Tips on Talking to Youth about Vaping
Replacing the popularity of traditional cigarettes, the e-cigarette was introduced to the market around 2007. Typically branded as a safer alternative to traditional cigarette smoking, e-cigarettes work by using a battery to heat up liquid that usually contains nicotine, flavorings, and other additives and chemicals. Various flavors and scents have been used as a marketing technique to increase the appeal of e-cigarette smoking to young people.
According to the 2021 CLYDE Survey administered to 7th, 9th and 11th grade students in Genesee and Orleans Counties by UConnectCare (formally GCASA):
- 3% of 7th grade students reported vaping with nicotine in the past 30 days
- 7% of 11th grade students reported vaping with nicotine in the past 30 days
- 1% of 11th grade students reported vaping with marijuana in the past 30 days
There are many reasons that teens and young adult’s vape, including peer pressure and wanting to fit in with their friends. However, no tobacco product is safe, especially for adolescents. Many teens believe that vaping is less harmful than smoking and find the lack of smoke and smell, appealing. Young people who believe that e-cigarettes cause no harm are more likely to use them. It is important for parents and educators to work together to teach adolescents about the health risks associated with e-cigarettes.
How can you talk to youth about vaping? Here are some tips:
- Make sure you are aware of the facts first, before you talk with youth about vaping. To learn more about vaping, visit the CDC Website at https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/basic_information/e-cigarettes/index.htm or the Surgeon General Website at https://e-cigarettes.surgeongeneral.gov/default.htm
- Consider what they are going through and put yourself in their shoes. Think about what pressures they face at school, at home, and with their friends. Encourage an open dialogue and have empathy throughout the conversation.
- Set a positive example by staying tobacco-free. If you use tobacco, it is never too late to quit. For more help or information on quitting, contact your healthcare provider. You can also text, chat or call the New York State Smokers’ Quitline at 1-866-NY-QUITS (1-866-697-8487) or visit the New York State Department of Health website at https://www.health.ny.gov/prevention/tobacco_control/campaign/e-cigarettes/
- Wait for the right moment to start the conversation and try to have a more natural conversation, rather than a lecture.
- Avoid scare tactics and connect with what youth care about.
- If you have questions or need support, talk with your healthcare provider.
- After you talk, let them know that you appreciate them for taking the time to listen and for being honest with you.
- Continue to follow-up and keep the lines of communication open. New vaping products such as vaping hoodies and vaping flash drives are introduced to youth on a regular basis. Continue to do your research and stay up to date on any new information related to vaping.
For more information on GO Health programs and services, visit GOHealthNY.org or call your respective health department at:
- Genesee County: 585-344-2580 ext. 5555
- Orleans County: 585-589-3278
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