Resources help parents have conversations about ending teen e-cigarette use
Today, the American Heart Association, the world's leading nonprofit organization focused on heart and brain health for all, Hopelab and All Mental Health launched research-backed tools to help parents navigate nuanced and often difficult conversations about the youth vaping epidemic.
According to the 2019 National Youth Tobacco Survey, 5 million youth report having used e-cigarettes in the past 30 days and nearly one million report using them daily. "Talk Vaping With Your Teen" resources provide a framework for parents to have calm, curious and respectful conversations, while providing clear and straightforward information to help their teen quit. Parents who can express an understanding of the challenges teens are up against, as it relates to vaping, are able to build trust and lead to better intervention.
"The youth vaping epidemic is one of the most significant public health concerns for our nation. Millions of young people are vaping and facing a lifetime of potential addiction and other long-term health effects," said Rose Marie Robertson, M.D, FAHA, the American Heart Association's deputy chief science and medical officer. "At the American Heart Association, we have heard from many young people who want to quit vaping but may have concerns or even be afraid to talk to their parents or other adults."
The free information is available in two formats.
- A one-month emailed course, which provides weekly emails with the latest research about vaping, strategies for how to talk with a teen and techniques to ease the stress related to these conversations. This format is ideal for parents who want a consistent reminder and ongoing information. Parents interested in the emailed course can sign up at allmentalhealth.org/vaping.
- A "Talk Vaping With Your Teen" web app is a resource for parents ready to engage in conversations with their teen who need information right away to support the dialogue. The web app is compatible to both iOS and Android devices and can be accessed at talkvaping.allmentalhealth.org.
"It is now quite clear that vaping is not safe for teens making this a critical topic facing families today," says Danielle Ramo, Ph.D., Hopelab's director of research. "Helping parents to be prepared and knowledgeable about teen vaping will lead to better support and action. We are taking a step beyond telling parents to have a conversation with their child, to supporting them in those conversations for maximum results."