Keeping your children away from smoking

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The say talk is cheap, but it apparently can also be very effective when you’re trying to keep a child from starting a bad habit.

A new study finds that doctors who simply talk to kids and teens about the negative health effects of smoking can make a difference.

Researchers with the U.S. preventative task force say an estimated 3,800 children smoke their first cigarette between the ages of 12 and 17.

So, the American Academy of Pediatrics started recommending in 2009 that all pediatricians counsel kids as young as 5 years against initiating tobacco use and provide counseling on tobacco cessation.

The U.S. preventative task force took a hard look at the effectiveness of that approach and backs the recommendation.  It said that although the most serious and life-threatening effects from smoking show up in adults, it’s important for children to understand they can suffer from impaired lung growth and other respiratory problems, too.

The American Academy of Pediatrics also recommends pediatricians advise all families to make their homes and cars smoke-free.

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