If you’re the parent of a preteen or teenager, you’ve probably heard about the vaping epidemic. And, as you may know, potentially dangerous vape products have recently been increasing in popularity among adolescents. These products are, unfortunately, advertised toward young people and encourage them to consume nicotine or cannabis along with unknown substances.
Is it possible to stop this epidemic from getting worse? And is there any way to make sure that your child isn’t part of the large percentage of teens who use vapes?
The Vaping Epidemic Explained
The vaping epidemic, which began about 15 years ago in 2007, refers to the distribution and purchase of products like Juuls and dab pens. There are two main types of vapes: nicotine vapes and THC (cannabis) vapes. Since this epidemic started so recently, there is still very little research regarding whether vaping is less or more safe than smoking cigarettes. However, there are many findings that determine the potential dangers and consequences of vaping in teens.
Dangers of Vaping in Teenagers
Because of the vaping epidemic, many teens are now addicted to nicotine. And because they start smoking so early on in life, it will be much harder for them to quit. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, about 37 percent of high school seniors in 2018 had vaped within the previous year. How exactly do teens know about these products?
Vapes and vape products are marketed toward teenagers. Not only do companies advertise in places where teens are more likely to see, but they also create vapes in fruity flavors to appeal to younger audiences.
The most dangerous part about teenagers smoking vapes is that you never really know what is in these devices. There are many faulty and counterfeit devices that are available for teens to purchase on the internet. If your teen uses one of these counterfeit vape devices, they could be inhaling various unknown harmful chemicals or substances.
How Do I Stop My Teenager From Vaping?
Many parents wonder what they can do to either prevent or stop their child from vaping. Unfortunately, there is no approved method for quitting vapes or helping someone quit. There are also limited ways to prevent your child from obtaining these devices because they are so accessible. So what can you do to make sure that your child is not part of the vaping epidemic?
- The first step is to do your research to prepare yourself with as much information as possible before approaching your child about vaping.
- Have an open and honest conversation with your child about the dangers of vaping. Approach them calmly and without judgment.
- Don’t let the transparency stop after just one talk. Maintain an ongoing dialogue with your child about vaping and let them know you’re here if they need to discuss anything.
- Lead by example. If you smoke cigarettes, consider quitting to show your child that you can do it too. If you have friends or family over, don’t allow them to smoke in your home.
- Support them along the way if they want to quit. Quitting nicotine can be hard, but it’s much easier if you have someone by your side as you’re overcoming the addiction.
- Provide them with resources to help them quit vaping in a healthy way. There are many phone hotlines and support groups available for people who want to stop smoking.
Overall, all we can do to make sure our children don’t vape is to be open and supportive. If you communicate with them about being determined to help them, they are more likely to let you.
If you think your child is vaping or might start to vape in the near future, consult with their doctor or pediatrician for the appropriate next steps.