Topic 3 Tips for Healthy Discussions.

Choose a time when your kid won’t feel rushed and a place where they feel relaxed, like when you’re riding in the car or sitting at the dinner table. By choosing a place you both feel comfortable, you’ll both be more inclined to open up.

Your kid makes smart decisions every day. Resisting the temptation to vape can be one of them. Compliment their good judgement. Remind them that they are an independent thinker who doesn’t have to be influenced by peer pressure. Tell them you’re proud of their courage and principles.

Instead of asking yes or no questions, ask open-ended questions that encourage participation. If you’re genuinely curious, your kid will be less likely to get defensive.

It’s very hard to get a teenager to stop doing something they enjoy. They are rebellious by nature and so you as parents should be prepared to answer any questions, namely:

Aren’t e-cigarettes safer than conventional cigarettes?

  • Because your brain is still developing, scientific studies show that it isn’t safe for you to use any tobacco product that contains nicotine, including e-cigarettes.
  • Whether you get nicotine from an e-cigarette or a cigarette, it’s still risky.
  • Some e-cigarette batteries have even exploded and hurt people.

I (or my friends) have tried e-cigarettes and it was no big deal.

  • I appreciate your honesty. In the future, I hope you (or your friends) will stay away from e-cigarettes and other tobacco products, including cigarettes. Science shows that e-cigarettes contain ingredients that are addictive and could harm different parts of your body.
  • Next time we go to the doctor, let’s ask about the risks of nicotine, e-cigarettes, and other tobacco products.

You used tobacco, so why shouldn’t I?

  • If I could live my life over again, I never would have started smoking. I learned that people who smoke cigarettes are much more likely to develop, and die from, certain diseases than people who don’t smoke. This was really scary, so I quit smoking.
  • Quitting was really hard, and I don’t want you to go through that. The best thing is to not start at all.

Why don’t you want me to use e-cigarettes?

  • Science shows that e-cigarettes contain ingredients that are addictive and could harm different parts of your body.
  • Right now, your brain is still developing, which means you are more vulnerable to addiction. Many e-cigarettes contain nicotine, and using nicotine can change your brain to make you crave more nicotine. It can also affect your memory and concentration. I don’t want that for you.
  • E-cigarettes contain chemicals that are harmful. When people use e-cigarettes, they breathe in tiny particles that can harm their lung.

I thought e-cigarettes didn’t have nicotine – just water and flavoring?

  • I used to think that too. But many e-cigarettes have nicotine. There are also other chemicals in them that can be harmful.

Consider this an ongoing conversation. When you first bring up the subject, your kid might be caught off guard and reluctant to engage. But once you open the door to the topic, they’ll be more inclined talk to you about it later.

Set a good example by being tobacco-free and ensure that your kid is not exposed to the secondhand emissions from any tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.