As the popularity of vaping and e-cigarettes continues to grow, health officials are learning more and more about vaping health risks. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 44% of high school students have used an e-cigarette and 20% do so on a regular basis.
Parents need to talk to their kids about the dangers of e-cigarettes and learn how they can help if their child is vaping. Dr. Greg Bledsoe, surgeon general of Arkansas, offers the following suggestions.
Vaping has been marketed as a safe alternative to tobacco, but that is simply not true. “Any time you superheat chemicals and breathe them in, that’s not good,” Dr. Bledsoe said. “It causes significant lung damage, can cause lung disease, and in some cases is deadly.” Several vaping-related lung diseases are being investigated in Arkansas, and vaping-related deaths have been reported across the country. In some cases, the young person had only been vaping as briefly as seven days before becoming sick or dying.
When starting the conversation, approach the subject assuming your child or teen has been exposed to vaping in some capacity. While they themselves might not have tried or are vaping, they probably know someone who has. Convey your concern and the vaping health risks, despite it being relatively new. The long-term side effects are still being researched. If your child admits to vaping, resources are available to help them stop. Start by talking with your family doctor, as there are levels of treatment based on what the teen is using.