Smoking - Introduction

Talking About Smoking
Research has shown that youth who start smoking during adolescence will be faced with lifelong health consequences. As trust and respect develops between you and your mentee, you may find yourself in an ideal position to help them make healthy choices.
Young people are confronted with many confusing and challenging issues. It’s sometimes hard for them to figure out their thoughts, beliefs, and alternatives. Talking confidentially with a mentor can be very helpful. Mentors can provide information and insight; mentees will have their own unique ideas and perspectives. Talking about smoking is an example of a potentially challenging yet positive conversation. By completing this module, you will:
  • Increase your understanding of the health consequences of smoking.
  • Increase your understanding of the reasons why youth start smoking.
  • Improve your ability to have effective conversations about smoking with your mentee.
  • Be encouraged to serve as a role model for healthy behaviours.
Strategies presented in this module work best with middle-school-age youth participating in one-to-one matches. Before raising a challenging issue like smoking with your mentee, you should wait until you have formed a close connection, and ensure that you are both comfortable discussing the topic. It’s also important to consult with program staff before initiating a discussion, as they can provide useful guidance and advice.

* This module is excerpted from the guide “Healthy Conversations – A Mentor’s Guide to Preventing Youth Tobacco Use” produced by the State of Connecticut’s Governor’s Prevention Partnership. Learn more at