Take Action – Parents

You can help make Missouri a healthier place for kids

Kids pay more attention to what you say and do than you might think. Research shows that parents, and caring adults, can have a powerful impact on young people’s choices, so talk with the kids in your life about the dangers of tobacco use. Listen to what they have to say. Be a good role model. Then share what you’ve learned with your entire community. Parents like you can make a real difference.


What you can do

Everywhere you look, Missouri’s youth are surrounded by kid-tempting nicotine products and marketing tactics. In all its forms, nicotine can addict young people and keep them hooked for life. It can damage their growing brains, leading to memory and attention problems. It can also cause serious illnesses like cancer or heart disease, and amplify stress, anxiety and depression.

That’s why it’s important to take actions that help protect teens’ physical and mental health—in all the spaces you and the kids in your life live, work, and play. Share what you know about the dangers of nicotine, and help young people connect with resources that offer information and support. It can make all the difference.

Family setting the table and preparing the lunch at home

At home

  • Get to know the tobacco industry’s products and tactics.
  • Learn about the serious health effects of youth tobacco use.
  • Talk to your kids about tobacco and its dangers.
  • Keep an eye out for tobacco products in your home.
  • Set a good example by living tobacco-free.
  • Ask your teen about their feelings and listen carefully. Encouraging young people to talk about stressful situations can help them gain perspective and find solutions.
  • Create a tobacco-free home and ask others to observe it while in your home.
Rear View Of Female High School Teacher Standing At Front Of Class Teaching Lesson

At school

  • If the school property is not 100% tobacco-free inside and on the grounds at all times, let your school administrators know this is important to you.
  • Make sure your child’s teachers know your home is tobacco-free.
  • Encourage kids to get involved with activities that discourage tobacco use, like sports and the arts.
  • Let your school administrators know that tobacco prevention matters to you.
  • Get involved with your school’s parent-teacher organization.
Woman Asking Question At Neighborhood Meeting In Community Center

In your community

  • Share what you know about the dangers of tobacco with others.
  • Get to know the current tobacco policies and policy gaps that affect your community.
  • Let your local leaders know that tobacco prevention matters to you.
  • Support state and local tobacco prevention and control best practice policies. Click here to learn more.
  • Join the tobacco prevention coalition near you.

Help your child quit

Nicotine is powerfully addictive in any form. Help your child find the resources and support they need to quit tobacco products for good.

Get them help

Tap into a network of free and affordable support resources, including: quitting coaches, peer support, and helplines that offer help by phone call, live chat, or texting.

  • Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW for free quitting support and more.
  • My Life My Quit info: Teens can text “Start My Quit” to 36072 or visit www.mylifemyquit.org
  • Encourage your teen to text VAPEFREE to 873373 for free help.

Other ways to offer your support

Your support could make all the difference to a young person who is trying to quit. There are a lot of little things you can do to help:

  • Let your child know you’re proud of their efforts to live tobacco-free.
  • Help your child find personal quitting support, like a quit coach, support group, or a mobile app.
  • Help your child keep their eye on their goal and remind them about the tobacco-free future they want for themselves.
  • Talk to your family doctor about quitting resources.
  • Try not to judge. Be positive and supportive, especially when they stumble.

Talk, then take action

Helping to prevent youth tobacco use may seem like an overwhelming challenge, but there are plenty of small things you can do that may make a big difference, like talking to your kids about tobacco.

Download the Talk & Take Action fact sheet for helpful advice, including:

  • Five tips for talking to kids about tobacco
  • Resources and advice for helping your child quit
  • Other ways to take action in your home, school, and community
Take Action Fact Sheet

Download the Fact Sheet

English | Spanish

Know the policies

Across Missouri, local coalitions work from the grassroots up to help enact policies that protect communities from tobacco’s dangerous effects. Local efforts are important and build momentum for statewide change, but without comprehensive statewide policies, too many of our neighbors get left out. That’s why it is important to develop comprehensive statewide tobacco policies that help every Missouri youth live a healthy, tobacco-free life.

Policies that need your support:

Statewide Smoke-Free Law

Tobacco-Free Colleges

Comprehensive Tobacco-Free Schools

Tobacco-Free Parks

Tobacco-Free Housing

Retail License

Keep Products Behind the Counter

Tobacco 21

Flavor Ban

Price Increase

Tax E-Cigarettes

Adequately Fund Tobacco Control Program

Get connected locally by signing up to receive quarterly tobacco news

If you're interested in joining a coalition mailing list, email the Missouri Tobacco Prevention and Control Program (email).