My Teenager Is Using Vape. What Do I Do?
Youth experimentation with e-cigarettes is on the rise, and the risks are becoming more apparent.
A mother who discovers that her child is using e-cigarettes would want to confine them in their room until they reach the age of 25, when their brains fully mature. To be a sensible person, I know that this is not the answer and that it is impossible to ensure that our children will never do anything that is harmful to them.
Bad decisions and adolescence go hand in hand for a reason. Those regions of the brain responsible for excellent judgment, making well-considered choices, and controlling urges are still developing neurologically. They are still discovering their own unique identities as individuals apart from the influences of their families and society at large. Trying on different identities is a necessary part of this process. Teenagers are more prone to making poor decisions because of their still-developing brains and the “tasks” that come with being a teenager. This does not mean that we should wait for them to grow out of it, no matter how typical it may seem.
We need to address the issue of substance experimentation, particularly the new form of smoking known as vaping. Doing it in a way that works instead of encouraging our child to hide and lie, which improves the likelihood that they’ll take part in additional risky behaviors that could result in much bigger consequences, is the most difficult part.
From the “Just Say No” era, when people were frying an egg on a skillet and all, we know that terror tactics don’t work. When it comes to teenagers, they believe they are indestructible and are extremely present-focused, so scaring them about what can happen in the future doesn’t really work.
More knowledge regarding vaping’s dangers is becoming available, which we can utilize to better enlighten ourselves and our children as parents, but don’t expect the same impact on your vaping teenager. For example, recent examples of abrupt lung failure linked to THC oil may indicate that focusing on immediate negatives like high costs, fast nicotine addiction, and the dangers of smoking marijuana may be useful strategies.
It’s crucial to have a balance between having a conversation with your youngster and making it clear that vaping must end immediately. Researchers studying teen drinking habits have found that consenting parents are more inclined to enable their children to engage in dangerous habits (and encourage it by allowing underage drinking at their home). Vaping is still too young for this type of research, but parents should be made aware of the dangers of the habit.
Talk to your child about vaping if you have any reason to believe they are doing so. You want to know enough about the behavior to understand why it’s so difficult to stop, and what you can do about it. Inquire as to how much time your youngster spends inhaling nicotine or THC, how often, where, and with whom they vape, as well as their comprehension of the dangers (before you give them the laundry list). We also need to know how long they’ve been vaping; how regularly they do so; and whether or not it’s difficult for them to stop.
Combining all of this data allows you to determine whether or not vaping is merely an experiment or has the potential to become an addiction. Your child’s honesty will be more forthcoming if you approach the subject with interest rather than the temptation to lecture or ground them forever.
You and your teen should come up with an action plan together to stop. Even while your child must buy into the plan, the more collaborative the process is, the better off you and your child will be. Involvement increases a teen’s likelihood of following through.
Your youngster may be unhappy or nervous, and a sudden cessation of vaping may worsen these symptoms. You should talk about it and come up with a strategy together. A therapist is the best next step in this situation. If you’re worried that your adolescent is addicted and finding it difficult to “simply stop,” a teen addiction specialist can be a valuable resource for you and your family.
While there isn’t a single “solution” for how to encourage your kid to stop vaping, you and your family can figure it out together with some good family talk and support. Vaping is a controversial topic among teens, and they want their parents to be open to discussing it with them. If youngsters wish to experiment with vaping, they should be able to openly discuss the issue with their parents.