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How Do I Help My Child Quit Vaping?

Thanks to greater accessibility and the rise of disposable vaporizer pods, vaping has grown tremendously in popularity with teens and young adults over the last decade. Colorful vaping devices and fruit-flavored cartridges continue to appeal to younger people.

The original vaporizer was invented and patented by cigarette smoker and scrap metal dealer Herbert Gilbert in the 1960s. His battery-powered device for inhaling liquids was marketed as a tool to quit smoking cigarettes, smoke more “healthily,” and even help a person diet. Vaping continues to be marketed as a safer alternative today, yet it can be just as dangerous as cigarette smoking.

If your child is vaping, we invite you to read these vaping facts together and explore the many resources available to help them quit.

 

Forms of Vaping

The main two substances inhaled when vaping are liquid nicotine/tobacco and liquid marijuana. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), these products go by many names, including e-cigarettes, e-cigs, juuls (after the popular disposable brand, Juul), and mods.

  • Nicotine/tobacco vaporizers (or vapes) have been the trendiest and most accessible form of vaping for the past decade. Nicotine vaporizers can easily be found in gas stations, convenience stores, and grocery stores, much like cigarettes and chewing tobacco. Many of these vaporizers have disposable parts (sometimes called pods) or are disposable altogether. Until the end of 2019, anyone over the age of 18 could legally purchase vapes and vape accessories. The age for tobacco purchases is now 21. But after years of easy access to vapes, nicotine and tobacco addiction are at an all-time high for teens.
  • Marijuana vaporizers (or vapes) are often sold under the guise of a tobacco vaporizer. However, they are built for liquid marijuana concentrates, THC concentrates, or wax/oil (this form is inhaled via a “wax pen” or “dab pen”). The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) (DEA) confirms that the popularity of marijuana vaping has soared due to its inconspicuous use. The vapor exhaled may have little to no odor or smoke, making it easier to vape without detection. Marijuana use is still not legal for recreational use in many states or for anyone under the age of 21, making inconspicuous use necessary for those who vape marijuana. 

 

Vape Facts: How Vaping Affects the Mind and Body

Scientists and healthcare providers are concerned that vapes and e-cigarettes are creating a stronger desire for nicotine or tobacco in our nation’s youth, leading to addiction and long-term vaping. 

  • How vaping affects the mind: As vaping and doing tricks with exhaled vapor continues to inspire internet-based trends, youth are especially vulnerable to succumbing to the addictive effects of nicotine. Vaping can create a buzz or nicotine high, eventually making the brain crave and become reliant on that buzz. Vaping marijuana, wax, or dabs also produces mind-altering effects that can be addictive or even dangerous for young people. 
  • How vaping affects the body: Respiratory and circulatory systems are negatively affected by vaping. Long-term use can result in decreased elasticity in the lung walls and chronic bronchitis problems (which can also develop into future COPD). Vapes and e-cigarettes are built with a chargeable lithium battery, a cartridge that contains the liquid nicotine/tobacco, and hot metal coils or parts that send heated metal fumes straight into the user’s lungs. Dangerous chemicals, such as propylene glycol (which can cause lung and eye irritations or asthma) and diethylene glycol (a known carcinogen) are often found in the flavoring that accompanies the nicotine. When ingested, these chemicals are not dangerous. However, when inhaled, these chemicals are dangerous and can cause significant health problems over time. The human body is not meant to inhale substances, just natural air. There are exceptions made for medicines or oxygen, but inhaling addictive substances isn’t one of them. 

 

Help Your Child Quit Vaping 

Many kids will “push back” when parents come down on them about making changes of any kind. Unfortunately, you cannot control everything that your child does when you are not around. However, you can express your concerns and provide them with truthful information about vaping and other hazardous behaviors.

Begin with an honest and loving conversation with your child. Express your fears for them, the health risks to their growing lungs, heart, brain, and body, and any legal issues (depending on their age or substances used). Try to avoid accusatory language and offer to get them help from a doctor, therapist, or local rehabilitation facility to conquer their vaping addiction.

 

If your child is struggling with vaping addiction, they are not alone. Many teens have succumbed to the glamorization of vaping, mostly due to peer pressure and its portrayal in mainstream and social media. It doesn’t help that vaping is often marketed to be a safer alternative to smoking cigarettes. Explaining to your child why you’re concerned about their vaping can be difficult, but RECO Intensive is here to help. At RECO Intensive, we know that explaining drug facts to your child, especially when the drug is portrayed as harmless, can be a huge challenge. Our professional staff and experienced alumni can help you and your child begin their journey to a vape-free future. At RECO Intensive, we offer a safe space to talk with our specialized staff and family therapy for those who need additional support. To learn more, call RECO Intensive today at (561) 464-6533. Let’s get back to a brighter future.

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