Talking with your child about smoking & vaping
Parents are the biggest influence in their children’s lives, which is why it’s so important to have frequent discussions about the risks of smoking and vaping. Don’t assume that your child knows how you feel or what the rules are—be clear about your expectations!
Signs that your child is vaping
1. Unexplained Sweet Scent
The vapor produced by e-cigarettes can be either odorless or scented, but given the choice, most teenagers will choose the scented (or flavored) vapor. So instead of nasty tobacco smoke, you might begin to smell a variety of candy flavored scents like Watermelon Wave, Berry lush, or Gummi Bear wafting through the room…and your teenager has nothing in his or her mouth at the time. This sweet-smelling aroma may be the after-effects of cloud vapor.
2. Pens and USB Drives that Don’t Look Normal
E-cigs come in many forms. They can resemble traditional tobacco cigarettes, cigars, and pipes. However, the most common e-cigs among teens are JUULs – sleek devices that resemble a USB flash drive – and vape pens that resemble traditional pens. If you come across an unusual looking pen or USB drive, often with holes on each end, chances are it’s a vaping device and not a typical pen or USB drive.
3. Caffeine Intake
Nicotine and caffeine together increase irritability, mood swings, and anxiety. Young people who vape will typically cut back on or avoid caffeine intake to offset these effects. If your child stops asking for soda or Starbucks on the grocery list, that may be a red flag.
4. Increased Thirst
Vaping increases dehydration by drying out the mouth and throat. Dehydration, often described by Vapers as dry or cotton mouth, is actually a fairly common side effect of vaping. Propylene Glycol, one of the ingredients in e-liquid, is the primary cause of the dehydration. The substance has been shown to absorb and hold in water molecules, preventing them from being absorbed into the body. Therefore, if you notice your teen drinking an abnormal amount of liquids, this may be a warning sign your teen is vaping.
Vaping dries out the nasal passageways. A dry nose can crack and bleed. If your child experiences nosebleeds or has red, cracking skin around the nose, this is another red flag.