ARC in Statesman: How to Talk to Your Kids About Vaping
October 08, 2019
Vaping is under federal scrutiny as more cases of vaping-associated lung illnesses and even deaths are uncovered. No doubt there will be more regulations.
Yet, while public health officials try to get to the bottom as to the exact cause for influx of vaping-associated lung issues (and even deaths) and how they will regulate vaping, our community cannot wait to teach children about its risks and dangers, said Dr. Mai Duong, ARC Chief of Pediatrics in a recent letter to the community.
Austin American Statesman reporter Nicole Villalpando discussed with Dr. Duong recommendation for parents when talking about vaping. Her first tip: Don’t lecture. “Ask open-ended questions and be nonjudgmental. She also warned against trying to scare kids. For example, if you say, “It could kill you,” and then they try it a few times and it doesn’t kill them, well, what you said wasn’t true in that instance.
“Stick with the facts,” she told the Statesman. Talk about potential harm. Talk about the reality that they might not know what they are inhaling.
Here are a few additional tips from Dr. Duong.
Study up. Start by learning more about vaping, types of e-cigarettes and the associated risks. Learn the language, too, to see if words like “Juuling” or “juicing” pop up in your teen’s conversations.
Make time to talk. The sooner you start talking, the better — with an emphasis on the word “start.” Don’t view this discussion as a one-time occurrence. Bring up the topic again afterward and often, as you see or hear new developments on the topic.
Teach them how to say no. When they are offered opportunities to vape, do they know how to respond? Practice with them. Pretend you’re a classmate offering them an e-cigarette. Try to come up with several responses.
Acknowledge your limits. You know you can’t monitor them all the time. Why not make them feel empowered in a positive way? Consider saying something like, “You need to decide for yourself.”
Be an example. If you use tobacco products, it is not too late to quit.
Read the complete story in the Statesman.
Have questions for your ARC pediatrician about vaping? Message your doctor via MyChart.