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The best way to protect your children from smoking is to be a healthy role model and to not smoke.

Smoking causes over 80% of all drug related deaths in Australia, far more than alcohol or illicit drugs! Did you know that 80% of young people who smoke regularly continue to smoke as adults? Nearly half of smokers under 30 started smoking by the age of 15.

Cigarette advertising in Australia has been banned, but if you watch closely, more actors in movies and television programs are shown smoking (it's called 'product placement').

Everyone knows the risks of smoking, but people are still starting to smoke, and continuing to smoke. So, why do they do it??

Want to quit? call the Quitline (Australia) 13 78 48

There is lots of information about smoking - and much more inportantly - quitting on these sites:

South Australia

Australian Government

Information in languages other than English

Posters in many languages have been made for the Australian National Tobacco Campaign. They are listed under the heading referring to advertisements on this page 

Pregnancy and smoking

It's recommended that you do not smoke during pregnancy.Have a look at the topic 'Smoking in pregnancy'.

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

Smoking during pregnancy and after the birth of a baby by either parent increases the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Risks for children

Apart from the dangers of passive smoking there are other risks to children who are around people who smoke.

  • Cigarettes and ash are poisonous. Eating even one butt can make a young child sick. Keep cigarettes and ashtrays away from children.
  • Cigarettes can seriously burn children.
  • Matches and lighters can cause burns and can start house fires and other fires. Keep them away from children.
  • Smoking while driving increases the chance of having an accident.

Be a healthy role model

Parents are the most powerful role models for their children. Even though you may tell your children not to smoke, they are more likely to copy you than to do what you say. Children with a parent who smokes are twice as likely to take up smoking themselves in adolescence. The best action you can take is to quit smoking. Contact your doctor or Quitline 13 78 48 for support.

What if my child smokes?

Most parents don't want their children to smoke, even if they smoke themselves. For parents who don't smoke, or who have quit, it can be upsetting to find out their child smokes.

You could suggest that they look at the Teen Health topic 'Smoking - giving up smoking'.

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The information on this site should not be used as an alternative to professional care. If you have a particular problem, see a doctor, or ring the Parent Helpline on 1300 364 100 (local call cost from anywhere in South Australia).

This topic may use 'he' and 'she' in turn - please change to suit your child's sex.

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