesson plan | Sarah Daddis
5 Simple Ways to Talk to Kids about the Dangers of Smoking | The Mama Maven
What’s in a Cigarette Lesson Plan Package | Sarah Daddis
FREE Anti-Tobacco Educational Materials for Teachers | Surviving a Teacher’s Salary
Talking to Your Child about Smoking | Medline Plus
Talking to Kids About Smoking |Very Well Family
Smarter than Smoking Activity Sheets | Smarter than Smoking
Smoking and Tobacco Use Fast Facts and Fact Sheets | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Activities Divided by Subject to Talk to Kids about Smoking | Education World
Fatal Addiction: Tobacco’s Deadly Grasp (The Messages You Send Your Children About Smoking Could Mean the Difference Between Life and Death)Smoking Stinks!! (Substance Free Kids Series)ZOCO Say No to Smoking Kid’s Coloring & Activity Books in Bulk (Qty of 250) – Customized with Your Logo or ImprintZOCO Be Smart, Say No to Smoking Kid’s Coloring & Activity Books in Bulk (Qty of 250) – Customized with Your Logo or Imprint
Smoking is an epidemic in our country and others. If you are a parent who smokes or has a spouse or family member who smokes, remember that it is addictive and a stronghold. I couldn’t imagine how hard it is to break free from its grasps. I mean, I was addicted to Coca Cola and it was so hard to quit that. My heart goes out to those who struggle with smoking.
Let us stand in prayer with each other and for our loved ones to rid themselves of smoking. Remember that our children are watching and we greatly influence their worldview. We can make a difference by talking to our kids about the dangers of smoking as early and as often as possible.
Jeannette is a wife, mother and homeschooling mom. She has been mightily, saved by grace and is grateful for God’s sovereignty throughout her life’s journey. She has a Bachelor in English Education and her MBA. Jeannette is bi-lingual and currently lives in the Tongan Islands of the South Pacific. She posts daily freebies for homeschoolers!