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The Summit Counseling Center
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Teens and Vaping

Megan Barfield

woman smoking electronic cigaretteVaping is a trend that has been on the rise recently, specifically for adolescents in middle school and high school. This trend of using various types of e-cigarettes is an addictive process that more adolescents are engaging in or are curious about. E-cigarettes contain nicotine, levels that are comparable or higher to that of a traditional cigarette. The nicotine in these products puts our teens at risk for addiction and use of other tobacco products. Talking with our adolescents to educate and help them navigate peer situations where this is occurring is important for their health and development.

With this trend becoming popular quickly, it can feel overwhelming in attempting to talk to your teen about their experiences and knowledge about this product. Vaping may not be a topic some parent are entirely familiar with, but this conversation is like many others you have had or will have with your teen. To help in getting started, here are a few tips for addressing this with your adolescent:

  1. Ask questions from a curious perspective. We all can become defensive when we feel that we are being lectured or assumed of doing something we haven’t. Though this conversation may be difficult and unclear at times, maintaining a curious and interested perspective in your teen’s experience is the first step to fostering open communication.
  2. Stay educated. There are online resources, including the Surgeon General’s website, that can give you more information on e-cigarettes, their ingredients, risks, and more that will allow you to be best informed and able to answer any questions your teen may have.
  3. Set an example for your teen. A great deal of how children and adolescents learn is by what they see others in their lives doing. Modeling open and effective communication, straying from tobacco products, and being a listening and understanding adult in your child’s life enables them to do the same.

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