The number of people vaping is on the rise and more and more products are coming onto the market that appeal to younger people.
While smoking e-cigarettes may be a useful temporary tool to help people stop smoking, it can be harmful to health and is recommended only for people wanting to quit smoking.
In recent months, a number of lung injury cases and deaths around the world have been linked to vaping.
As vaping is a relatively new phenomenon, the long-term effects aren’t completely known.
Here are our tips to talk to your kids about vaping and the potential dangers:
Be a good role model
It may be stating the obvious but if you don’t want your child to vape then be a good role model for them and ensure you aren’t doing it yourself.
Start conversations early
It’s never too early to start talking to your child about vaping – what it is and the potential harm it can have. Keep the conversation age-appropriate and as your child matures, you can increase the depth and breadth of the conversation.
Provide the facts
Many kids may simply not know the potential harm from vaping – they may think it’s safe. Information is power, so make sure they know the facts and the dangers associated with it. Start up a conversation at dinner, in the car, when you’re hanging out or when the opportunity arises.
Let your young person know they can come and talk to you about anything that may be bothering them or if they have questions about anything. Remind them you were a kid once too.
Keep communication lines open
Make sure you listen to your teens and don’t be too judgmental. If you want to keep communication lines open, you need to be available to talk, listen and offer advice in a non-confrontational way.
Talk about news items
News items about vaping are a good way to start a conversation and for your child or teen to learn about the dangers and what it can do to their body.
Teach them it’s OK to say no
It’s always good to remind kids that it’s OK to say ‘no’. They don’t have to do something if they don’t want to and they don’t have to give in to peer pressure. The conversation about saying no to vaping is a good opportunity to extend it to other topics like drugs and alcohol.
If you have any concerns about your child vaping, please contact your local healthcare provider or GP.
Vaping facts MOH & HPA NZ
Quick facts on the risks of e-cigarettes for kids, teens and young adults Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, US