Lanashire County Council

Parental Information

Talking to your child about tobacco and smoking.

Most parents whether smokers or non-smokers have an opinion on smoking and tobacco use. The majority would prefer their children not to start as the pitfalls are now well known to us all. So what can parents do to support their children as they make their way into the world and cope with the pressures and demands from friends, groups and society?

It’s never too early to chat with your child. After all, if their parents smoke at home, most children are aware about tobacco from a very early age. Research shows that adolescents whose parents smoke are more likely to smoke themselves. However it was also found that this reduced for children of ex-smokers.

This site has been developed to help you talk to your children about tobacco. There is a lot of useful information for you to read through and talk about with your child. There are also several interactive activities and games that you can play together. If your child is younger and struggling to read you can help by reading through the information with them. Any quality time spent with your child whether talking and listening or finding facts and information together is a good basis for developing a healthy and open relationship later in their lives.

Use the site as a starting point to help you talk about tobacco as informally as possible, before children start to experiment by themselves or with their friends. Be as honest as you can as children have naturally enquiring minds and are full of questions. Answering their questions as honestly as you can will help to develop good relationships, which will be easier to build on when they reach their teens.

Don’t leave temptation in their way, keep cigarettes and lighters are of their way, especially in the case of young children who can be fascinated by fire and might think that playing with matches or a lighter is a good idea.

If you are trying to give up smoking yourself, try and encourage your children and family to support you, it will help you all to understand the pressures and issues you are facing.

A Parent’s Guide to Keeping your Children Tobacco Free