What is vaping?
Basically, an electronic cigarette uses a battery and heating element to turn a what is known as e-liquid or vape juice into a vapor that is then inhaled into the lungs. The liquid contains no tobacco, but it can contain nicotine, which is highly addictive. You can also get some with THC in them, which is the part of marijuana that gets you high.
Just because it tastes like candy doesn't mean it is candy.
Part of what makes vaping so attractive to kids and teens is that the liquids used for vaping come in lots of delicious candy-like flavors, but they are most definitely NOT candy. It's hard to believe that these kinds of flavors weren't deliberately created to attract youngsters.
How do you know if your child is vaping?
Well, for starters, you can ask them. If they tell you they aren't vaping, but you aren't convinced, then what? Honestly, unless you catch your child in the act it's hard to know if they are vaping, but here are three signs that your child may be vaping:
- They step away often to go outside or to the bathroom.
- They are short of breath.
- They cough a lot and have a hard time exercising.
The road to quitting is not easy.
If you find out that your child is vaping, try to stay calm and avoid punishing your child for what may already be an addiction. Instead, talk about the dangers of vaping and create a plan to help the child quit. Child psychiatrist and addiction medicine physician Dr. Joseph Lee says that most kids and teens can do an outpatient treatment, but they may also need mental health counseling.
Keep in mind that your child might have to quit more than once. According to Carol Riccio, the nurse leader for the school district in Newburyport, Massachusetts, you should be patient and supportive throughout the quitting process because for most it is a process. In Riccio's experience, kids try and fail to quit vaping an average of six times.
Does that mean they'll never quit? No, of course not, but it does mean that quitting may not stick the first time. So, don't give up hope or stop supporting your child's efforts to quit.