Fighting e-cigarettes: 7 things every parent needs to know about vaping
The dangerous health effects of vaping have been making headlines. Experts from the Poe Center for Health Education share the seven things parents need to know.Posted — Updated
What exactly is a vape?
An e-cigarette or “vape” is a mechanical device designed to heat up a liquid. Once heated, the liquid turns into an aerosol that is then inhaled and exhaled. This is referred to as “vaping” because the cloud created by e-cigarettes when exhaled is often mistaken for water vapor. It is important to note that this cloud is not simply water vapor.
If the vaping clouds are not water vapor, what are they?
How do youths start vaping? Is it addictive?
For adolescents, vaping is often a social experience where the e-cigarettes are passed around and shared. This a common way a young person is introduced to a vape product. The developing adolescent brain is more vulnerable to the effects of nicotine than the adult brain, so there is a greater likelihood of addiction for adolescents.
How often are youths vaping?
Are youths using vapes to get “high?” What are they “high” on?
What can I do? How do I talk to my child about this?
It is important for parents to be informed and to talk to their children. It is never too early to start talking to your child about the dangers of e-cigarettes. If your child is in elementary school, a prevention conversation should focus on what is safe for your body and what is not. During these early conversations, make sure to identify trusted adults your child can go to with more questions. These conversations are meant to be ongoing and increasingly informative. At the Poe Center, we begin talking about addiction and the effects of nicotine on the brain and body in our fourth grade programs.
What if my youth is already vaping?
Talking through the risks and dangers of vaping is a great start, but you may also need to discuss strategies for cessation.
For teens, there is online support available by texting DITCHJUUL to 890-07.
If you are concerned your child may be vaping, we recommend talking to your child’s pediatrician.
Although we are still learning about the negative health impacts of vaping, please remember that vaping is dangerous. It is especially dangerous to youths since their developing brains are highly susceptible to addiction. There is a lot of misinformation online and in the news, so be sure to use trusted sources when researching vaping.
Copyright 2024 by Capitol Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.