4 Ways To Prevent Your Kids From Vaping

Parents: You play a critical role in educating and protecting kids from the dangers of vaping and flavored tobacco. Why? Because the chances that a youth tobacco user will continue tobacco use into adulthood is extremely high. Now, with vaping products, Big Tobacco has hooked millions of kids, many right here in Oklahoma.

Teenage Girl Vaping

The good news? As a parent, you are the first line of defense in ensuring your kids grow up free from the health burdens of tobacco use. Below, we’ve collected 4 ways you can help prevent your kids from vaping.

1. Get the Facts

Infographic: 1 in 4 kids have reported vaping in the past month.

  • The effects of nicotine exposure during youth can cause lifelong issues, including lower impulse control and mood disorders.
  • In Oklahoma, 1 in 4 high school aged youth reported vaping in the past month.
  • 4 out of 5 youth smokers become adult smokers.
  • Vaping weakens the lung’s ability to defend itself. With COVID-19 continuing to threaten our population, avoiding tobacco products such as vapes is critical in preventing severe symptoms.
  • 4 out of 5 kids who use tobacco started with a flavored product.
  • Get credible information about e-cigarettes and kids in this fact sheet from the Surgeon General.

2. Be a Role Model

Dad and young son at indoor basketball court

  • Let your kids know why you don’t smoke or use other tobacco products. If you were a previous tobacco user, share your experience with your kids and why you chose to quit.
  • If you currently use tobacco, consider quitting. For free help, visit OKhelpline.com or call 1-800-QUIT NOW.

3. Start the Conversation

Mom and teenage daughter driving in car

  • Be prepared to listen. Avoid criticism and encourage an open dialogue. Remember, you are not there to lecture — your goal is to start a conversation.
  • The right conversation starts with the right moment. A more natural discussion will increase the likelihood that your teen will listen. Rather than saying “we need to talk,” you might ask your teen what they think when you:
    • See someone using an e-cigarette in person or in a video.
    • Pass a vape shop when you are walking or driving.
    • See an e-cigarette advertisement in a store, magazine or on the internet.
  • Answer their questions. Avoid scolding your kids and speak calmly without judgment. Click here for common questions and answers you may run into.

4. Keep Dialogue Open and Ongoing

Teenage girl with headphones and phone

  • Rather than having a one-time conversation, it’s important to talk often about the dangers of flavored tobacco and vaping. For many parents, texting is a great way to reach their teens. Click here for texting suggestions that might catch their attention.
  • One more tip? Share vaping-related articles and news updates. Fact-based, clinical evidence will further ground your stance against vaping. Sign up for the weekly e-newsletter from Tobacco Stops With Me. It has great information on how to fight back against youth vaping and ways to identify Big Tobacco’s schemes to target our kids.

Your influence could protect your kids from a lifetime of addiction and disease. Educate yourself. Educate your kids. Save them from Big Tobacco’s control.

Of course, vaping and e-cigarettes aren’t the only tobacco products addicting youth. Flavored tobacco, including cigars, cigarillos, hookah and smokeless tobacco continue to be popular with kids, as well as menthol cigarettes. Learn more about flavored tobacco and vaping — and the products, buzzwords and key indicators that go with it.

If your kid is vaping or using tobacco, encourage them to use free services designed to help teens quit, like My Life, My Quit.

Published by Tobacco Stops With Me on October 6, 2020