This blog shares information for parents realizing “my teen is vaping!”, and seeking support to navigate this. Vape products have been, and continue to be, increasingly popular among adolescents. Although only adults of legal age are allowed to purchase these, your teen may still be finding ways to acquire them.
Vapes are electronic devices that contain nicotine and usually have a tasty flavored vapor. Popular flavors include those of everyday sweet flavors: candy, fruit, icecream, and more. Vapes also have significantly high amounts of nicotine, making them even more addictive. Usually, one vape can contain more nicotine than a pack of cigarettes.
Vaping can have serious health consequences, including lung disease, heart disease, lung scarring or collapse, and more. The sooner your teen stops vaping, the better. However, that’s not always the case. It is very difficult to stop vaping without their own determination to, and having structured support systems.
Teen therapy in Simi Valley provides your teen with a non-judgmental space. Click here to read our blog on 3 Benefits of Teen Therapy!
My Teen is Vaping: Why are they vaping?
Common reasons for vaping include mental health struggles, such as anxiety, depression, ADHD, trauma, and more. Your teen may lack necessary coping skills to manage emotions without the use of substances. Vapes can almost become like a pacifier.
There could be social pressure; but not necessarily peer pressure. It could be that their social circle really likes vaping and are not interested in quitting anytime soon. Your teen may be pressuring themselves by thinking, “Well, they’re smoking, so why should I stop?”.
The temptation to smoke together and have several vape options to share may be strong. There also may be a desire to fit in with others who vape. Teen therapy in Simi Valley, CA helps your teen identify their individual reasons behind vaping. Make sure to read our blog on Talking to Your Teen About Drugs and Alcohol – a must read!
My Teen is Vaping: Acknowledge that even if you take their vape away, they may get another one
Unfortunately, even with the legal age limit to purchase vapes, your teen may still have loopholes to buying them. Some shops may illegally sell these products to minors without asking for an I.D. Vapes can also be purchased online, or through the vape “plug”, or supplier to teens.
If they acquired a vape somehow, it’s likely that they may be able to get another one. As a parent, you’ll want to keep taking any away that you find, or make them destroy the vape. While this can discourage them from getting rid of it, it may not be enough to help them understand.
It’s important for you as a parent to not panic, or immediately turn to discipline. Of course, vaping is not safe for teens (or, really anybody). You don’t want your teen vaping at all, and want to put a stop to this. While you can set up boundaries with your teen, it’s also important to help them decide what their future will look like with vaping.
My Teen is Vaping: Create a space for a non-judgmental and open minded conversation
As mentioned before, there are common reasons for teens to be vaping. Some include mental health struggles, while others may be due to a sense of wanting to fit-in. Your teen may not be fully open to talking about it at first. They may be worried about being disciplined, or want to avoid being lectured.
You may want to start the conversation off by letting them know that you are aware of their habit. You’re not here to judge them or change their mind, but enlighten them on your personal concerns. For example, you can tell them, “I care about you a lot, and I know that vapes can be really harmful. I don’t want to see anything happen to you because of them”.
As a parent, you may have personal experiences with smoking. This could be through a past smoking of cigarettes, or watching family members get sick as a result of smoking. You can share your experiences and lived through, unfortunate events.
It could be that your teen is just totally shut off from talking to you about it. With the help of a teen therapist, you two can work through difficult conversations. Teen therapy in Simi Valley, Ca also seeks to involve parents as much as possible. At New Leaf, we believe in everyone feeling supported. Read our blog on Why is My Teen So Angry?
My Teen is Vaping: Offer them mental health support by seeing a therapist
Offering your teen mental health support is a great way to address vaping. In teen therapy, they will be able to learn and strengthen coping skills and strategies. Currently, your teen may be coping through vaping only. They may also be hitting their vape out of boredom or a lack of stimulation.
The main goal for therapy may not be for them to quit vaping. However, we can address the issues that are contributing to their vaping behaviors. If they are anxious, their first instinct may be to grab their vape. Your teen will practice self-reflection and engage in exercises to strengthen their coping skills.
Being able to reflect on all of this with a third-party can feel freeing and comforting. Aside from the vape, they may really want to talk about other topics. They may be struggling with self-esteem, friendship issues, school, family issues, and much more. When they can heal from these, they may depend less on using a vape to cope.
Are there certain beliefs they hold about their vape and its ability to help them feel better? What does vaping mean to them? If a friend came to them for advice to stop vaping, what would they say? What can they do, themselves, to stop vaping? These are all questions that can be asked in teen therapy.
In-person therapy in Simi Valley is ideal for those seeking a separate, safe space from their home. Check out our blog on Online Therapy or In Office Therapy to understand what format is best for you. Another great blog to read is ours on if you need Therapy or Medication to address your issues.
By seeking out support, you can begin your journey to feeling relief. You don’t have to go through finding the right level of support alone, either.
Consider calling our therapy group at (805) 774-1506 for a free consultation on how you or a loved one can get started today!
Seek out a validating, safe environment with us today. We will help you get to where you want to be. Our therapists provide trauma therapy, teen therapy, individual adult therapy, LGBTQIA+ therapy, anxiety therapy, depression therapy, family therapy, and more in-office in Simi Valley, CA.