Addressing the Rise in Youth Vaping

February 22, 2024

Youth vaping is a growing concern. But there’s hope! Therapists and parents can guide and support young people towards a healthier future. This blog explores the roles of therapists and parents to combat vaping and empower our youth. Let’s clear the air, together.

Katie Thompson, Supervisee in Clinical Social Work

Therapy is a great resource for those seeking to quit vaping. Having a space to ask questions, understand risks, and build motivation without feeling judged, is crucial to feeling supported throughout the quitting process.

As therapists, it’s important to stay informed on current, evidence-based approaches to treat those struggling to quit vaping. As vaping continues to be a problem in the U.S., particularly for teens, we need to continue being a safe space for young people to come to.

Cleo Chalk, Resident in Counseling

The surge in youth vaping demands effective strategies for parents and therapists. Vaping’s popularity among adolescents requires insight into trends and motivations, driven by accessibility and discretion.

Parents can foster open dialogue, share accurate information, and involve teenagers in decision-making.

Therapists can use motivational interviewing techniques, a strengths-based approach, and collaborative goal setting. Addressing youth vaping necessitates a comprehensive approach.

By combining harm reduction and motivational interviewing, parents and therapists can actively engage with youth, fostering a supportive environment for positive change. Prioritizing well-being ensures a healthier future for the next generation.

Deedra Everett, Supervisee in Clinical Social Work

While it is well reported in the news that vaping cannabis or tobacco is on the rise among teens, it may not occur to parents of younger children to talk to them about vaping. But hearing parents’ views and concerns about vaping, beginning as young as 5 and then repeatedly discussed afterward, can potentially safeguard against the child experimenting when they are older.

Preteens and teens are developmentally wired to care more about their peers’ opinions about anything and everything, but younger kids are ready sponges when it comes to parents’ or caregivers’ thoughts and perspectives about the world.

So start early and talk with your kids frequently about the physical, cognitive, and addictive risks of vaping. For younger children, explaining that these substances can “take your power” or “become the boss of you” may resonate as they consider losing their emerging sense of independence.

If you or your teen are struggling with substance abuse, check out these resources and get connected with The Wise Family! 

Until next time, Be Wise!