Cigarettes used to be the primary vice among teenagers when it came to tobacco use. However, additional options like vaping pens make it possible for teens to consume tobacco in other ways. Starting a nicotine addiction at a young age makes it more likely that your child may carry that habit over into adulthood. Destinations for Teens can help teens who need help discontinuing their tobacco use. The following tips may help you prevent your child from falling victim to teen tobacco use and ending up with a habit.
Set an Example
Do as I say, not as I do, is not the most effective mode of parenting. It may be hard for your teenager to take warnings about tobacco use from you seriously if they constantly see you smoking or using an e-cigarette. Don’t fall into the trap of making up excuses why the same rules shouldn’t apply to you. If tobacco use is bad for your teenager, then it’s bad for you as well. You can really show your teen how serious you are about protecting them from tobacco use by committing to giving it up. If you don’t think you can do it alone, seek help from specialists in treating tobacco use disorders. Your struggles to overcome tobacco can help your teen understand the dangers of tobacco use and the kind of grip it can have on you over the long term.
Figure Out Why Teens Might Be Tempted
If you’re not someone who smokes or vapes, it can be hard for you to understand the appeal. Instead of lecturing your teen about how they should be smart enough not to use tobacco, try to understand why they might be drawn in. Evaluate your teen’s social media to get an idea of what they might be seeing. Peer pressure can be a big reason for a young person to get drawn into teen tobacco use. Teens may also start using tobacco as a way of rebellion or to express unhappiness. Open up the lines of communication with them to gain a better understanding of what might be driving their behavior. An honest talk between parent and child can go a long way toward dissuading your child from using tobacco.
Emphasize the Risks of Tobacco Use
If your words don’t appear to be getting through, try reasoning with your teen by showing them what can happen to them if they continue using tobacco. Hearing from a family member suffering from health issues because of using tobacco can be a sobering real-life reminder of why they should void teen tobacco use.
Talk About the Monetary Loss
Most teens don’t have access to a lot of cash. Show your child how the cost of buying products for tobacco use can add up. Make them total up what they can end up spending each week, then each month, then a year. Seeing the amount of money they would lose because of teen tobacco use may be enough to dissuade your child from ever taking up the habit.
Smoking affects everything from the elasticity of your skin to the health of your teeth. Smoking keeps your skin from receiving enough oxygen, causing the tissue to break down faster as you age. People who smoke have a higher risk of developing gum disease and eventually losing their teeth. Most teens don’t like the idea of losing their looks over time.
Get Treatment for Teen Tobacco Use
Destinations for Teens can help young people quit vaping and using other tobacco products. We encourage anyone with a tobacco use disorder to participate in the Take Down Tobacco National Day of Action. It’s a day for people to take steps that free them from the burden of tobacco addiction. Our facility offers care and treatment for various substance abuse and mental health issues, including:
References: Vuong TD, Zhang X, Roeseler A. California tobacco facts and figures 2019. (California Department of Public Health, Sacramento, CA: May 2019).