Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center

5 Ways to Help Your Teen Quit Vaping

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Here’s how to begin talking to your teen about quitting vaping and offer support.

Your teen needs your support when it comes to quitting vaping.

If you’ve discovered that your teen is vaping, it’s only natural to feel a range of emotions. But remember to be patient and ready to listen. Your goal is to have a conversation with your teen.

So, first things first, remember that people who feel supported are more likely to quit vaping or smoking for good.

Secondly, keep in mind that nicotine affects your teen’s developing brain and causes addiction. And it will take time for their nicotine cravings to subside when they try to quit.

Finally, it could take many attempts for your teen to quit vaping for good. You might want to talk to a health care provider who can suggest effective nicotine cessation programs that help teens kick the habit.

Vaping has become an epidemic

Sharing the facts about vaping is a good starting point for a discussion with your teen.

The U.S. Surgeon General has called youth e-cigarette use an epidemic. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 4.7 million middle and high school students use at least one tobacco product, including e-cigarettes. In fact, 1 in 20 middle school students and 1 in 5 high school students reported in 2020 that they used e-cigarettes in the past 30 days.

Vaping is dangerous, it exposes users to dangerous particles and chemicals, and it exposes users to nicotine. Nicotine is highly addictive and can be a “gateway” to other addictive drugs. In addition, the CDC and other agencies are investigating cases of severe lung illness potentially associated with vaping.

After you’ve shared some important facts, try these five ways to help your teen quit vaping:

1. Ask questions

Your teen’s answers can help you find ways to be supportive.

  • What made you want to start?
  • What triggers your cravings?
  • What’s been stressing you out?
  • How could I help make quitting easier?

2. Be patient

Remember withdrawal can cause irritability, so you’ll need to be as understanding as possible.

3. Help them remove temptation

Encourage your teen to get rid of all vaping devices and products. Most cravings will subside in less time than it takes to get access to e-cigarettes, according to smokefree.gov.

4. Encourage them to have a plan

Talk to your teen about how they will manage cravings and temptation if they are around peers who vape. Help them build a list of actions and activities they can use to distract themselves when cravings strike. The quitSTART app has games and challenges to help people quit. Many people find that keeping their hands busy with a stress ball or rubber band can help.

5. Point them toward more help

Connect your teen with online resources, such as smokefree.gov and Texas’ Yes Quit, which can answer their questions and help them break the habit. Also encourage them to seek help through Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center’s free nicotine cessation program.

"You’ve taken an important step by encouraging your teen to quit. But keep in mind that quitting any product that has nicotine is hard and can take many attempts. But your support can greatly help your teen quit."

Learn more about the nicotine cessation program.