Talking to your Children about E-Cigarettes
The more popular a product or a movement becomes, the more likely it is to become misunderstood in some quarters. As vaping becomes more ubiquitous, more popular and more commonly embraced by celebrities, it’s unfortunate that some will assume that these products are equally available to children as they are to adults.
We’re proud of our VIP products and of vaping as a means to help people quit smoking. We are, however, very serious in our efforts to keep e-cigarettes out of the hands of children. Indeed, you might have noticed that our own website has a barrier to prevent under 18-year-olds from accessing the site, our TV ads are broadcast after the watershed and our entire range of products are CPT-tested (child-proof safety-tested).
But how do you keep your children away from e-cigarettes? In our opinion, the most important step is communication.
Talk about e-cigarettes
When talking to teenagers, clarify exactly what an e-cigarette is: An alternative to traditional cigarettes that’s intended only for adults who want to quit or reduce smoking. While many studies find e-cigarettes to be a healthier alternative to traditional smoking, e-cigarettes still contain nicotine, an addictive substance not suitable for children (including teenagers).
Thankfully, teen smoking is in sharp decline already, so hopefully if you have a teen in your house, they won’t be interested in e-smoking. Also encouragingly, a recent study found that most teens that do take up vaping quit soon afterwards. However, most of those that did continue to e-smoke were already smoking traditional cigarettes.
Avoid Alarmist Language
As with any new product, a lack of knowledge and understanding can lead to confusion and misinformation. Even the World Health Organisation received criticism for their “alarmist” language in its report on vaping.
The Irish Times reported: “Ann McNeill, a researcher at the national addiction centre at King’s College London, said she was ‘shocked and surprised’ at the [WHO] report. ‘I felt it was an inaccurate portrayal of the evidence on e-cigarettes,’ she said.”
A product can simultaneously be much healthier than cigarettes and also not suitable for children. This message is clear, but may be clouded by the stereotypical scolding from an adult delivered to an eye-rolling teenager. Instead of alarmist language, try to clearly and calmly state that vaping is strictly for adults, that nicotine is addictive in any vessel and that even the manufacturers are in agreement that it is not a product for children.
For younger kids, treat any flavoured e-liquids as if it was one of the many controlled, out-of-reach substances in an ordinary household, such as medicine, matches and cleaning products. E-liquid works perfectly well in e-cigarettes, but could be hazardous to drink. Our e-liquid containers are child-proof, but it’s best to keep them out of reach just in case.
We would also advise you to never purchase vaping products on behalf of your teenage child for the reasons stated above.
Have you started the conversation with your children about vaping and smoking in general?If you would like to know more about e-smoking and its benefits, click here.