Teen smoking: How to help your teen quit

Want to stop teen smoking? Follow this no-nonsense approach, from setting a good example to making a plan and celebrating success.

By Mayo Clinic Staff

If you find your teen smoking, take it seriously. Stopping teen smoking in its tracks is the best way to promote a lifetime of good health.

Set a good example

As a parent, you're a powerful influence in your teen's life. However, if you smoke, your teen might interpret your actions as an endorsement for the behavior. Ask your doctor about stop-smoking products and resources to help you stop smoking.

In the meantime, don't smoke in the house, in the car or in front of your teen, and don't leave cigarettes where your teen might find them. Explain how unhappy you are with your smoking, and why it's important to you to quit.

Start talking

Tell your teen how much you want him or her to stop smoking. It's an important message. But keep in mind that commands, threats and ultimatums aren't likely to work. Instead of getting angry, ask your teen what made him or her start smoking. Perhaps your teen is trying to fit in at school, or get your attention. Sometimes teen smoking is an attempt to feel grown-up.

Once you understand why your teen is smoking, you'll be better equipped to address the problem — as well as help your teen stop smoking.

Oct. 07, 2015 See more In-depth