Despite the efforts that health authorities and the government are taking to prevent underage vaping, the problem seems to be getting worse. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that close to 82.9% of high school students have used at least some kind of e-cig. Although there are restrictions on the advertising of vaping products, at least 69.3% of kids have been exposed to some form of promotional campaigns.
Parents may think that the non-availability of vaping products is an effective deterrent since selling to kids, online or out of brick and mortar stores, is banned, But, do remember that kids can get extremely creative when getting their hands on things they shouldn’t be using.
Spend Time Educating Your Child About the Dangers of Nicotine Addiction
As a parent, you should be making the best efforts possible to protect your child from nicotine addiction. Talk about the serious physical and psychological effects of drug dependence. Warn your kids about the serious health complications that can arise from using tobacco in any form – smoking conventional cigarettes, chewing tobacco, sniffing, or vaping. Heart and lung damage, cancer, and hampered brain development are only some of the health risks of using nicotine and underage vaping.
Oftentimes, kids assume that vaping is a safe activity. Take the time to explain that studies on e-liquids and e-juices are as yet incomplete and scientists are not sure about the complete adverse effects of the habit. On your part, watch your kids carefully and look for these signs that they could be vaping secretly. Now is the right time to take action.
1. The Room Smells Like Candy and Dessert All the Time
Kids and teens love candy and desserts. But, if they seem to be always smelling like candy, fruit, and dessert, take a closer look. E-cigarettes are available in a range of fragrances, and kids unwittingly take up vaping simply because they love the taste. Find out everything you can about brands like Juul, Puff Bar, and Hyde flavors by clicking here. You might just realize that your child hasn’t suddenly developed a liking for fruit salad and chewing gum. The problem is entirely different and much bigger than that.
2. You’re Buying More Chips and Salty Snacks Than Before
If you seem to be running out of salty snacks and chips, all the time, check if your child is bingeing. Here’s why. Underage vaping or smoking tends to dry out the tissues of the nose, mouth, and throat. As a result, the sense of taste is not as sharp as before. That’s the reason why vapers tend to eat more spicy and salty foods – to cope with the lack of taste. Check your shopping list. If sodas and beverages are running out quickly in the house, it’s time to have a talk. Vapers get more thirsty.
3. Your Family Seems More Prone to Coughs, Colds, and Congestion
Coughs, colds, and congestion are often a sign that the lungs are struggling to fend off infections and blockage. Since kids’ nasal tissues are softer, they are more prone to getting nose bleeds. Watch out for signs that your teens are consuming more of the over-the-counter cough or antitussive medicines you have around the house. Sniffling, throat clearing, and getting out of breath at the slightest exertion are warning signs of underage vaping.
4. You’re Dealing with More Crankiness and Tantrums Than Before
Dealing with drastic mood swings, temper tantrums, irritability, and unprovoked raging is not unusual for a parent. You probably put it down to hormones and love your child more than ever. But, if the crankiness is worse than ever, and you’ve been noticing any of the other signs as well, watch out. You might be looking at underage vaping. The highs and lows of nicotine addiction can do that. Kids feel great right after a vaping session, followed by anxiety, depression, and agitation afterward. Nicotine can also damage the pre-frontal cortex of the brain that governs impulse control, emotions, and decision-making.
5. Your Child is Losing Weight
Weight issues, lack of confidence, going on crash diets, and obsessing over their bodies and looks are, unfortunately, a part of being a teenager. You’ve probably tried your best to inculcate healthy eating habits and a wholesome attitude toward their appearance. If you think that your teen is looking thinner than ever, has been feeling nauseous, and even, throwing up, bulimia nervosa would be the first thought that crosses any parent’s mind. However, nicotine addiction and vaping should also be right there on top of the list.
6. You See Unfamiliar Objects Around the House
Parents are often under the mistaken impression that e-cigs resemble normal cigarettes. Instead, there are several brands of disposable vaping devices in the market that look like USB devices. They have a slim, sleek appearance and some are small enough to be concealed in the palm of your hand or in a jeans’ back pocket. Interestingly, a few of these gadgets don’t need charging or lighting up. They can be activated at the push of a button or simply, by taking a draw. All the more reasons to worry about your child having to learn how to vape. They won’t really need to!
7. You Notice that Grades Are Dropping
One of the worst effects of underage vaping and nicotine addiction is – on the brain. Kids and teens’ brains are still developing and right up to the age of 21 years, neurons are still building synapses or connections. Nicotine hampers the development of these synapses and as a result, kids find it hard to concentrate on their studies. Being unable to sit for exams or focus on the questions is another effect of nicotine. If you’ve been noticing poor grades and dropouts of school sports teams – that’s a huge cause for concern.
Raising a child is not an easy job for a parent. The contemporary world we live in introduces more challenges in the form of additions and exposure to harmful substances. Keep a close watch on your teens and be wary of the nicotine addiction.