Talking to Elementary Kids about Vaping
Vaping is everywhere these days, whether it's in the news or outside the grocery store. Kids are aware of the issues and trends, but are you talking to your kids about it? Research shows that parents should have substance-related conversations with kids beginning in 3rd grade. Follow the tips below to start the conversation.
Before you start any conversation, make sure you know some basics: Yes, vaping is bad for your health. And yes, it is addictive. If your child asks you a question you don't know the answer to, admit that and then spend some time together looking it up. Some basic facts:
- The use of vapes is unsafe for kids, teens, and young adults.
- Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine. Nicotine is highly addictive and can harm adolescent brain development.
- E-cigarettes contain other harmful substances besides nicotine, including what's in the flavoring agents.
- Young people who use e-cigarettes may be more likely to smoke cigarettes in the future.
Ask your children what they know about vaping, whether they've seen kids doing it and what questions they have.
Explain that nicotine is a chemical that goes into your body and tells your brain that you need it. It makes you lose your sense of control. Explain that vaping messes with the brain like its a traffic signal, keeping your brain's stoplight stuck on green. It's telling your body go, go, go or more, more, more.
Work with kids on how they'll respond when they come face-to-face with e-cigarettes or other substances. Help your children make a list of things they can say that feel comfortable and natural to them.
Let your child know that you'd like to keep the conversation going and that they can come to you with any questions or concerns that they have about vaping.
The Talk About It campaign gives parents the tools and resources they need to start vital conversations and protect their families.