A Warning for Parents: Vapes Aren’t Going Away

Vaping has become increasingly popular with middle and high-school aged kids. With sleek designs and an innocent appearance, vaporizers are pocket-sized and usually look like ear buds or a USB device. However, looks are deceiving. In fact they contain harmful liquid solutions of nicotine and flavorings, even worse, a single vape device contains as much nicotine as a pack of cigarettes.

What Are Vaporizers?

They are battery-powered devices designed to heat a liquid solution into an inhalable, odorless vapor. This potent nicotine concentration poses grave risks especially to adolescents whose developing brains are particularly vulnerable to addiction. Additionally, prolonged nicotine exposure has been linked to a myriad of health complications, ranging from impaired brain development to respiratory issues.

Why Parents Should Be Concerned:

The allure of vaporizers extends beyond their discreet appearance and lack of odor. Vapes are inexpensive and readily available to teenagers. With appealing packaging and fruity flavors they are hard to resist. This accessibility, coupled with misconceptions about their safety, makes them a ticking time bomb for adolescent health.

Starting the Conversation:

If you haven’t initiated a dialogue about e-cigarette usage with your teen yet, now is the time to do so. With vaporizers pervading schools and social circles, it’s important for parents and guardians  to have open and honest conversations with teens. Research indicates that many adolescents who vape are oblivious to the harmful substances they’re inhaling.

For tips on how to start the conversation with your teen, the Addiction Education Society has provided some great feedback:

When talking to your teens about vaping, play it casual, [Dr.Laura Offutt] recommends. “It’s not really a judgmental way to ask the question,” she says. “It’s more just, ‘I’ve read this, and I’m curious what you’ve heard about it.’ Or, ‘Do you know any kids that are using e-cigarettes?’ or ‘What do your classmates think about e-cigarettes?’ It’s a nice way to open that conversation.”

Keep it open-ended, [Dr. Pia Fenimore, a pediatrician with Lancaster Pediatric Associates in Pennsylvania| agrees: “You don’t want to ask a yes-no question. Because teenagers will look for any chance to answer a question with a yes or no. Then you’re really nowhere.”  Continue reading here.