You drive your teen home from school when they open up about their vaping. What started as an occasional puff from an e-cigarette has evolved into something more serious.
“I was curious and just wanted to try it,” they say. “All my friends did it and I wanted to do it too.”
But now they vape more often and get anxious if they don’t have access to their vape. They want to stop, but don’t know how.
Here are some practical tips to help your teen quit vaping.
Read more: Sex and lies are used to sell vapes online. Even we were surprised by the marketing tactics we found
I don’t want to lecture. But what can I do?
You’ve seen The news and you know e-cigarettes are harmful.
You may want to scold your child, or say, “If your friends jumped off a cliff, would you do it?”. But you know criticism and giving lectures do not work. So what do you do?
First, recognize that it’s a good sign that your teen wants to quit and is asking for help. We know that motivation is crucial for behavior change.
But if you’re a parent of a teen who isn’t ready to try quitting, you first need to work on boosting their motivation to quit.
Read more: Vaping my teen. What should I say? 3 expert tips for approaching ‘the talk’
Stimulate their motivation to quit
Talk to your teen about their vaping. Ask them why they wanted to quit and why they wanted to give up. You can use both reasons to motivate you to quit.
Use that knowledge to weigh the benefits of quitting against the costs of not quitting. You can do this using a practical exercise.
Discuss possible barriers to quitting. What is your teen afraid of when they try to quit? Do they use vaping to relax and fear they will become more anxious? Are they afraid of losing friends? Do they think they can’t stop?
Once you have an idea of the costs and benefits your child perceives, you’ll be in a better position to help them. For example, if they’ve been using vapes to relax, help them find other ways to reduce stress.
It can also help to tap into their values and use them to emphasize that their vaping is not in line with who they want to be.
For example, if they skip class to vape but are usually a diligent student, discuss this discrepancy and the longer-term impact of their dependency (for example, not going to college).
Read more: A parent’s guide to why teens make bad decisions
Set a goal
Once your child is motivated, it’s time to set a goal to quit. Work with your teen to develop a SMART goal Sspecifically, mmeasurable, afeasible, Rexalted, with one Ttime frame.
That goal could be to stop vaping by a certain date. But your teen may need to set smaller goals first. This could mean, “This week I’m only vaping on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.”
Once achieved, these goals can be made more challenging until your teen has gradually managed to quit vaping.
Make sure you reward your teen or they reward themselves for achieving their goals, even the little ones.
Next, if your teen has been vaping nicotine – and vaping a lot contain nicotine even if not labeled as such, they can be addicted.
Contact the Quitline (details below) or see your GP to discuss support for your teen. They may need additional help to quit e-cigarettes. A nicotine withdrawal plan can help.
How to deal with setbacks
Your teen will probably have a hard time quitting. Remember those barriers from back in the day? Make coping plans. What will your teen do when they are stressed and want to reach for their vape? What will your teen do if they are at a party and offered a puff?
These strategies can help your teen:
keep busy by doing puzzles, drawing or playing games on the phone
changing locations. Encourage your teen to get out and about. They can go to the gym, take a walk outside or go to the footy
reminding your teen of the reasons they want to quit and the cost of not quitting
helping them practice saying “no” to a vape
have snacks or gum they can grab when they have the urge to vape.
There are many reasons why people vape. Among them is a vaping industry, with deep pocketsthat is an expert in manipulating young people to start and continue vaping.
So be compassionate and try not to judge your teen. Reading, criticizing and punishing will not help them to stop. Position yourself as someone they can rely on.
More support and information on quitting vaping is available at
Lung Foundation Australia And
closing line (phone: 13 7848).