390 Lincoln Road
Sudbury, MA 01776
Thursday, March 30, 2017
Contact: John Guilfoil
Sudbury Lincoln CRANE Newsletter March 30
FEATURED TOPIC: The State of Smoking
While the percentage of adults who smoke cigarettes in the United States is down, cigarette smoking remains high among certain populations, including young adults. This means that it is still very important to talk to your kids early on about smoking cigarettes and other forms of tobacco, and the negative health effects they cause.
Preventing tobacco use among youth is critical to ending smoking in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), tobacco use begins primarily during adolescence and nearly nine out of 10 cigarette smokers first tried smoking by 18, and 99 percent first tried smoking by age 26.
Every day in the United States, more than 3,200 youth ages 18 or younger smoke their first cigarette. Flavorings in tobacco products can make them more appealing to younger people, and that in 2014, 73 percent of high school students and 56 percent of middle school students who used tobacco products in the last 30 days reported using a flavored tobacco product.
The CDC reports that cigarette smoking declined among middle and high school students from 2011 to 2015. Trends in the Lincoln and Sudbury communities are encouraging, too.
According to the 2014 MetroWest Adolescent Health Survey, cigarette use among Curtis Middle School students remained low with 3 percent of students reporting using cigarettes in their lifetime. Results of the same survey at Lincoln Sudbury High School showed that the number of students who reported using cigarettes in their lifetime decreased from 31 percent in 2006 to 13 percent in 2014.
While cigarette smoking has declined among youth in the United States in recent years, the use of other tobacco products in on the rise.
The American Lung Association recommends that parents and guardians follow these tips when talking to their children about smoking tobacco, in any form:
- Tell your children honestly and directly that you don’t want them to smoke cigarettes. Give them clear, consistent messages about the risks of smoking.
- Start talking to your kids about smoking when they are young, about 5 or 6 years old, and continue through their high school years. Explain the health dangers of smoking, as well as the unpleasant physical aspects such as bad breath, and discolored teeth and nails.
- Set a good example for your kids by not smoking. Parents who smoke are more likely to have children who smoke.
- If you’re a parent who smokes, the best thing you can do is to quit. Talk to your kids about how difficult it is to quit smoking and how much easier it would have been if you’d never started smoking in the first place. In the meantime, don’t smoke around your children and never let them have any of your cigarettes.
- Establish a smoke-free policy in your home. Don’t allow anyone to smoke indoors.
- Support tobacco-free schools and insist that school health programs include tobacco-use prevention education.
- Find out if your children have any friends that smoke. Talk with your kids about ways to refuse a cigarette.
- If you catch your teen smoking, avoid threats and ultimatums. Ask a few questions and find out why your child is smoking; he or she may want to be accepted by a peer group or want your attention. Talk about what changes can be made in your teen’s life to help him or her stop smoking.
- As you talk to your child about their smoking, point out that he or she is probably already addicted to nicotine. The tobacco industry spends billions of dollars each year to make sure their products are as appealing and as addictive as possible. Ask your child to think about how they’ve been manipulated and used by tobacco companies. This realization makes many teen smokers angry and can help motivate them to quit.
Resilient Parent Series: Masterminds and Wingmen
Thursday, April 6 at 7 p.m. at Natick High School
Strategies to Help Parents Teach Social-Emotional Skills to Children Age 2-6
Thursday, April 13 at 6:30 p.m. at Drumlin Farm
Love That Boy
Wednesday, April 19 at 7 p.m. at The Gallery at Villageworks in Acton
Suicide Prevention Walk
Saturday, April 29 at RJ Grey Field in Acton
William James College INTERFACE Referral Service is a mental health and wellness referral line available to families in the Sudbury and Lincoln Communities as well as Boston families with children in the Sudbury and Lincoln schools. This free and confidential service is available to residents of all ages in member towns.
Callers will be asked to describe their need and provide insurance, appointment time and location preferences. INTERFACE staff will then use their extensive database to find a licensed therapist or provider match with the appropriate specialization. They are able to make referrals in the Sudbury, Lincoln and Boston areas. INTERFACE is available Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 888-244-6843 (toll free).