Talk About Being Smoke-Free

August 28, 2013 Updated Aug 28, 2013 at 10:04 AM EDT

By WKBW News

August 28, 2013 Updated Aug 28, 2013 at 10:04 AM EDT

Cleveland Clinic (WKBW) – Talk is cheap but experts said it is also effective when encouraging your child or teen not to smoke. They say simply talking to your kids about the problems caused by smoking cuts down on the possibility of the child picking up the bad habit.

Researchers said 3800 children smoke their first cigarette between the ages 12 and 17. Doctors now recommend that parents and pediatricians counsel kids as young as five-years-old about the dangers of tobacco.

Experts said the most serious and life threatening effects from smoking show up as an adult. They also said it is important for children to understand they too can suffer from impaired lung growth and other respiratory problems at a very young age if they begin smoking.

“One of the easiest things is that we recommend you just not smoke, it's bad for you and one of the most unhealthy things you can do,” Cleveland Clinic Dr. Robert Bales said.

Although doctors can help, the real influence starts in the home.

Doctors also recommend that parents keep their homes and their cars smoke free. They tell parents although talking is effective, leading by example is also important.

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