Are you worried about your teen vaping? Health Canada has sponsored this important post and provided critical information and resources to help you prevent your child from starting to vape. Teen vaping is a dangerous trend that parents need to know about. We’re here to help…
“Everyone vapes!” If you have a teenager, you may have heard some version of this common teen excuse to vape, “But everyone is doing it.” Unfortunately, your teen feels that way for a reason… teen vaping is incredibly popular despite the dangers.
Teenagers have been sold a lie that “vaping is cool” and the price is still unknown.
Data from a recent Health Canada survey showed that 23% of students in grades 7–12 have tried an electronic cigarette.
And my guess is that in most high schools that number is even higher… and may be growing.
But what can we do?
How can parents help their teenagers avoid vaping?
Parents Need To Know What Is Happening
The hardest thing about parenting teenagers is actually knowing what is going on in their lives.
Most teenagers don’t tell their parents when they are testing out risky behaviours such as vaping.
So, the first step for parents is to understand what is happening with the vaping market in general and recognize the growing trend of vaping amongst teens.
Even if your teenager is not vaping, chances are high they have been exposed to it and have friends who are vaping.
While there is still so much unknown about the long-term health risks of vaping, there are many facts.
- For smokers, vaping is less harmful than continuing to smoke. But that doesn’t mean it’s safe. There is enough evidence to say that vaping is not for youth and non-smokers.
- Vaping can lead to nicotine addiction. While not all vaping liquids contain nicotine, many do, and the level of nicotine can vary widely. Some mixtures have very low levels, but others might have even more nicotine than a tobacco cigarette.
- Vaping nicotine can alter teen brain development and nicotine is an addictive chemical.
- Vaping can expose you to harmful chemicals, like formaldehyde and acrolein as well as metals and contaminants, such as nickel, tin and aluminum.
- Vaping can cause lung damage. The long-term health impacts of vaping are unknown. While some of the chemicals in vaping liquid, like vegetable glycerine and propylene glycol, are considered safe for use in many consumer products like cosmetics and sweeteners, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are safe to be inhaled. The long-term safety of inhaling these substances is still not known and scientists are working to assess the risks.
Social Media Influencers Have A Shocking Amount of Influence on Teens
YouTube and Instagram influencers have become a teenager’s source for information about everything.
Sometimes those sources are helpful… my daughter can learn more from YouTube makeup tutorials than I can ever teach her.
But sadly many of those influencers won’t always be leading your tweens and teens in a good direction.
That’s why I am so happy to hear that Health Canada is actually partnering with some popular YouTube influencers to help spread the message about the health risks of vaping. Stay tuned – this content will be coming out soon and I will be sharing with you
Currently Instagram, YouTube, TikTok and other social media sites are full of teens and 20-somethings blowing clouds of vapor, posing with their vapes, and doing vape tricks. And the comments keep coming in… young adoring fans wanting to be “cool”.
The obsession of “being cool” has always been the dominating force of teenage life, but in the modern world it’s more complicated and dangerous than ever.
Young teens aren’t only influenced by their peers at school… Thanks to social media, kids watch and worship countless older teens and young people in their 20’s as they push boundaries and do whatever it takes to get more views and likes.
The more expensive an item… the cooler it is.
Bad for your health? Possibly even cooler.
Parents hate it? Jackpot.
Not only is it a brutal waste of money, the extent of the negative health effects are still unknown.
There is no good reason for kids to vape. There is just the lie sold to them that they will look cool when they vape.
Unless the pattern can stop, we will have a generation of kids who have unnecessarily been damaging their bodies with chemicals.
What can parents do?
The best answer is to start talking to them when they are still young enough that they listen to you.
Talk to your kids about vaping BEFORE their friends are showing off their cool new vapes.
Keep talking to them about the facts of vaping. Let them see that vaping is NOT an awesome way to rebel but is actually following a marketing trap into wasting money and risking their health.
Here are some talking points to help you start a conversation about vaping with your kids...
Once teenagers start vaping, it will likely be hard to convince them to stop.
Unfortunately, teenagers feel immortal. The lie of youth is that you’ll be young and healthy forever. The concept of something being “bad for your health” often doesn’t deter them.
They live in the moment and in the pursuit of looking cool.
If your teenager is already vaping, you want to tread carefully and keep an open line of communication.
I’d suggest you talk to your teens about what a waste of money vaping is and to get informed on the risks.
Remind them that it’s illegal for anyone to give or sell them vapes. (Law in Canada – 18 years / Certain provinces – 19 years)
The long-term health risks of vaping is unknown, but we do know vaping exposes teens to harmful chemicals including nicotine. Let them know about the health risks of vaping and encourage them to make informed decisions..
What do you think? Have you talked to your kids about vaping? Do your teenagers vape?
I’d love to hear about your experiences and your questions and concerns about teen vaping.
I will continue this important discussion in another blog post in a couple of weeks. I’ll share more about the health risks of vaping and include more information from Health Canada.
If you want to share your tips or your personal experience, you can leave a comment on this blog post. If you’d like me to share your story in my next blog post, please email me at info at 5minutesformom dot com or use this contact form. I can either keep your story anonymous or if you’re a blogger, and you wish, I can link to your blog.
Visit Health Canada for more information about preventing teen vaping.
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