How do I talk to my kids about e-cigarettes?
Talking with teens about risky behaviours is an important way for parents to help keep them safe. The earlier and more often you speak with young people about e-cigarettes, the more likely they are to listen.
Know the facts
It’s important for parents to educate themselves, so they know the facts and what to say when the topic comes up. Many teens are under the misconception that e-cigarettes are safe. It is helpful to know what the different devices look like and the different words young people may use to describe using e-cigarettes. Find out how much they cost and how much money the average user spends on the products. Many young people are interested in saving money for other activities. These facts will help you to talk about e-cigarettes with your teen.
Choose the right time and place
Choose a time when your teen 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 where you both feel comfortable, you’ll both be more inclined to open up.
Appeal to their good judgement
Children and teens make 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.
Ask open ended questions
Instead of asking yes or no questions, ask open-ended questions that encourage participation. If you’re genuinely curious, your teen will be less likely to get defensive. Listen to their answers, ask more questions and keep the lines of communication open.
- What do you think about vaping?
- Are kids at your school vaping? (don’t react, just listen)
- Do you know what is in vapes?
- Do you know how vaping can damage your health?
- How much money would someone spend on vapes if they were addicted to nicotine? What else could they do with that money?
- Why would you choose not to vape?
- What advice would you give your friends about vaping?
Once is not enough
Consider this an ongoing conversation. When you first bring up the subject, your teen might be caught off guard and reluctant to engage. But once you open the door to the topic, they’ll be more inclined to talk to you about it later.