Teenage vaping has become a massive problem among adolescents.
Discovering that your teenager is vaping can be upsetting, but remain patient and listen before reacting with anger or shame. Your goal should be to discuss this matter with your teen honestly.
First, remember that those who feel supported are more likely to kick their smoking or vaping habits completely.
Second, remember that nicotine affects your teen’s developing brain and causes addiction and then withdrawals, so give your teen time to deal with symptoms until they subside after attempting to quit nicotine.
Continue to read to find out what you can do to help manage your teen’s vaping addiction.
Rising Trend: Nicotine Vaping Takes the Lead Among Teen Substance Use
A report by the University of Michigan revealed that nicotine vaping has emerged as one of the leading adolescent substance use choices.
- Among 8th graders, 7% opted for nicotine vaping, slightly surpassing alcohol at 6% and cannabis at 5%.
- Among 10th graders, 14% embraced nicotine vaping, edging out alcohol at 13.6% and cannabis at 12%.
- Remarkably, 12th graders preferred nicotine vaping, with nearly 21% reporting past 30-day usage, placing it below alcohol at 28% but on par with cannabis at 20%.
Your concern is not an exaggeration; the staggering data about vaping underscores the urgent need for action. Your teen may require several attempts before finally giving up vaping completely. Speaking to a healthcare provider who offers nicotine cessation programs may help your teen break the habit for good.
Why is Vaping a Risk?
Nicotine releases dopamine into specific parts of the brain, similarly to other addictive drugs, altering mood and temporarily elevating feelings of well-being.
Teens who engage in vaping might be at an increased risk of switching to conventional cigarette smoking.
Furthermore, e-cigarette aerosol can irritate your lungs, throat, and eyes in the short term. It might also increase your chances of getting a cold or the flu, which can develop into pneumonia.
Why Teens Are Drawn to Vaping
Young people start smoking or vaping for a variety of reasons, including the following:
For years, the tobacco industry has targeted the youth of our generation with enticing e-cigarette flavors. From cotton candy to mint to mango, most teenage vapers are drawn to e-cigarettes because of these unique flavors. Disturbingly, research has revealed that those who initiate vaping with these fruit-like flavors are more likely to endure a lifelong addiction.
In response to this alarming trend, the American Lung Association stands firmly behind the urgent necessity of removing all flavored products from the market, including menthol.
Being a teenager is not easy. Their journey of self-discovery is exhausting, and they are constantly exposed to peer pressure. Perhaps when feeling stressed at school, their friend offers your teen a puff on their vape pen as an attempt to destress—whatever, right? Before they know it, they are already beginning to develop a dependency.
The truth is that substance abuse among teenagers has become all too normalized today. Films, TV shows, and social media influencers can all glorify vaping and smoking.
To Lose Weight
Nicotine makes vaping highly addictive. Once you develop a regular smoking habit and consume at least one cigarette daily, your appetite decreases. Nicotine has an anesthetic effect, forming a layer on your tongue that makes food unappetizing.
This is why vaping appeals to people, particularly teen girls, who want to lose weight.
How Can I Help My Teen Quit Vaping?
If someone you care about wants to stop smoking or has attempted it but found it too challenging, here are a few strategies that may help:
- Develop a quitting plan. Collaborate with your teen to construct a plan for managing cravings and resisting temptation, especially when in the company of peers who vape.
- Discuss why they want to stop. Such as its negative health impacts or saving money; also discuss the desire not to become addicted.
- Consider timing carefully. The day before a major exam may not be ideal, as stress levels will likely already be at their peak. But try not to put off taking action for too long.
- Prepare ahead. If your young person relies on nicotine as a coping strategy, assist them in developing alternative coping skills.
- Encourage them to identify their triggers. Identify the places or times they most commonly vape. Plan how to address or avoid these triggers or devise other coping mechanisms should they arise.
- Show empathy. As your teen’s body adjusts to life without nicotine, they may experience mood swings, increased anxiety, or sadness. If these feelings persist and they become depressed or very sad, don’t let them isolate themselves. Consult a healthcare provider or counselor as soon as possible.
- Empower them to say no. If they feel awkward explaining why they want to quit, help them come up with excuses like, ‘I don’t want to waste my money.’
- Prepare for relapses. Even if their goal is to quit vaping, lapses are common and shouldn’t be taken as failures. Have a plan ready in case they vape again; avoid judgment, support them through encouragement, and remind them why they want to quit vaping.
- Direct them to help: Provide your teen with tools to help them quit by bringing them to a healthcare professional for guidance or check out websites like smokefree.gov.
We Are Here for You
HelpYourTeenNow provides troubled teens the help they need to regain their footing in life. Programs for troubled teens consist of facilities offering various therapeutic interventions. These may range from wilderness camps to residential treatment centers to equine therapy. Engaging in physical activities, such as hiking or running, may help alleviate feelings of anxiety caused by vaping cravings.