Tobacco - Parents/Caregivers

What is vaping?

Vaping refers to the inhalation of vapor produced by electronic cigarettes. There are many substances that may be inhaled, but marijuana and flavored liquid with nicotine are the most common. In addition to these, there are many chemicals in e-cigarette vapor.

The Risks

There are many misconceptions about vaping, one of which is that it is completely harmless. The truth is, vaping is not safe, especially for teens and young adults. Many teens are unaware that the e-cigarette they use contains toxic substances like formaldehyde, diacetyl, and acrolein. Some are also unaware of the high nicotine levels of these products. As a teen or young adult, these substances can put strain on their body and dramatically deteriorate their health. Since their brain is not done developing, teens have a much higher chance of becoming addicted to nicotine than adults. Knowing these risks are important to ensure proper decision making in your teen.

Identify The Signs

E-cigarettes come in many shapes and sizes and can often be disguised as other products such as flash drives or pens. Therefore, it is difficult to notice your teen using these products when you don’t know what to look for. Some signs of vaping include:

  • Vaping equipment such as e-cigarettes, flavored liquid bottles, or small pods or cartridges found in your teen’s belongings.
  • A faint scent of flavoring in your house that you can’t locate or identify.
  • Increased thirst level in your teen.
  • Rise in number or frequency of nosebleeds in your teen.
  • Decrease in caffeine consumption of your teen.

Talking to your teen about the risks of vaping and other substance use is important. While it sometimes feels like they don’t hear you, teens really do hear your concerns. The best way to get through to them is to be open, honest, and consistent. 

Tips For Talking To Your Teen:

  • Check in frequently to see how they are doing
  • Choose informal times to talk, such as in the car, during dinner, or while watching tv
  • Be clear and consistent about your expectations regarding vaping and other substance use
  • Establish family agreements together for social and extracurricular activities
  • Let them know you care and are always therefore them
  • Continue talking to your teens as they get older

Visit,, or the CDC to find more tips and information on talking to your child about the dangers of tobacco. This resource includes conversation starters, online resources, and accurate statistics on tobacco use in children and teens.