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Published on March 11, 2019

Tobacco is changing

Brad Ecklor, PA

Brad Ecklor, PA

Cigarette use may be dropping among young users, but other tobacco products are increasing in popularity and are just as dangerous. New items on the market come in a variety of shapes, styles and flavors. Like cigarettes, they contain cancer causing chemicals and are designed to deliver nicotine, which is highly addictive and can hook kids for life.

"There's no need to be an expert to talk to your kids about tobacco," says Brad Ecklor, physician assistant, Gundersen Boscobel. "Let them know you care and try to help them understand the facts they need to make healthy choices."

Ecklor has the following tips for talking to your kids about tobacco:

  • Make the conversation personal. Most people who use tobacco want to quit. Smoking is an addiction. Sharing stories can help children understand how damaging tobacco can be in any form.
  • Focus on right now. The immediate costs of tobacco—shortness of breath, mouth sores, yellow teeth, bad breath, addiction—are easier for children to relate to than long-term health effects.
  • Talk about the social costs. Smoking causes odor, yellow teeth and bad breath.
  • Being tobacco-free is popular. Most young people do not use tobacco.
  • Ask them to ask about it. Let your child know they can feel comfortable talking to you about questions they have and you can find the answers together.

Your child's annual wellness exam is an excellent time to discuss tobacco use or other topics. For an appointment with Brad Ecklor, PA or a fellow provider in Boscobel, Fennimore or Muscoda, please call Gundersen Boscobel Area Hospital and Clinics at (608) 375-4144.

For more information, call 1-800 QUIT NOW (784-8669) or visit the Tobacco is Changing website.

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