Teens and VapingTeens and vaping. It’s a cause for much concern these days. As traditional cigarettes have lost their glossy enticement, and teens get interested in the ever-more popular electronic cigarettes, many parents are wondering what they can do to keep their curious young adults from getting into the habit. The cause for concern is not only their interest in using and trying e-cigarettes, but also being lured in by attractive advertising to lifetime of nicotine addiction.

Advice from the Loyola University Health System Adolescent Medicine Program? Parents, talk to your teens.

This simple yet straightforward advice can be useful in all areas of adolescent life; from dating to sex; peer pressure to bullying; drugs and alcohol to vaping. Why? Because open, honest communication can lay the groundwork for a positive relationship, and can build a level of trust that leads your teens to be honest with and knowledgeable about their choices. Knowledge is key, and the more teens know about the consequences of their actions, the more equipped they are to make decisions about their health and their future. Considering that taking the SAT’s, maintaining a solid GPA, and getting accepted into colleges are major decisions that ultimately impact the lives of teens for the long term; using tobacco, nicotine, and vaping devices should be decisions made with similar caution, thinking, and conscious contemplation. Understanding the risks involved can give teens the empowerment they need to make conscious choices for themselves.

In no way are we implying anything negative about vaping, however all electronic cigarette devices and related products belong in the hands and usage of adults. Yes, they look stylish, modern, and trendy, however the design appeal goes way beyond appearance. Very few vapers use them based on their looks, and teens need to be aware of what they’re getting into. Parents may not be able to protect their children from everything, however setting clear boundaries and keeping the communication open, along with educating themselves on e-cigarettes, as well as their kids with knowledge, can absolutely set the stage for better outcomes than those who delve into risky business without proper insight.

So parents, empower your young adults. Talk to them about e-cigarettes, nicotine, and vaping with honesty and an open mind. They’ll be full-blown adults soon enough, and the sooner they’re in the know about the world around them, the better.