Vaping is a rising trend among youth and has increased considerably in recent years. Youth are drawn to vapes and vaping products due to their many fun shapes, sizes, colours and flavours.
Vapes are battery-operated devices that heat vaping liquids (known as e-liquid) into an aerosol. The aerosol is inhaled and absorbed into the bloodstream while the remaining aerosol is exhaled.
Youth may think vaping is harmless, but it is not! Vaping poses a significant and avoidable health risk. E-liquids often contain harmful chemicals, chemical flavouring and nicotine that can produce negative health effects. Nicotine is a highly addictive and harmful substance that can interfere with the developing teen brain. Nicotine use in adolescence can affect memory, concentration and increases the risk of future addiction to other drugs.
As a parent, it is important to have early, open, and honest conversations with your teen about the risks and harms of vaping. Here are a few helpful tips to get the conversation started:
- Know the facts. Take time to learn the facts about vaping and the related risks to physical and mental health.
- Build a trusting relationship with your kids. Be supportive and show that you care. Having a trusting relationship goes a long way when it comes to kids listening to your messages and coming to you for help without fear of punishment.
- Encourage open conversations. Be open, non-judgmental and understanding. Try to find a natural time to discuss vaping, for example when you see someone vaping.
- Help your kids plan ahead for social situations. Practice refusal skills they can use with their friends in situations where vaping is likely to be offered.
- Know where to get help. It’s important for your child to have trusted adults, aside from you, in their life that they can talk and go to for help (such as a school social worker, school child and youth counselor, health care provider, or Kids Help Phone (external link)).
For additional parenting information and resources visit Substance Use Prevention and Teens.