Tips for Talking About Vaping
Here is the third in a series of tip sheets for parents on important topics for tweens and teens. This one is about vaping and the importance of giving your kids the right information and helping them find healthy alternatives to stress or anxiety relief. Nicotine is a powerful addictive drug and one that is often targeted at youth by big tobacco companies so they can garner customers at an earlier age. Be aware and be thoughtful when talking with youth about vaping.
Tip 1: Be a safe space, don't jump to chastising and judgment.
As reiterated through the tip sheets, it's important to listen to teens and and give them the space to explain where they're coming from. If a teen begins using vapes, do your best to find out why and come from a place of understanding. Nicotine products are often used by people as a form of relief whether from anxiety, stress, or an escape from fears.
Tip 2: Provide them with the resources and support to quit smoking.
Sometimes the reason why teens can't quit vaping is because they don't have the adequate tools to do so. Even addiction can play a factor, with "two thirds of youth and young adults ages 15-24" not knowing certain vape products contain nicotine and younger brains are more susceptible to addictive behaviors.
Help them analyze what type of vaping products that they've been using and point them in the right direction on programs to wean themselves off, advice on how to quit, and life after they quit vaping.
Tip 3: Remind them of the health risks.
Some teens think vaping is not as harmful as cigarettes and marijuana because it comes in a flavored cartridge with innocent scented vapors. But those tiny cartridges can contain as many as 60 chemical compounds with varying nicotine amounts per serving.
Those chemical compounds heated up by the vape then travel to the lungs and can cause long term health and respiratory issues on a young person's body. And some serious cases cause lifelong lung tissue damage.
Their choices can have irreversible damage on the body and it's important to supply youth with the knowledge to back that up.