How to Help Your Child Quit Vaping

While there are no formal clinical guidelines established for helping youth quit vaping just yet, a number of helpful strategies have been proposed.

1. Educate yourself.

Nicotine is an addictive chemical found in tobacco and vaping liquids.It has negative effects on the developing brains of youth.Consult these valuable resources for more information:

2. Try to see electronic cigarettes from the perspective of your teenager.

  • Canadian students in grades 7 – 12 perceive less risk to regularly using  e-cigarettes with nicotine than to regularly smoking cigarettes.
  • Recognize that your child may be addicted to nicotine.  His or Her behaviour may therefore be a result of dealing with withdrawal and/or cravings. 

3. Involve your child in an open conversation.

  • Choose a time and place where you will both feel relaxed such as riding in the car or sitting at the dinner table.
  • Ask open-ended questions that encourage participation and avoid defensiveness.  Sample conversation starters include:
  • What do you think about vaping?
  • Are a lot of kids vaping at your school? 
  • Are your friends vaping?
  • Do you know what is in electronic cigarettes?
  • Do you know how vaping can damage your health?
  • Do you know the other ways vaping affects your life?

Correct any misconceptions with facts.  Here are some facts you can share:

  • “Vaping is still harmful, even if it could be safer than smoking cigarettes.”
  • “E-juice contains chemicals, flavourings, and often nicotine.  When this liquid is heated, many chemicals are produced, some of which may cause cancer, lung disease, and heart disease.”
  • “Nicotine is addictive and harmful to the developing brain.  Nicotine exposure during youth can cause problems with concentration, learning, and impulse control.”
  • “It is illegal for anyone to sell, purchase, or give a vaping product to anyone under 19 years old.”
  • “Vaping is not allowed in all places that smoking is not allowed.  This applies to inside schools and on school property.”

Explain how e-cigarettes may be addictive.

  • Try to get them to recognize the compulsive aspect of their behaviour.
  • Ideally, the goal is to encourage them to want to quit for their own health and wellbeing.
  • Avoid lecturing or using scare tactics.

4. Be supportive.

  • Let your child know that you are an ally, not the enemy.
  • Contact the Newfoundland and Labrador Smokers’ Helpline for info, support and counseling. 
  • Consult with your family doctor or other health care provider to address any possible underlying issues (ex:  anxiety and depression) and possible treatment options.
  • Suggest sports, beloved hobbies, yoga and/or meditation as alternate activities to help deal with cravings/withdrawal.

5. Set a positive example.

  • Be honest about your own use of tobacco and/or vaping products, if applicable.  Discuss risks, difficulties, health effects and any regrets from your own experience.  Explain when and why you started using these products, how you thought they would make you feel, and any health effects you are experiencing.
  • If you are vaping as part of a quit plan, tell your child about it.  Share how difficult it can be to overcome nicotine addiction. 
  • If you do not yet have a quit plan, get help.  It is never too late to quit!  The Newfoundland and Labrador Smokers’ Helpline has free support and information available online, by phone, text, email, and a web-based app.

6. Keep the conversation going.

  • Be prepared to discuss vaping on several occasions and in various locations.
  • Bring up the subject when you have the time and opportunity to do so.
  • Expect the conversation to evolve with your child as he/she matures and his/her pressures change.
  • Be aware that these conversations can set the stage for discussions about alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, and other drugs and risky behaviour

More information on the topic of Vaping and youth prevention from:

Health Canada


Page Last Updated: 16/09/2020