The Progressive Agriculture Safety Day(R) program has been providing hands-on education to children on various safety-related topics since 1995. In response to the health and safety risks continuing to evolve throughout the years, so has the Safety Day program -- including the overall health and wellness of children with mental well-being, stress management, healthy lifestyles
From smoking combustible cigarettes to vaping with e-cigarettes to using smokeless tobacco products, the age children are being introduced to these highly addictive products is getting drastically younger. With November serving as Tobacco Awareness Month, it is the perfect time to start a conversation with your child about the effects of tobacco or nicotine use.
DID YOU KNOW?
-- Each day in the United States, about 1,600 youth smoke their first cigarette, and nearly 200 youth start smoking every day.
-- Flavorings in tobacco or nicotine products can make them more appealing to youth. In 2020, 85% of high school students and 74% of middle school students who used tobacco products in the past 30 days reported using a flavored tobacco product during that time.
-- The U.S. Surgeon General has declared e-cigarette use among youth an epidemic, with rates increasing 78% from 2017 to 2018 among high school students and more teens using e-cigarettes than combustible cigarettes.
(Some of the statistics and information used within this piece came from the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office
on Smoking and Health.)
While smoking may be glamorized in movies, television shows and online, parents and guardians are the most important influencers in a child's life.
A few prevention strategies include:
1. Set a good example by being tobacco-free and ensure that your child is not exposed to the secondhand emissions from any tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.
2. Establish a smoke-free policy in your home and ensure that events your children attend are smoke-free, as well.
3. Talk to your children as early as 5 or 6 years of age and keep the conversation going throughout high school. Discuss scenarios and share ways to refuse a cigarette, e-cigarette or smokeless tobacco.
4. It's never too late to quit. Parents who smoke are more likely to have children who smoke.
"At the conclusion of my Progressive Agriculture Safety Day, I heard many comments from students regarding the tobacco demonstration. One participant commented how gross smoking made the inside of your body look."
-Dee Meerdink, Progressive Agriculture Safety Day Coordinator in Hawarden, Iowa
FIND US ONLINE:
-- Visit progressiveag.org, or call us at 888-257-3529.
-- Send a child to a Safety Day by donating today. Text SAFETYDAY to 44321.
-- The Progressive Agriculture Foundation (PAF) is proud to be recognized as a Better Business Bureau Accredited Charity. Additionally, PAF has a 3-star rating with Charity Navigator and was awarded a Platinum Seal of Transparency with GuideStar. All donations are tax-deductible.
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