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Study: Teen Antismoking Ads Backfiring

Teens Who Watch Some Ads Report Stronger Intentions to Smoke

Parents Still Play a Role

Wakefield says her study doesn't suggest that it's pointless for parents to talk to kids about smoking. Instead, she says kids need to get the message that smoking is as foolish for adults as it is for children. Some tips:

  • The most important thing parents can do is quit smokingquit smoking themselves, she says: "Actions speak louder than words."
  • Forbid smoking by adults or children in your home or car.
  • Let your kids know you support antismoking laws.
  • Explain to your kids about how the tobacco industry has targeted children and concealed information about its products.

Califano agrees that the most important thing for parents to do is to model healthy behavior. More than just telling kids not to smoke, drink, or take drugs, parents must also become strongly engaged in their children's lives, he says.

"You need to have a fundamental relationship of trust with your child to send him any message, whether it's don't smoke, don't drink, or don't take drugs."

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