For more information please call
Tobacco products and electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) can be dangerous to growing children and teens. Nicotine is a stimulant and the main ingredient in cigarettes and other tobacco products. E-cigarettes (also called vapes) may contain nicotine as well. Nicotine is an addictive substance that can cause people to become physically or psychologically dependent. Norton Children’s Prevention & Wellness offers educational programming to help keep kids from using these products.
Vaping is the act of inhaling vapor created by an e-cigarette, which is a battery-powered smoking device. The liquid in the cartridge is heated and commonly misrepresented as water vapor when it truly is an aerosol, which is why e-cigarette use is called “vaping.”
The aerosol is inhaled into the lungs and can contain harmful chemicals, including nicotine. E-cigarettes can look like objects we see in everyday life, such as USB sticks, and can be easy for parents to misidentify as other objects.
Vaping hasn’t been around long enough to know the long-term effects. At this time, we are unsure what the full impact of vaping can be on a child or teen’s overall health. We do know vaping can pose certain immediate dangers, including:
If your teen is not vaping, rather than ignoring the subject, openly discuss it. This can help them if they are put in the situation where they might consider using an e-cigarette. They can have all the facts and will be ready to make an informed choice in that moment. It’s important to remind kids about the risks that vaping can cause them.
It is important to understand teens are more susceptible to peer pressure and marketing, and they don’t assess risks the same as adults. Helping a teen find resources to help quit nicotine is a good start. You can begin by having a conversation with your teen. Here are a series questions to begin the conversation with your teen. Choose what you feel comfortable with and get the conversation started:
If they are already vaping and are not open to discussing it or listening to you, don’t stop there! Consider setting up an appointment with your child’s pediatrician so your teen can learn from a health expert about the health concerns they need to be aware of. If vaping is or might be related to stress, depression or another mental roadblock, consider finding a mental health professional for your teen to talk to openly with. Resources could include:
Norton Children’s Prevention & Wellness offers free tobacco cessation classes for teens. Group sessions meet once weekly for seven weeks to discuss the importance of having good health, learn tools to prepare for tough moments and support each other on the journey to quitting.
This is a voluntary program for teens ages 14 to 17. To register for this class, visit NortonChildrens.com/Classes&Events or call (502) 629-1234, option 4.
Free tobacco cessation classes also are available for individuals ages 18 and older. Visit NortonHealthcare.com/Smoking for more information and available classes.