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Published on March 17, 2020

closeup of hand holding vape

How to Talk to Kids About Vaping

It’s a conversation many of us feel unprepared for: talking to our kids about the dangers of vaping. But it’s an important conversation. Vaping is dangerous, and an increasing number of kids are picking up the habit.

Avera has developed several resources to help:

Tips for talking to your kids about vaping

Be understanding: “I know vaping can seem cool or less harmful than cigarettes. But the truth is, it’s dangerous to your health. I love you and want to protect you, so I wanted to make sure you understand the risks in case someone you know offers you a vape.”

Define vaping. “Vapes are battery-powered smoking devices. They have cartridges filled with a liquid that is heated into a vapor you inhale. The liquid usually contains nicotine, but can contain other substances.”

Outline the dangers, especially those that might be deterrents for your child. “Some people have died from vaping. Others have suffered severe lung damage – kind of like burns on the inside of their lungs. The nicotine in vapes is addictive and can hurt the way your brain grows so it’s harder to concentrate. Not only that, some people have been seriously hurt when their vape exploded.”

Outline what they might have to give up, focusing on things that are important to your child: “The effects of vaping can make it harder to breathe – which makes it harder to (choose one that resonates with your child) play sports, sing or play musical instruments.”

Point out that vaping is illegal: “Vaping is illegal in most states until at least age 18.”

Tell them what they can do: “Don’t start. If you have questions, ask me or another adult you trust.” Or, if they’ve started: “If you’ve started, quit now – we can find you help.”

For more information about vaping or ways to quit, talk to your primary care provider or find one at Avera.org/doctors.

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