Help Your Kids Escape the Vape.
Vaping and e-cigarette use among youth has grown dramatically in the last five years. In fact, the use of e-cigarettes is higher among high school students than adults.
Big Tobacco is fueling this popularity boom, with deceptive marketing and products designed to attract innocent kids. Packaging resembles juice boxes and candy wrappers.
Product designs mimic pens, flash drives and highlighters. Plus, there are over 15,500 unique flavors meant to mask the harmful chemicals found in vapor products — from cotton candy to bubblegum, sour gummy worms and more.
Vaping and e-cigarettes aren’t the only products addicting youth. Flavored tobacco, including cigars, cigarillos, hookah and smokeless tobacco, is also popular with kids, as well as menthol cigarettes.
Parents play a critical role in educating and protecting your kids from the dangers of vaping and flavored tobacco. Study up on warning signs that could indicate your kid is vaping. Learn common terminology and lingo associated with vaping. Understand different ways kids are gaining access to e-cigarettes and flavored tobacco products.
Another way you can influence your child’s decision about whether to use flavored tobacco and vapes? Start a conversation. Use these tips below to get the ball rolling.
Before You Talk
- Know the facts.
- More than a quarter of youth in middle and high school have tried e-cigarettes.
- The effects of nicotine exposure during youth can cause lifelong issues, including lower impulse control and mood disorders.
- E-cigarettes are now the most commonly used tobacco product among youth, surpassing conventional cigarettes in 2014.
For credible information about e-cigarettes and kids, check out this fact sheet from the Surgeon General.
- Be patient and ready to listen. Avoid criticism and encourage an open dialogue. Remember, your goal is to have a conversation, not to deliver a lecture.
- Set a positive example. If you use tobacco, consider quitting. For free help, visit OKhelpline.com or call 1-800-QUIT NOW.
Starting the Conversation
- Find 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 he or she thinks 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.
After You Talk
- Keep the conversation going. 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.
Your influence could protect your kids from a lifetime of addiction and disease. Educate yourself. Educate your kids. Free them from Big Tobacco’s control.