What’s a concerned parent to do about vaping?
To be knowledgeable about vaping, know that as the industry evolves, vaping devices are getting smaller, cheaper, more fashionable and more advanced. Parents should familiarize themselves with the variety of vaping devices.
They are battery-powered units that contain a liquid cartridge. When heated, the cartridge releases a vapor that the user inhales.
There are many pieces and parts for the devices. If unfamiliar USB drives, battery chargers or spare parts show up around the house, a teen may be vaping. Check the trash can for parts and cartridges.
Thirst is another sign. Since vaping dries out the mouth and throat, your child might increase his or her liquid consumption. Vaping also creates “vaper’s tongue.” A dry mouth leads to a loss of flavor perception. A teen reaching for the salt or enjoying unusually spicy foods could be a clue, notes the Centers for Disease Control.
The Surgeon General of the United States suggests that when talking to a teen about vaping risks, remember that the goal is to have a conversation, not to deliver a lecture. The conversation may take place over time, in bits and pieces. Remind teens that some e-cigarette batteries have even exploded and hurt people.
If the parent is a former smoker, it might be wise to come clean and admit it by saying, “Getting off nicotine is hard but I’m so happy I quit. Don’t make that mistake and get addicted.”