Studies just a few years ago pointed to an alarming rise in the number of teens vaping. Today, those numbers continue to rise, even with new information about the health risks that can accompany vaping. As a parent, you may be wondering what steps you can take to keep your teen away from vaping or help them if they are already vaping.
Why are numbers going up?
Does it feel like a vape shop has appeared on just about every corner in your town? You do not imagine this. E-cigarette use has seen explosive growth in the past few years, particularly amongst the younger members of our community.
The use of e-cigarettes has exploded in the past several years, especially among young people. If you feel like you see a vape shop on every corner, that’s true. Many teens who wouldn’t think of picking up traditional cigarettes are often more willing to pick up e-cigarettes. There are some common reasons to consider.
- Traditional cigarettes are not very discreet. The packaging is familiar, and they may not be as easy to hide. E-cigarettes are pretty discreet and often have a high-tech look.
- There are often higher levels of nicotine seen in e-cigarettes, which can hold great appeal to teens. Even products that claim not to contain nicotine have been proven to have at least some level in them.
- There is a false sense of security that can accompany e-cigarettes, primarily due to marketing campaigns that tout e-cigarettes as a safer and cleaner alternative to traditional cigarettes.
- Many teens claim that they vape because they love the flavors they can get. Many of the sold flavors do have an appeal to a younger market. Sweet flavors like grape, mint, chocolate, bubblegum, and berries can lure in teens.
- The social aspect of vaping is essential to teens. Teens are often looking for ways to fit in with their peers. If their peers are vaping, your teen is at an increased risk of doing the same.
- Many e-cigarettes produce minimal scent, making their discreet use just that much more possible than smoking traditional cigarettes.
Learning as much as you can about vaping, vaping products, and the risks associated with vaping can help parents better understand how to help their teens break from this habit.
What can parents do about vaping?
Do you suspect your teen is vaping, or have you seen them vaping? The smell vaping products produce is generally minimal and can often smell sweet like candy. This can make it more of a challenge for parents to identify that their teens are vaping. If you do suspect or have confirmation that your teen is vaping, you must take steps to help them quit.
- Have an open and honest talk about the potential effects of vaping. Mention to your teen that the addiction to vaping can potentially lead to other types of substance abuse.
- Help your teen to understand the truth associated with vaping and offer resources based on research about nicotine addiction and vaping.
- Pay attention to the behaviors that your teen is displaying. The more present you are in your teen’s life, the more likely you will know if they are vaping or smoking.
- Be sure that your approach is to talk, educate, and listen. Don’t lecture and take an immediate punishment approach to your teen. Parental support plays an instrumental role in helping teens quit bad habits.
It’s rarely easy to confront your teen with challenging conversations. Take a patient and calm approach, even if you’re concerned and frustrated.
Avoiding fear tactics and scaremongering
Vaping does bring with it several serious health concerns. With this in mind, you can encourage your teen to quit by showing them the truth without instilling fear in them. Education is a better option than simply trying to scare your teen.
Keep in mind that your teen will likely have a strong drive to fit in with his peers and create a level of independence from you. Telling your teen about all of the potential downsides to vaping may strike up curiosity in him. The last thing that you want to do is make your teen curious about vaping, the flavors, and how the nicotine and other chemicals could make him feel.
Quitting isn’t always easy
For a time, vaping was touted as a way to help teens and adults quit smoking combustible cigarettes. But, in truth, vaping can prove to be just as much of a challenge to quit for teens who have been struggling quitting.
Nicotine is an incredibly addictive substance. You do want to help your teen quit this habit, but you need to be aware of just how much of an uphill battle this will be for your teen. You must provide your teen with the support he needs as he navigates the process of quitting vaping.
Providing your teen with the mental and emotional support he needs will make a substantial difference for him as he works through the process of quitting. It’s also essential to speak with your family doctor to monitor his health, particularly if he’s developed a cough or another related issue.
Is your teen struggling to quit vaping? Are they engaging in other potentially risky behaviors that could jeopardize their future and their health? Teens who vape are often under the misguided perception that vaping can prove to be a healthier option than smoking. They may even vape marijuana instead of smoking it or smoking nicotine cigarettes. In truth, it can prove to be more harmful than your teen is aware.
Get your teen the help he needs to stop vaping and to stop vaping marijuana and other substances. At HelpYourTeenNow we pride ourselves on being able to pair parents and struggling teens with the resources that they need. The right resources, at the right time, can help to put your teen back on the right path to success and good health.