Is Vaping a Gateway to cigarettes?
Research in this area is quite lacking at the moment, and that’s a problem. Initial studies have indicated that teenagers who try vaping report a higher likeliness to try or use other tobacco products. While much more information needs to be collected surrounding this question, it’s already been reported that more and more young people are trying vaping. If further research proves a deeper connection, there is even more cause for concern.
Here’s why. Electronic cigarettes have a wide variety of flavors (some of which could appeal to kids), and they are not nearly as regulated as conventional tobacco products. So that makes it easier for younger people who may not have started smoking to get access to nicotine, the primary addictive substance in cigarettes.
For adults who do not currently smoke, it’s recommended that they don’t pick up vaping, because that makes the gap to smoking just a little smaller. Besides, there are health risks that do not need to be faced if you don’t have to. But if you don’t care about the potential health risks, well, you’re an adult and I won’t tell you what to do. Besides, it’s unlikely for an adult who didn’t smoke before they turned 20 to pick up smoking as a regular behavior.
Help! My child is addicted to Vaping
Ok, let’s take a step back and take a look at what you know. So you caught your kid vaping. It’s the “cool” thing to do these days. That does not mean they are addicted to it.
Even so, as the users in this Reddit thread point out, the first thing to do is have an honest conversation with them. Yelling at them won’t work. Taking away privileges won’t work. Want to know the truth about getting someone, a kid or otherwise, to change a behavior? They have to want that change. Read any sales book (Starting with How to Win Friends and Influence People) and you’ll find that out real quick.
So have a conversation, and get to the bottom of why your child wants to vape. If you can help them achieve this end in another, more health-positive manner, then you might find the vaping goes away on it’s own.
Another point would be to clarify that your kid is not vaping juice with nicotine in it. Nicotine is a stimulant that has been shown to be addictive, and it also has adverse long term health consequences, not to mention can cause inflammation in the lungs upon contact. If they are, a first step would be to help them transition to a liquid without nicotine. It would also be a good idea to speak with a medical professional about the situation.
And finally, keep in mind that the jury is still out on the risks of the other chemicals inhaled when vaping. Sure, it’s fewer chemicals than smoking, but that still does not mean non-nicotine e-cigs are healthy as carrots and peas.