Vaping is a new-found danger. It has emerged as a significant threat to your teens’ health roughly over the last fifteen or so years. In your time, you grappled with cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs. You could not have imagined at that time that you would encounter your children puffing out soft-hued smoke froma new kind of an inhaling device: it may feel like heartbreak.
Over only a decade and a half of their life, these new smoking products have been sold in markets with restrictions on underage sale. Even then, unfortunately, teens have taken these up. This has, in turn, significantly impacted the efforts made recently to reduce the dependence of teenagers on nicotine.
This article will illuminate what vaping is in the first place, what is known about it and what is still unknown and, moreover, how is it a major health threat for your teens.
Vapes may differ in appearance with some of the oft-repeated terms used for them such as Juul, Mod, Rig, or Pen. Whatever style or shape they come in, vapes are all the same. Some of them are more expensive than others and some may offer greater flavors and combinations of nicotine amounts, while others may be used over longer periods of time, however, all of them carry the same health hazards for your teenagers.
Equipped with batteries, they transform a special liquid into vapors that are inhaled from the mouth. The liquid is mostly made up of nicotine, some other chemicals and artificial flavors. Originally designed as a replacement to cigarettes in a bid to aid with the quitting of smoking (it was thought that vapes with their lower nicotine content will allow one to skip cigarettes to the point of not wanting any at all), their efficacy as smoking deterrents remains unproven by any health organization. According to the US Surgeon General, vapes present no less of a harm than cigarettes, being more or less the same level of addictive, sometimes having chemicals that promote lung disease and also at times having poisonous metals such as nickel and lead.
Is Vaping that Safe?
Despite the popularly-held optimism surrounding vapes, there is nothing to prove that they are any less hazardous than cigarettes. Vaping hasn’t had enough time in existence to exhibit the long-term effects it can have on its consumers. We must remember that vapes are also tobacco but in a different shape and form. This means that they carry the same types of risks. The other additional ingredients such as poisonous metals and other addictive substances may just exceed the harm caused by them.
It is sad to know that more and more teens and adolescents are taking up vape use. According to research done by Monitoring the Future, a survey done annually on the usage of drugs and alcohol among teens, in the year 2018, vaping is spiking the levels of addiction to nicotine, not reducing it. In fact the period under consideration, the year 2017-18, presented the greatest surge ever in the use of an addictive substance in the history of the organization.
Countering Teenage Use of Vapes
If you suspect that your teen has taken up vaping, you must learn to be calm no matter how terrified or angry you feel at this act of theirs. Confronting them on it or treating them very harshly can have the opposite effect – they may become more adamant to stick to their habit or even increase their use in revolt. Even worse, if they have become hooked on vapes, an aggressive attitude from your side will hinder any positive outcomes. They will most likelydesist from seeking help by coming to you. If you really want to help them get rid of vaping, you could try these effective parenting tipsto motivate them to leave this habit.
There is one thing to be mindful of: your teen may vape out of curiosity in their experimental bouts. Vaping isn’t for them something that can carry that many dangers and they may engage in it very casually. If you happen to find your teen engage in the act of vaping, inquire them politely on how long have they been vaping. Be sure to sound concerned for their health in the long-term and not belligerent.
You may lead them into performing research on their own on the matter of vaping and ask them to get back to you with their findings. Do not deliver a long lecture on the negative effects of vaping as they will most likely not listen. Instead, have them come to their own conclusions after doing research into vaping and its impact on health. After all, they might be stuck in the mindset that vaping is without any hazards and they may regard your concern as interference. But if they can learn by themselves of the dangers they may be putting themselves into, they might be curbed from continuing it any further.
Andy Earle is a researcher who studies parent-teen communication and adolescent risk behaviors. He is the co-founder of talkingtoteens.com, ghostwriter at WriteItGreat.com, and host of the Talking to Teens podcast, a free weekly talk show for parents of teenagers.