Many young people know smoking is not healthy but still think it's cool. A big reason for this is the media. Tobacco companies spend billions of dollars every year promoting their products at stores where they are sold, in magazines, and at sporting events.
Most ads are designed to trick you by showing smokers as healthy, energetic, sexy, and successful. There are also many TV and movie scenes showing people smoking. These TV and movie scenes promote the idea that lots of people smoke and rarely show the bad consequences of smoking.
The following are things parents can do to help children understand the influence of the media:
- Talk about ads with your children. Help them to understand the real messages in these ads.
- Teach your kids to be wary consumers and not to believe everything they see and hear on TV.
- Make sure the TV shows and movies your children watch do not show smoking as cool or glamorous.
- Don't let your children wear T-shirts, jackets, or hats that promote tobacco products.
- Talk to your children's school about starting a media education program.