3 Tips for Talking to Teens About Vaping

March 25, 2024  |  teens, vaping
talking with kids about vaping


3 Tips for Talking to Teens About Vaping


 It may seem like vaping is a passing trend or a harmless alternative to smoking. In reality, it’s a growing health concern, especially for teens who may not know the real risks.


 As parents and caregivers, it’s natural to feel worried about how vaping could affect our teens. Unlike cigarettes, vapes are discrete and very easy to conceal. How do you know if your teen is vaping? What can you say to discourage them from trying it? The key is to start conversations about vaping early and often.


 Keep reading for three practical tips for talking to teens about vaping:


 #1: Get the Facts First


Before initiating a conversation, take some time to research and learn the facts about teens and vaping. For example, there is a common misconception that vaping is just harmless, flavored water vapor. The truth is that vaping liquids often contain nicotine, which is highly addictive and can impact teens’ brain development.


 Consider these other facts: 


      Using nicotine at a young age, when the brain is still developing, can make it harder to quit.


      1 in 4 teens who vape will go on to smoke traditional cigarettes.


      In addition to nicotine, vapes can contain harmful chemicals and metals. Inhaling these substances can cause permanent lung damage.


      Youth nicotine use has been linked to mental health concerns, including depression and anxiety.




#2: Lead with Curiosity, Not Judgment


Now that you know more about the risks of vaping, look for good opportunities to share them with your teen. A conversation might be prompted by seeing someone vape in person, in a video, or even while driving by an e-cigarette shop. Ask your teen what they think about vaping, and if they know the potential harm involved.


Most importantly, create a safe and comfortable space for your teen to talk and share their experience with vaping. Maybe they have friends who vape or have tried it themselves. Avoid lecturing — instead, share information in a conversational and non-judgmental way. When teens have a trusted support system, they’re more likely to open up when they need help.




#3: Keep the Conversation Going


Talking to your teen about vaping isn’t a one-time deal. It should be an open and ongoing conversation. Check in regularly and reassure your teen they can come to you with any questions about vaping or any other substance. One idea is to have go-to phrases or a “code word” your teen can text to ask you for help when they’re faced with peer pressure to vape.




Make Time to Talk to Your Teen Vaping


Don’t wait — now is the time to talk to your teen about the risks of vaping. For more tips and helpful resources to help guide your conversation, visit this Vaping Resources page provided by the Mental Health Recovery Board Serving Warren and Clinton Counties (MHRB).