November is lung cancer awareness month, a time when many consider the health benefits of quitting smoking. Research confirms smoking is harmful to nearly every organ in the body, including your lungs and your heart.
Another trend, vaping and e-cigarettes is also harmful for your lungs and health. Emerging data suggests links between vaping and chronic lung disease and asthma and cardiovascular disease.
Among teens, e-cigarettes are more popular than traditional tobacco products. According to the 2021 National Youth Tobacco Survey, more than 2 million middle and high school students in the United States reported using e-cigarettes.
It is important to have meaningful conversations with your children and teenagers about their health.
Here are a few tips from our experts:
- Educate yourself: Make sure you understand what vaping is, how it works, and the risks of vaping so you can share information with your teen and answer their questions. Remember – information is powerful.
- Choose the right time and place: Make sure you can have this (or any important conversation) without distractions. Your teen might be more comfortable having an open and honest conversation in a private setting, than say, in front of a friend.
- Be supportive: You are having this conversation because you want to help your teen make healthy choices. Offering to help them – perhaps coordinating a conversation with a family physician or giving them information – is a great way to go!
- Listen to understand their perspective: Give your teen space to share their thoughts. Try not to interrupt them and try to understand their perspective.
- Set expectations: It’s good to set expectations with your teen. You can let them know you want them to be healthy, and that there are consequences of vaping.