Choose your conversation based on where your teen is at. For teens that have never tried vaping, try having a landscape-setting conversation: What vapes are, and why they’re risky. For teen experimenters who may feel vaping is “no big deal,” it’s important to correct misinformation and discuss health harms. For teens who are occasional or regular vape users, a conversation about quitting takes priority.
Try to avoid announcing “the talk” or lecturing your teen. Instead, look for ways you can work your concerns into everyday conversations. Car rides or walks are great places to try this.
Take a deep breath, go for a walk, or stretch if you’re upset. A calm chat will get you further.
Ask them questions about things they say to you. Repeat what you’re hearing back to them.
Don’t cut the conversation short. Give your teen space to say everything they need to.
Express concern, not judgement, where needed. Instead of saying you’re “disappointed” in them try saying you are “worried” about them.
Address peer pressure. Brainstorm real-life situations with your teen where they might encounter vaping, and talk about ways they could handle them.
Good, factual information is more effective than scare tactics. Give your teen good reasons to avoid vaping.
Keep your words and body language relaxed and neutral.
If someone in the family vapes, like a parent or an older sibling, try talking with them about limiting their use around your teen.
Be patient. You were a teen once. Try not to get frustrated with your teen, or yourself. It might take a few tries to get through to them, and that’s okay.
First things first: Establishing a positive tone and environment. Breaking the ice is often the hardest part, so try to keep it casual. Use facts, not opinions (after all, no one likes to feel judged). For example, “There’s too much we don’t yet know about vaping. Even vaping once in a while isn’t worth the risk.” Let them know they can come to you for anything: help, advice, support. Trust is fundamental to quit talk success.
Even when it feels difficult, quitting IS possible. Check out these tactics for quitting, and actually staying quit.
Talk with your teen about their reasons for vaping. Are there certain things, like stress or social pressure, that make them more likely to vape? Brainstorm healthy ways to deal with those pressures that don’t involve vaping.
Setting specific, quantifiable goals is the best way to keep your teen accountable. Make specific plans for how to deal with identified triggers. Set a quit date to work towards.
Beating a nicotine addiction is hard, and slipping up is normal. If your teen hits a setback, have an open conversation about it. Don’t scrap your quit plan, just adjust it so it fits your lives. Keep identifying triggers and figuring out new solves. Quitting vaping sets your teen up for a healthier future. It’s worth the effort.
Finding out your teen is vaping can feel overwhelming, especially if they are already struggling with nicotine addiction. Don’t panic. There are support options for both you and your teen. By taking action now, you can keep their future bright.
Let’s Talk Vaping recommends the My Life, My Quit™ program. It’s a free and confidential service for people under 18 who want to quit all forms of tobacco and vaping. My Life, My Quit™ includes resources for parents who want to take an active role in their teen’s quit journey.
When your teen enrolls, they’ll receive:
Another great resource, This is Quitting™ is a free mobile program designed to help young people quit vaping. Its messages show the real side of quitting, both the good and the bad, to help young people feel motivated, inspired and supported throughout their quitting process. It also sends young people evidence-based tips and strategies to quit and stay quit. This is Quitting™ is tailored based on age (13–24) and product usage to give teens and young adults appropriate recommendations about quitting.
Teens can text DITCHJUUL to 88709 to get started
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