Talking to Children About Vaping
At Picture News, we explore topical issues, and currently, child vaping is incredibly prevalent.
Recent months have seen countless reports and articles published about children smoking e-cigarettes.
You may have discovered your children or pupils vape, and are now looking for the best way to navigate this.
Our blog outlines what is happening with child vaping, the impact of vaping, and what you as a responsible adult can do.
NHS figures have shown that in 2021, 9% of 11-15 year olds use e-cigarettes, which is an increase from 6% in 2018.
In the UK, it is illegal to sell vapes to people under 18. May 2023 saw the UK government explain the actions they are taking to prevent children being targeted in the sale of vapes, such as banning offering free samples of vapes to children.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has said, “I am deeply concerned about the sharp rise in kids vaping and shocked by reports of illicit vapes containing lead getting into the hands of school children”.
The next steps
Whilst reviews are undertaken, and further legislation is formed, in the meantime, we at Picture News have devised 4 tips on talking to children about vaping.
Talking about issues like vaping are vital in order to solve them. However, the way in which you do this can be crucial in the conversation’s outcome.
Try to prevent a heated discussion, and instead remain calm and level-headed, no matter how passionate or concerned you may be about your child vaping.
A cool approach like this may help your child open up about their thoughts and experiences of vaping.
Find the right moment
Timing is everything with important conversations like this. Busy, hectic moments, or at the end of a particularly tiring day may not generate the most productive conversation.
You could try to make time for a conversation about vaping, or initiate a discussion when an appropriate time naturally arises in a comfortable, safe setting.
Find out why
It’s time to investigate (calmly!). Prompt discussions to unravel exactly why your child feels the need to vape, or why they hold the attitude they do to vaping.
Ask open-ended questions to encourage your child to divulge.
Some reasons may be peer pressure, the fact that vaping can be seen as ‘trendy’, curiosity, or that the child feels vaping relieves stress or anxiety, or has other positive effects. Their reasons may also be related to the colourful packaging and sweet flavours of vapes, which increases their appeal to children and young people.
Knowing why your child vapes can help you understand their perspective, and can make it easier for you to work together.
We don’t want to induce fear or panic for our children, but often, knowing the facts about vaping can help inform their decisions and opinions.
Ensuring children know what vapes contain and the potential side effects can be a powerful tool in your conversation.
While the long-term risks of vaping are less well known, according to Cancer Research UK, e-cigarettes can come with an array of short-term issues, such as throat and mouth irritation, headaches, coughs, and nausea.
Vapes can also be highly addictive if they contain nicotine.
Whilst we can’t click our fingers to resolve the issue of child vaping, at Picture News, we believe education and awareness is pivotal in helping children make decisions and form opinions.
We hope this blog will be productive in helping you navigate child vaping with your children.