Father’s Day is a day to celebrate dads for who they are and all of the wonderful things they do. It is also a great time for dads to remember the important role they play in influencing the choices their kids make regarding tobacco use. Unfortunately, tobacco use among men remains a serious problem: one in five men currently smoke, more than 269,600 men die every year from smoking, and 216,000 kids have already lost their dad to smoking.
Dads who smoke can celebrate Father’s Day by quitting, and all dads, whether or not they smoke, can celebrate Father’s Day by taking a number of effective actions to protect their kids from becoming another one of the tobacco industry’s addicted customers and victims. Even if they smoke, what dads say, how they act, and the values they communicate through their words and deeds has an enormous influence whether or not kids smoke. And all dads, smokers and nonsmokers alike, can also do a lot to protect their kids from secondhand smoke.
The Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids encourages tobacco users to do the following:
- Maintain a smoke-free home.
- If you smoke, quit. If you can’t quit, keep trying. Children from families who smoke are twice as likely to become smokers themselves — but parents who try to quit and talk to their kids about the how addictive smoking is, why they want to quit, and how important it is to never start can beat those odds.
- Educate your child about the dangers of smoking.
- Listen to what your child says about smoking, and help them make good decisions.
- Discuss peer pressure with your child.
- Support federal, state, and local tobacco-prevention efforts.
The Indiana Tobacco QuitLine (1-800-QUIT NOW) can help, by offering personalized support for Indiana residents who want to quit smoking and/or other tobacco products by connecting them with trained quit coaches to guide them through the quitting process. Callers will receive ongoing professional coaching via individually scheduled calls with a quit coach personally assigned to them. This convenient and confidential service is free and available to Indiana residents in both English and Spanish. For more information, call 1-800-Quit Now.