As families prepare for fall and for school to be back in session, there seems to be an endless list of to-dos to complete before the first day of school. You need to order required books, get school supplies, go back to school shopping… There’s a lot to do, which can feel overwhelming for parents and students. Although it may not be the most fun preparation task, it is also important to prioritize conversations with your children to ensure they are prepared to navigate tricky social situations. Especially if you have teenage children, they will likely experience peer pressure and be asked to do things they shouldn’t. They may also make unwise decisions about alcohol, drug use, or vaping. In this article, we aim to support you in preparing for conversations to educate your children about the dangers of vaping.

1. Educate Yourself 

The first thing you should do in preparing for these conversations is to educate yourself on vaping. Ensure that you are prepared for this conversation by fully understanding the facts about vape use. Do your research and think about points that may be especially compelling to your child. You know your child best and which angle you can take for this conversation to be the most effective for them. Maybe your child prioritizes their grades, and vape use is proven to drop the GPAs of students who engage in vaping. In this case, that can be a perfect angle to emphasize when talking to your child. Our website is a wonderful resource to give yourself valuable background information and facts to bring into your conversation.

 Additionally, you can also reach out to your child’s school and ask if they currently provide any education to students and families about youth vaping prevention. Hopefully, there are some school vaping resources that the school can share with you. If this isn’t the case, you may be interested in providing anti-vaping lessons to young people with all the new information you’ve learned. The more young people understand the risks and dangers of vaping, the more likely they will make the right decision and say no to vaping themselves.

2.     Point Out What is Contained in Vape Devices

 Although we want to believe that young people would not consume something when they do not know what is in it, this isn’t always the case. Teenage judgment is not always the best, and letting your children know what is in vapes and how it can affect their bodies can be beneficial. When users put a pre-filled pod or e-liquid/e-juice into their vape and then smoke from it, they are also placing nicotine, glycerin, propylene glycol, flavorings, and other chemicals into their bodies through inhalation. Vapes also make an aerosol that contains nicotine, cancer-causing chemicals, and heavy metals, including nickel, tin, and lead. Not to mention volatile organic compounds, ultrafine particles that are brought into your body when you inhale, and diacetyl, a flavoring linked to developing lung disease. Make sure you understand and explain how these things can negatively affect your child’s body, and why they should never enter your body in the first place. Instead of simply listing off all the bad things in vapes, be sure to make these facts real by having conversations about how these different toxins can impact overall health. The more your child can see themselves in these situations, the better, so perhaps looking up some stories to share with your child about the adverse effects on real teenagers and how it impacts them day to day can help them understand the reality of these dangers.

 3.      Explain Why Vaping is Bad for You

 One of the biggest reasons vaping is so bad for young people is the nicotine in vapes. Nicotine is highly addictive and makes young people reliant on using their vapes consistently. Many young people may insist that they only use vapes “socially,” but due to the highly addictive nature of vapes, this is unlikely to be the case over an extended period of time. Nicotine can also damage the brain, especially for teenagers whose brains are not yet fully developed. This damage can lead to a lower ability to control impulses, higher chances of addiction, and developing mood disorders. Nicotine can also impact how synapses are formed, which can harm the ability of young people to control their attention and learning. Aside from the effects of vaping, when e-cigarette batteries are defective, they have been known to cause fires and explosions. In addition, being around those who vape can cause secondhand health damage.

 4.      Discuss the Peer Pressure

 During teenage years, peer pressure is one of the most challenging things to navigate. Teenagers tend to value their status and want to appear as “cool” as possible. Therefore, if all of their friends are vaping and offer them a turn, it can be challenging to say no. Their brains are also not fully developed, so their ability to make a sound judgment is also not at its best. When you have this conversation with your kids, explain that you understand that it can be tough to say no to your friends and empathize with the need to feel cool around your friends. Walking through the pros and cons of vaping with your child can be beneficial.

Help young adults think through how vaping could negatively impact their daily life, whether through their ability to perform their best in sports, do well in school, or prioritize their long-term health. Help them understand that the best way to care about their friends is to ensure that you are not putting them in danger, which they can be by smoking a vape around them.