Welcome to Relationship Helpers! We’re so glad you’ve joined us for our 96th episode today. We are winding down our podcast as we approach our 100th episode! Today we discuss teen vaping. Parents all over the country are having to play a massive game of catch-up with this new trend. It’s not one that parents had to deal with when they were teens.
Surgeon General Jerome Adams declared teen vaping an epidemic. According to a survey from University of Michigan, eleven percent of high school seniors, eight percent of tenth graders and three and a half percent of eight graders report vaping with nicotine in a one month period.
Vaping devices and liquids can be sold to anyone over the age of eighteen. Anyone under the age of twenty-seven is expected to provide identification to purchase them.
What’s In a Name?
Vaping devices are known as vape pens, juuls, pod mods, tanks, electronic nicotine delivery devices, e-hookahs and e-cigarettes. Vape liquids are called e-juice e-liquid, cartridges, pods, or oil.
Vaping devices can deliver nicotine, marijuana or flavored chemicals. Think how jelly beans have hundreds of crazy flavors, so is true for vaping liquids.
Is Vaping Safe?
The rationale behind vaping is that it is safer than cigarette smoking and is a means to quit smoking, yet there is no research to support this mentality.
There are ninety three harmful or potentially harmful chemicals found in cigarettes, as determined by the FDA. Vape liquids have fewer chemicals, but still contain the drug nicotine. Even scarier is that many of the chemicals in vape liquids are unknown or untested.
Have We Forgotten The Harm of Nicotine?
Nicotine is a highly addictive drug. Research confirms it is toxic to developing fetuses. It is harmful to brain development in children up to the age of twenty. Memory and attention processing can be negatively impacted by nicotine usage.
Surgeon General Adams states that the most reported reason teens vape is because of the flavors in them. Many teens do not realize that they are inhaling a drug when they vape. The amount of nicotine found in an entire pack of cigarettes is loaded into a single “juulpod.”
Parents: Let’s Talk About Vaping
Parents need to educate themselves about vaping. We live in a fast-forward culture where things our teens experience did not exist during our own teen years. Rather than choosing to avoid learning about it, educate yourself.
One of the key elements to a healthy relationship with your teen is learning how to communicate with them. If you want your child to ask you questions and for them to talk to you, you have to make yourself approachable. This means being intentional. Choose to put away your technological devices and have time where you can talk, face-to-face. Help them feel heard. Empathize. Put yourself in their shoes. DO THIS EVERY DAY. Don’t be reactive and make the only times you talk to them when you are punishing them.
Find teachable moments. If you are watching tv together and someone is vaping, ask them about it. If it is mentioned in a song while you are listening to the radio, see what they think about it. These are non-intrusive ways to create dialogue.
We hope you’ve learned something new today and will incorporate it into your parenting. Be sure to check out our other parenting episodes!