Health officials want smoke-free Mother’s Day

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By The Staff

Mother’s Day is a day to celebrate moms for who they are and all of the wonderful things they do, Anderson County Health Department officials said in a news release.
It is also a great time for moms to remember the important role they play in influencing the choices their kids make regarding tobacco use.
Unfortunately, tobacco use among women remains a serious problem: more than 21 million women currently smoke, putting them at risk for heart attacks, strokes, lung cancer, emphysema and other life-threatening illnesses.  An estimated 173,000 women die every year from smoking, and more than 86,000 kids have already lost their mom to smoking, according to the news release.
 Moms who smoke can celebrate Mother’s Day by quitting, and all moms, whether or not they smoke, can celebrate Mother’s Day by taking a number of effective actions to protect their kids.  Even if they smoke, what moms say, how they act, and the values they communicate through their words and deeds have an enormous influence on whether or not their kids smoke, the news release states. And all moms, smokers and nonsmokers alike, can also do a lot to protect their kids from secondhand smoke.
How can moms keep their children from smoking?
Parents are the most important people in a child’s life, especially when it comes to cigarettes. They can make a big difference in the choices their children make.
If you smoke, quit. If you can’t quit, keep trying.  Children from families who smoke are twice as likely to become smokers themselves – but parents who try to quit and talk to their kids about how addictive smoking is, why they want to quit, and how important it is to never start, can beat those odds, health officials said.
Maintain a totally smoke-free home and car, (even if you smoke).
Educate your child about the dangers of cigarette smoking.
Talk about addiction and how hard it is to quit smoking.
Emphasize the immediate health effects.
Emphasize the effects of smoking on physical appearance.
Talk to your kids about how tobacco companies target them by trying to make tobacco use seem cool so they can addict them as customers for life
Clear up any misunderstandings your child might have about smoking. For example:  everybody is not doing it, getting hooked can happen very quickly, and quitting is very difficult.
Make sure your kids’ schools have strong and well-enforced no-smoking rules for kids and staff.
Support federal, state, and local tobacco-prevention efforts like higher tobacco taxes, funding for tobacco prevention programs, and smoke-free laws.
 Mothers who give up smoking improve the likelihood that their children will grow-up to be tobacco-free and lead much longer lives.