Parents, Children and Smoking/Vaping

One of the most significant life choices your child will make is to stay smoke and vape-free. As a parent, you are one of the most important influences in helping your child make this choice.

Most youth never try smoking or vaping, but some will and for various reasons. Some youth are curious as they see their friends or parents smoke/vape.  Some youth say they continue to smoke or vape because they feel its helps them cope and some feel like they need to keep using it because they don’t feel good when they stop.  This could be a sign that they have become dependent on the nicotine that is in the cigarette and/or vape.

Signs that your child might be smoking or vaping:

  • You can smell tobacco or faint sweet/fruity smells from vaping
  • You may notice your child’s teeth are starting to yellow
  • You may notice your child is coughing more or has increased asthma attacks if they are asthmatic
  • You may notice your child has behavioural changes or is irritable

Tips for talking to your child about smoking or vaping:

  • Be honest with your child about smoking and vaping, tell them about the harms and risks associated with smoking and vaping
  • Find the right moment, this can be a casual conversation. For example, you could bring it up after passing by a stranger smoking or vaping in the street
  • Thank your child for being honest with you if they tell you they have tried smoking or vaping
  • Connect the risks to something your child cares about. For example, if they are an athlete tell them how smoking and vaping can damage their lungs and effect their ability to play their sport
  • Encourage your child to be involved in structured activities and hobbies, this involvement lowers a child’s risk for smoking and vaping
  • You can find more tips at Talking with your teen about vaping –

When in doubt, ask for help! Contact the Newfoundland and Labrador Smokers Helpline at 1-800-363-5864 or other services linked below.

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Last updated: 2024-01-19