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Love Your Heart

Do Not Smoke

Smoking is a significant cause of coronary artery disease, and approximately 20 percent of all deaths in the U.S. from heart disease are directly related to smoking. The longer a person smokes, the higher his or her risk of heart disease. Children are especially susceptible to health problems due to secondhand smoke.

How does smoking increase heart disease risk?No smoking

  • Decreases oxygen to the heart
  • Increases blood pressure and heart rate
  • Increases blood clotting
  • Damages cells that line coronary arteries and other blood vessels

What can parents do to prevent their children from smoking?

  • If you smoke, QUIT - and share the difficulties of quitting with your children.
  • It's never too early to talk to children about the dangers of smoking.
  • Maintain a smoke-free home - don't let anyone smoke inside.
  • Help your children resist peer pressure by boosting their self-confidence at every opportunity - emphasize what they do right, not what they do wrong.
  • Encourage your children to get involved in sports or other extracurricular activities that prohibit smoking.
  • Don't just tell your child not to smoke, then drop the subject. Keep reminding them through the years of the dangers of smoking.
  • Help your child come up with ways to say "no" when responding to peer pressure to smoke.
  • Kids might not be able to understand the future health problems that could come from smoking, so also emphasize the immediate issues, such as bad breath, smelly clothes and yellow teeth.