The numbers are out there, and just like in the adult population, more and more teens and adolescents are beginning to try e-cigarettes. While these numbers appear troublesome, the truth is that while e-cigarette use among young people is up, the incidence of smoking among teens has reduced dramatically. According to a report from the CDC, smoking among teens is down to 9.2% the lowest it has been in decades. While e-cig use is on the rise among the younger population, it is also gaining steady popularity with adults. Meaning the rise in youth use is likely just mirroring our society’s trends in general. If more adults are vaping, the same will be true with our kids.
That being said, no one wants anyone, especially children, to begin vaping and to start what could be a lifelong nicotine addiction. While there is a lot of debate about whether e-cigarettes act as a gateway for children to a long-term nicotine addiction, there is very little debate on whether kids should be vaping or not. And whether you are an e-cigarette advocate or an opponent, everyone will agree that vaping is not for children and no one wants our youth to fall into such potentially troublesome habits. Follow these tips to help you educate your kids on vaping and keep them as safe as you possibly can.
1.Talk to Your Kids
Communication is key, and while most of us are prepared to have the drug, alcohol and cigarette talk with our kids, many forget to include vaping, as it is only recently something that has become popular. Don’t forget to inform your kids about e-cigarettes, just like you would about any other substance they are curious about. Let them know about addiction and the perils of a nicotine habit. Share your experiences and help them understand how people use e-cigarettes.
2. Keep the Devices and E-Liquids Put Away
Especially for the younger kids, you don’t want to make you e-cigarette devices accessible to little hands. Unfortunately, the risk of drinking or swallowing e-liquid is real, and to keep your children safe you must make sure you have a designated and safe area for your accessories and e-liquids to be stored. Make sure your children knows that the e-liquids are not for consumption and are off limits, as well.
3. Don’t Glamorize Vaping
Let’s face it, we live in a gadget-driven culture, and vaping is clearly an example of this. With the variety of different personalization and modifications, generally shiny exterior and various accessories, you have to admit, e-cigarettes can look pretty fun and cool. Still be clear with your kids that vaping is not something that is glamorous or something that is cool for them to do. Be honest with them with why YOU have decided to vape in the first place. For many, they vape to cut down or cut out cigarettes from their life. Let them know it is a struggle to have a nicotine addiction, not a struggle they want to take on.
4. Track Online Activity
One of the claims from the e-cigarette opponents is that e-cigarettes are so much easier for teens to purchase online. And honestly, that might have some truth to it. 42 states have enacted laws banning the sale of vaping products to minors, making it much harder for teens to acquire them in stores. Now most reputable sites have some sort of safeguard in place to curtail the sale of e-cigs to minors, even in states that do not have regulations. Soon with FDA regulations, there will likely be a nationwide restriction that outlaws the sale of e-cigs to minors, but that will not keep international sites from allowing sales to teens and adolescents. That is why it is good as a parent to practice some form of online monitoring or security to make sure your children are staying safe on the Internet and not buying any products they should not have.
If you’re a parent, then you know your number one job is keeping your children safe. Especially if you have struggled with a nicotine addiction, the last thing you want to see is your child suffer through the same thing. Communication will always be a key factor in helping your children make the proper decisions. Be honest and share with them so they can make the best decisions for themselves.