Educate yourself and learn the basics of vaping, how to talk to your teens about vaping, and available resources.
This content is part of a paid partnership with Community Care Plan.
It may seem difficult to speak to your children, especially your teens, about certain subjects. However, with so many dangers out there, there are certain conversations that cannot be put on the back burner and one such conversation is about vaping.
Did you know that according to the CDC, 1 in 4 U.S. high school students and approximately 1 in 15 middle school students use tobacco products including e-cigarettes or vaping?
Well, your kids might think that vaping is a fun and harmless alternative to conventional cigarettes but unfortunately, this is not the case. Despite the decline in recent years, the use of e-cigarettes or vaping is still worrisome today.
So, if you are a parent of a tween, teen, or teen, like me and you haven’t had this conversation with them, there is no better time to start right now. Below you will find some key points on what you need to know about vaping and how to talk to your teens about vaping.
Talking to Teens About Vaping
1. What should parents know about vaping?
As parents it’s our job to be informed about the latest trends out there, this includes how electronic cigarette makers are marketing to our children. In recent years, the e-cigarette industry has quickly developed plenty of e-cigarette products that appeal to teens. First of all, what are e-cigarettes? e-cigarettes use a battery to heat up a special liquid into an aerosol that you can then inhale.
Because of their popularity among teens, some of these devices have popular nicknames such as Juul, Mods, Tanks, Dabs Puff, E-pens, vape pens, e-Hookahs, and hookah pens. To make them even more appealing to children they have been designed with bright, iPod-like colors; you even plug in and re-charge them just like other tech gadgets. Finally, if bright colors weren’t enough to entice them, the e-liquid comes in fun flavors like bubble gum, chocolate, and watermelon!
2. What do they know?
Thinking your tween or teen doesn’t know anything about vaping? You might want to go rethink that one more time. It is more than likely that your tween has already been offered or better yet, knows someone that has tried vaping already or is currently vaping.
Because tweens and teens undergo social pressure on a daily basis, it is good for parents to find out what they know about vaping. Start by asking simple questions to see what they know and hey, depending on their responses you might even help your children plan for these kinds of social pressures by coming up with certain pre-set responses they can use in case they need to.
3. How to get the conversation started?
Now that you have inquired about their experiences with vaping, it is time to be patient and be ready to listen. The sooner you start talking to them the better it is but let the conversation start naturally. You may start by asking your teen some open-ended questions, but try to ask questions that not only have yes or no answers.
For example, if you are with your child and see someone vaping or catch an ad on TV or the radio, this could be the perfect opportunity to bring up the topic. Personally, I love it when my kids and I are in the car because we can get into so deep conversations without many interruptions and as a bonus, they don’t feel like I am forcing them to speak to me.
How to Talk to Your Teens About Vaping?
Be honest about the bottom line:
One of the biggest misconceptions about vaping is that they are safe to use and that using them leaves no negative effects. As parents, we have to acknowledge that kids might be curious about vaping, but we also have to make sure they understand the risks that are involved when it comes to using these products.
Many Tweens and Teens think that vaping is just flavored water vapors but that’s far from the truth. The e-liquids may contain formaldehyde, poisonous gas, and even acetone. Along with long-term consequences, tweens and teens may not realize that they can also get in trouble in school if caught vaping.
Setting a good example:
As parents, we not only need to set a positive example to our tweens and teens but we also need to empower them by letting them ask questions and answering those questions without being condescending or lecturing them.
We also need to honest with them, if you have ever had any experience with tobacco usage or vaping, let them know how hard it is to quit and encourage them not to start.
What to do if my teen is vaping?
Last but not least, if you do find out that your kid has tried vaping, resist the temptation to lecture them. As their parents, it is your job to arm your Tween or Teen with information on how to quit. Community Care Plan, the health plan with a heart. They strive to positively impact health and wellness with local access to a high standard of health care and community resources. Visit CCPcares.org to learn more about the resources they offer.