Is My Child Addicted to Vape?

Vaping is a dangerous habit with potentially lifelong impacts on your child’s health. Directly asking your child about their vaping habit is one approach you may take if you suspect they are using e-cigarettes. However, there are other signs that may help you determine if your child is addicted to e-cigarettes.

How to Know if Your Child Is Addicted to Vape

It’s a common misconception that vaping is non-addictive and a safer alternative to cigarettes.

In fact, many of the e-liquids that fuel vaping devices contain habit-forming nicotine. This is especially concerning for those under 25, whose developing brains are more susceptible to damage from nicotine.

There are several warning signs you can look for if you suspect your child is addicted to vaping. Confirmation of your fears should lead to a deeper talk about the dangers of e-cigarettes.

How to Spot a Nicotine Addiction

Nicotine is a chemical that releases dopamine in the brain with each puff of a cigarette or vape. This trains the brain to crave the release of dopamine and forms an addictive cycle that is tough to break.

Attempts to quit using nicotine may lead to withdrawal symptoms like: 

  • Strong cravings
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Anger
  • Insomnia

How to Help Your Child Quit Vaping

In spite of the difficulties, it is possible for your child to quit vaping. Providing resources and support will go a long way toward making it happen.

Educate Yourself and Your Child

Understanding the signs and symptoms of nicotine withdrawal, the hazards of nicotine addiction and vaping, and how to effectively quit all contribute to your child’s success.

For instance, while vaping is touted as a cigarette replacement, some e-liquids carry as much nicotine as regular cigarettes.

The popular e-cigarette manufacturer JUUL Labs, Inc. claims its products deliver nicotine up 2.7 faster than other brands. This may come as a surprise to those who think they are just enjoying the flavoring.

A survey by the Truth Initiative found that over 60% of JUUL users did not know e-cigarettes contain nicotine.

Research on the dangers of vaping is limited because the practice is relatively new. However, early studies have already shown links between vaping and worsening asthma, as well as exposure to dangerous particles, metals, and brain-stunting nicotine.

In addition, teens who vape may be more likely to turn to cigarettes and addictive substances later in life.

Provide Resources to Quit

The same resources that help people quit smoking traditional cigarettes are often just as effective at quitting vaping.

Techniques that may help your child quit vaping include:  

  • Exercise: Moving around and getting physical exercise can release the same kind of endorphins your brain craves from nicotine addiction. This can be as simple as a walk around the block, hitting the batting cages, or doing yoga in their bedroom.
  • Distractions: Cravings only grow stronger the longer you think about them. Take your mind off the temptation through small tasks like doodling, writing, playing a game, or listening to music.
  • Identify triggers: Smoking is usually centered around an activity or a certain time in their day. This could be drinking, finishing a meal, or chatting with friends. Knowing when those cravings are likely to hit may help them anticipate a craving.

There are also online communities and digital resources like the EX Community through the Truth Initiative that provide support groups.

Be Supportive

Quitting vaping can be tough. Your support in these challenging times speaks volumes and demonstrates your genuine concern for your child’s wellbeing.

Tips on providing support to your child include: 

  • Celebrate small steps: Milestones (i.e., six months clean) are a great way to show your support. However, overcoming an addiction can be a minute-by-minute proposition at times, so don’t overlook the importance of spontaneous celebrations, too. Going out for ice cream after a stressful week of exams or going to a movie with a couple of friends are subtle yet powerful ways to show your support.
  • Embrace failures: There are going to be days your child slips — that’s okay. By providing forgiveness and affirmation, your child is much more likely to come to you again and be honest about their mistakes. This network of support is critical to cutting the vaping habit.

Help Your Child by Knowing the Risks of Vaping

Vaping is a dangerous activity with long-term health consequences. Knowing the warning signs allows you to intervene early and help your child kick the habit before it leads to something even more serious.

If your child has been hurt by an addiction to vaping, start your free legal case review today.

Author:Vape Danger Editorial Team
Vape Danger Editorial Team

Vape Danger helps people understand the dangers of vape and e-cigarette products. Vaping devices are marketed as a safe alternative to traditional cigarettes. However, vape pens and other devices may cause serious injuries and illnesses. The Vape Danger editorial team provides the latest studies and data to help readers make informed health and legal choices.

Last modified: August 26, 2019

View 3 References
  1. Feliz, Josie (2018, Nov. 28) Partnership for Drug-Free Kids Launches Vaping Resource for Parents. Retrieved from https://drugfree.org/newsroom/news-item/partnership-for-drug-free-kids-launches-vaping-resource-for-parents/

  2. Truth initiative (2018, Feb. 7) 6 tips for people trying to quit smoking. Retrieved from https://truthinitiative.org/research-resources/quitting-smoking-vaping/6-tips-people-trying-quit-smoking

  3. Truth initiative (2019, Feb. 21) Is your kid using JUUL or another e-cigarette? Here’s how you can help them quit. Retrieved from https://truthinitiative.org/research-resources/quitting-smoking-vaping/your-kid-using-juul-or-another-e-cigarette-heres-how-you