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Friday, July 14, 2017

Kids Vaping

PSA: Especially to parents of tweens and teens:


I'm trying not to freak out at the moment. 


What do you all know about vaping? My 10 year old daughter was peer pressured to try it last weekend at camp!!! Holy freaking crap! 


I've read a few things on the internet so far this morning and it seems like, although people believe it is safe, it's really not. Especially for KIDS! I'm not trying to be an alarmist. Please keep reading or do some research on your own to find out about the seriousness of kids vaping.


So let me break it down for you a little bit so that you can understand some of the basics about kids and vaping. And by the way, I DO NOT claim to be an expert on this topic by any means!!! I'm am merely synthesizing for you all the info I found in my short internet research. It may have been short, but I read a lot from credible sources like well-established organizations. I will post some links in the comment section below.


Anyway, here goes:


There are these liquids called "e-juices" that are designed to taste, smell, and look like candy (cotton candy, sour patch kids, etc.) that are being used in "vape boxes".  Vape boxes are like an e-cigarette, but since they are shaped like a box and do not look like a cigarette, kids see them as less harmful...safe.


The kids who pressured my daughter to try vaping (some older, some the same age) all told her it was safe and that it didn't have nicotine in them. So as a tween, what would you think? "Tastes like candy, not a cigarette, no nicotine...sounds safe alright."


While that may be true that these e-juices do not contain nicotine, and there is no "smoke" going into their lungs, they do contain other harmful chemicals like formeldahyde and acetone, among other things. 


But they are being marketed to kids by their flavors, colors, packaging, etc. The kids (and some adults) believe they are safe...but there are studies/reports indicating that children across the country are being admitted to hospitals with comas, seizures, etc. from trying these things. Some of the chemicals are known carcinogens, as well.


Naturally, being exposed to vaping at such a young age has also been linked to tweens and teens becoming more willing to try other harmful substances like real cigarettes and marijuana. 


So here are my tips to help other parents navigate this new world we are entering with our tweets:


1. Keep an open line of communication with your tween...and try hard NOT to freak out when they tell you they have been offered these things. If they can trust that you won't scream and yell and freak out on them, they will be more likely to continue to share with you what is happening in their world.


2. A recent article that made the rounds on Facebook is proving to be extremely helpful for our family. We have devised a plan to help her escape the peer pressure by having her text me a specific emoji so that I can then call her and have her come back to camp/back home when she is feeling uncomfortable. No questions asked. 


3. Know your kids and know their friends!! The kids that are pressuring her to do this are not her actual friends at camp. They are acquaintances. She felt uncomfortable around them anyway. She plans to stay away from them now that she sees them for who they really are. 


4. Be aware that even really smart kids can be peer pressured!!! My daughter is a strong-willed, smart, young lady who has a good sense of right and wrong. But even she was peer pressured! Complacency is not an option in this day and age. EVERY kid is at risk. Every single one. It is up to us as parents to keep our kiddos safe and help them navigate their coming of age. We must be vigilant and not rest on our laurels thinking "my kid wouldn't do that". Peer pressure is a force to be reckoned with!!!


Please feel free to add to this discussion and to share. I am posting this as a public post to help other parents keep their kids safe, too.

5 comments:

  1. http://www.tobaccofreekids.org/tobacco_unfiltered/post/2014_06_11_ecigarettes

    ReplyDelete
  2. http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/09/health/e-cigarettes-poison-kids/index.html

    ReplyDelete
  3. http://www.tobaccofreekids.org/tobacco_unfiltered/tag/e-cigarettes

    ReplyDelete
  4. http://newsroom.ucla.edu/stories/how-safe-is-vaping

    ReplyDelete
  5. http://www.hcdrugfree.org/blog/2016/3/30/v71v4aeld4lvtawo8y7r6j6eejzu87

    ReplyDelete

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