Answers About Tobacco

Getting Ready for the New School Year?

Talk to Your Kids about Tobacco Use

(Kearney) – In the next month thousands of young people in Buffalo County will be heading back to school. In the flurry to get ready for the school year, parents may not be thinking about keeping their kids from using tobacco products, but the start of the school year is an excellent time to talk to kids about tobacco use.

“Once kids start using tobacco, they can become addicted quickly,” said Jenny Brown, Buffalo County Tobacco Free Coordinator, with the Buffalo County Tobacco Free Coalition. “That addiction can lead to a lifetime of serious health problems. The best way for parents to protect their children from tobacco-related health problems is to prevent tobacco use altogether.”

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 90% of smokers start smoking before they’re 18 and almost no one starts after age 25.  According to the 2011 Nebraska Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 15% of Nebraska high school students smoke and 10% of male Nebraska high school students use smokeless tobacco.

To help keep your children from starting to use tobacco, take these important steps:

  • Tell your children how dangerous smoking is – and how addictive all tobacco products are.
  • Make your home and your car tobacco-free for everyone – friends and guests as well as family members.
  • Tell your children you expect them to be tobacco-free.
  • Don’t let your children see movies, TV programming, or video games that show tobacco use.

For more information on tobacco prevention in Buffalo County, call 308-237-5113 or visit


 Buffalo County Tobacco Free Coalition is a collaborative effort that focuses on keeping youth from starting to use tobacco, reducing access to tobacco products, and increasing awareness about the dangers of secondhand smoke.  It’s funded by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services/Tobacco Free Nebraska Program as a result of the tobacco master settlement agreement.

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