Teen Smoking or Vaping: Tips for Parents

Many smokers start smoking as teenagers. It is important for parents to help their teens avoid getting hooked before smoking or vaping becomes a lifelong problem.

1. If you smoke, quit.

Teens whose parents smoke are more likely to smoke themselves. If you need help quitting, ask your doctor, learn more about Molina Healthcare’s stop smoking program or visit mylifemyquit.com for a program designed just for teens.

2. Tell them no.

Even if they don’t listen, it’s important for your teenager to hear you say that smoking and vaping are not allowed.

3. It’s not just about cigarettes

There are many different ways your teen may start smoking, including vaping, electronic cigarettes, clove cigarettes, water pipes, and more. While these other methods may be less harmful, they still have their own health risks. Plus, many still contain nicotine.

4. Watch out for peer pressure

It will happen, and you can give your teen the tools he or she needs to say “No.” Practice what to say when your teen is in social situations that could turn awkward.

5. Appeal to vanity

Let your teen know that smoking will cause his or her breath, clothes and hair to smell. It also turns fingers and teeth yellow!

6. Explain the costs

The potential health costs of smoking are significant. Smoking can cause cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes complications and other chronic conditions. It can also cost a lot of money. Break out the calculator and help your teen understand how expensive smoking is.

7. Make it personal

Bad things don’t just happen to other people. Tell your teen about family members, friends or even celebrities who have had health issues from smoking.