New Interactive Tools Available in the Fight Against Youth Smoking

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"We, as parents, need to do whatever it takes to get between our kids and the temptations to engage in negative behaviors, like smoking"

Parents know there are two surefire ways to get through to their pre-teens – videos and games. Though normally considered distractions, the youth smoking prevention program “Real Parents. Real Answers.” (RPRA) has instead harnessed them for good, adding new interactive videos and games to its Web site to help parents combat the scourge of youth smoking.

The program’s Web site,, now offers three age-specific videos and two quizzes that stimulate interaction between parents and children – accomplishing the twin goals of getting them talking about the negative impact of smoking, while providing information to help kids make healthy decisions for their future.

“We, as parents, need to do whatever it takes to get between our kids and the temptations to engage in negative behaviors, like smoking,” said Dr. Michael Popkin, parenting expert and spokesperson for RPRA.

Popkin is the star of three age-specific videos, tailored with messaging and activities appropriate for parents with children ages 6 to 8, 9 to 11 and 12 to 15. Parent and child are encouraged to watch together, pausing at designated points to take the dialogue off the screen and into the real world.

“The messages in the videos are tailored to what is happening in their lives right now. Although we don’t expect a 6 year old to have tried smoking, they are probably aware of people doing it, which makes it a fine time to start talking about it in a very simple way. A 14 year old, on the other hand, is currently making serious decisions that will impact their future and their health. The video tailored to this age directly asks for the child to make the choice not to smoke and also to be a leader against youth smoking among their friends.”

In addition to the videos, two new quizzes were created for the RPRA Web site, one for parents and one for kids. According to Popkin, the parents’ quiz, titled “The Ultimate Youth Smoking Prevention Quiz,” was created to convey just how much there is to know about keeping kids smoke-free. The youth quiz, titled “The Whiz Kid’s No Smoking Quiz,” is more lighthearted, making it fun for kids to participate while they learn.

“Parents might think their child won’t smoke because nobody in the household does and they may not realize how communication and general parenting skills impact a child’s decision to say no to pressures to conform,” Popkin said. “The quizzes are a fun way to learn just a little more than what you already know.”

For more information about youth smoking prevention, including a pledge program for kids plus recorded webinars and podcasts for parents, visit Parents can also join the program on Facebook by liking the program at


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Monique Moffit
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