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Renee'
Renee' asks:
Q:

How do I help my son stop using tobacco?

My son is 14 and is Dipping Scoal.  All of his friends do this, and so do their dad's, brothers, uncles, etc..., therefore it is easily accessible to him. Aside, from the tobacco use, these kids are really good kids, and are good in school and sports.  My son has gone through the DARE program at school a few years ago, so knows the dangers of doing this. And I have talked with him about these dangers, and how he is hurting his body. How do I get him to stop?  Or get him to understand that he does not have to be like everyone else in order to be "cool"?
In Topics: Teen alcohol and substance abuse
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Boys Town National Hotline
Apr 7, 2009
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What the Expert Says:

Teaching your youth not to use drugs, tobacco, or alcohol is difficult especially if it's widely accepted by his peers and the adults he spends time with. It sounds like you've done a great job of explaining to him why it's bad for him and that he needs to think about the consequences of dipping and how that will affect him in the future. Preventative teaching is an important part in helping him realize the harms of dipping. It sounds like he's already been through the DARE program and that's a great start to drug prevention. In addition, have you thought about showing him pictures of the mouths of people that have developed cancer from dipping? You can find pictures on the internet or by contacting the American Cancer Society. They can be very shocking, but very effective in making someone think twice before using substances that will harm them. Also, have you considered taking him to a doctor so they can discuss with him the health hazards involved in chewing tobacco?

After you feel that you have exhausted all your resources in showing and telling him why chewing is bad for him, the next step is to let him make his own decisions. Be sure to let him know your expectations (that he will not use chewing tobacco) and what the consequences will be if you discover that he is using. If you do catch him, follow through with the consequences, make the consequences bigger each time he is caught. Remind him that just because everyone else is doing it, doesn't make it ok for him to!

As a parent, it can be painful to watch your child make bad decisions, but all you can do is be there to offer him direction, then help him to recover if he doesn't heed your advice. Good Luck!!

Sincerely,
Boys Town National Hotline
1-800-448-3000

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Additional Answers (2)

kellysfinn
kellysfinn , Parent writes:
Hi Cheryl,<br />
<br />
It is understandable to be concerned about your son's tobacco use. &nbsp;That is great that you have communicated with your son about the risks involved in his use. &nbsp;Perhaps there are new ways to communicate with him that you have not yet tried, like asking open ended questions in conversation. &nbsp;Also, learning more about your son's decision process will help. &nbsp; A great article on education.com that discusses reasons why teens use substances and communication tools for parents is:<br />
<br />
http://www.education.com/reference/article/Ref_Substance_Use_Abuse/<br />
<br />
Also, an article that focuses on alcohol, but has great info on how to talk to your teen is: http://www.education.com/reference/article/Ref_Make_Difference_Talk/<br />
<br />
I hope this helps,<br />
Kelly<br />
> 60 days ago

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eliad
eliad , Parent writes:
Maybe showing him pictures of the damage after long use will have the effect you're looking for.<br />
<br />
I know it was effective when they showed us brutal car accidents pictures in my school. most kids understood the consequences.<br />
<br />
Good luck.<br />
Eliad<br />
> 60 days ago

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