How To Teach Your Children The Risks Involved with Vaping

Vaping is a huge thing for young people currently, with it rising significantly in popularity over the last two years. It was first framed as a healthier alternative to smoking, however plenty of research since then has proven that vaping is extremely dangerous for people’s health. Vaping is becoming a norm for many generations, however particularly for children and young people. With friends vaping at school, and many believing it’s just water vapour, it can be easy for children to just join in with the hype without thinking it can cause any damage. Whether this is a conversation you’re having before your child goes to college, middle school or anything in between, it’s an important one.

As a parent, it’s important for you to have conversations with your children about vaping, to discuss the risks involved and what it can actually do. We’re here with a few different ways you can teach your children about the risks of vaping, so you can encourage them to make healthier choices, both for their short term and long term health.


Make This A Discussion

The first thing you need to ensure is that you make a conversation about vaping a discussion, rather than you just spouting information at your child. Start by asking if many of their friends vape and what they think of vaping, and go from there. Try not to get angry or frustrated with your child, as you want them to be able to open up to you, and if you’re understanding then they will be more likely to actually absorb the information that you have for them. Choose a relaxed time rather than it being a really specific and organised event as this just puts pressure on. Also, you should listen to your child and what they have to say, so you can better understand their perspective and then help to encourage them to choose the right direction when it comes to their decision. We all know that with children and teenagers, often the more you push them into doing something, they’ll be more inclined to do the exact opposite thing. So, be patient, listen to their opinions and make sure that this is a discussion and it’s much more likely to go in the direction that you’d like it to.

Concerns To Raise

During the discussion, one thing you should focus on is the health aspects and the impact it can have on them. Kids Health has a thorough article about all of the different effects that vaping can cause, so have a good read and inform your child about the impact it can have, as well as unknown long term effects on health. Being able to present real facts rather than just saying it’s unhealthy will help. You could also take the money saving angle, explaining how expensive vaping can be.

Many young people vape because they are peer pressured and then end up getting addicted, so you should also talk to your child about having the confidence to be able to say no when they’re offered a vape or pressured into it. Give them a few different options to present to their friends like “I don’t like it anymore” or “it gives me a really bad headache”, to give them the confidence they need to turn away a vape.

Something else you could focus on is appealing to your child’s desire to be independent. Explain how vape companies target young people because they know they’re easy to market to and they will be able to make money from them. This could spark something in them that makes them want to rebel in a way, to take control again and be in charge of their health. This won’t work for every child, however when they think they’re more mature or independent for vaping, this could flip the switch and encourage them to make better decisions.

Take Them To The Doctor/Dentist

If you are concerned that your child is already vaping, then something you can do if you really want to get through to them is to take them to the doctor or dentist. Most health professionals will be happy to help protect young people and tell them how dangerous this habit is. For example, book a check-up for your child or teenager with your dentist in Leamington Spa or London, highlighting your concerns prior to the appointment so that your child doesn’t feel attacked on the day. It’s now common practice for dentists to ask if people vape anyway, so they can ask your child and then move onto the side effects from a dental perspective, including tooth decay and loss. That should be enough to put any child off vaping! Sometimes it takes someone in an authoritative position in the health industry to get through to a child just how much of an impact vaping could have.

Go In With The Facts

Before starting this discussion, make sure to learn the facts so you have clear information to give your child and not just made up panic statements. For example, read different research with different opinions so you can go in with well rounded responses to different parts of the discussion. Just to reiterate, make sure you make this a discussion! Things like how medical opinions about e-cigarettes and vaping have changed, the health issues that can come as a result, the fear of not knowing what will happen in the future because the research isn’t there or how addictive it can be. Don’t go in with a fact sheet as this will look very defensive from the perspective of your child. If it would be useful, you could get in touch with your doctor and they might have information about it ready to send to parents who will find it useful, or something as simple as a leaflet. If things go badly in the conversation, you could give them the information and ask them politely just to read the information so that they can make an informed decision.

Final Thoughts

We absolutely understand how difficult these conversations are, but it’s important to have them to help support your child through times where they have to make decisions. Be patient with them, and don’t assume that this will just be one conversation. Keep the conversation open, which is why it’s so important for your child to see you as approachable when it comes to talking about the subject. This is something very new that parents are needing to address, so make sure you’re also talking to other parent friends to see how they’re approaching the subject.