Your guide to family events, stories and news in Western Wisconsin.

Living

Talking With Your Teenagers About Vaping

Vaping is used to describe the act of using an electronic cigarette. It’s popular with teens, as nearly 1 in 5 report vaping in the past month. At first, vaping was said to be a safer alternative to smoking tobacco and eliminated the dangers of secondhand smoke.

But that was wrong.

No matter the delivery method, nicotine is addictive. It can affect brain development and concentration in teens, and is harder to quit than a heroin addiction. In addition, the flavors and stabilizers in e-cigarettes can cause inflammation to delicate lung tissue. 

Talk with your kids about the dangers of vaping through regular conversations, rather than accusations. Select a time and place where they feel comfortable, such as riding in the car. Ask open-ended questions like what they think about vaping. Listen carefully to their answers and don’t blow up if they say something that you did not expect to hear.

Keep the conversations going, but also look for warning signs, such as: 

  • Change in behaviors or emotions.
  • Scents of new odors on skin, breath, and clothes.
  • Strange cylinders, chargers, or pods lying around.
  • Trouble sleeping.

Talk with your child’s primary care provider or school if you have questions or concerns.