Vaping: Shedding Light on the Consequences | Toronto Teacher Mom

Vaping: Shedding Light on the Consequences

Friday, July 05, 2019

Vaping: Shedding Light on the Consequences

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Health Canada. Any opinions expressed herein are my own.

There once was a time when my naïve self believed it was better to be ignorant of certain issues. But now, as a mother and an educator, I know the opposite to be true. I recognize that knowledge is a powerful tool and that understanding issues that face us today grants us the ability to make decisions that can drastically affect us, as well as those around us. Once such issue is vaping among youth. When I hear that a growing number of teens are vaping, I get very concerned. Don't they know that vaping can cause lung damage? Or that vaping with nicotine can lead to addiction? Or that we do not yet know the long-term health impacts of vaping? This is why I feel strongly about developing a greater awareness of vaping and connecting with teens in order to shed light on the consequences.

Here are some tips for talking to teens about vaping:

  1. Open the lines of communication. Whether you are a parent of a teen or a teacher who works with teens, it can make a significant difference to teenagers knowing that you can be approached should they have questions or concerns. When speaking to my daughter, I prefer to broach the topic without judgement or criticism, and I certainly avoid scare tactics. It is important that we get the facts and engage in a dialogue rather than a lecture.
  2. Encourage teens to approach the topic with a critical eye. Not all things we hear or read are true. In a world where we are constantly inundated with information, it isn't always easy to decipher fact from fiction. There are risks of vaping that should be considered, such as an increased exposure to harmful chemicals and the potential to develop a nicotine addiction. We need to remind teens to vet their sources and refer to trusted sites such as
  3. Practice assertiveness and refusal skills. A recent Health Canada survey showed that 23% of students in grades 7–12 have tried an electronic cigarette. Since teens may be faced with peer pressure, consider role-playing scenarios and trying out possible refusal techniques while honing in on assertiveness skills. For example, they can practice declining an offer to try vaping by using clear language and a firm voice, mention potential risks they would like to avoid, or find a creative way to change the subject.
  4. Get support. I am learning now more than ever that the old adage rings true: It takes a village to raise a child. Sometimes all it takes is for a qualified professional to say exactly what I've been telling my daughter for her to believe it.  To help shed light on the consequences of vaping, invite your teen to speak to your healthcare provider and other trusted adults such as relatives, teachers, faith leaders, coaches, or counsellors whom you know are aware of the risks of vaping.
I recently came across this video by Jeffrey Chang and loved his message, I wanted to share it with you here. I think this would be a great video to share with teens.

For more information, visit and be sure to bookmark this tip sheet for parents. Teachers may also want to learn more about the Consider the Consequences of Vaping Awareness Tour and request a tour visit. Please note that tours are subject to availability. Requests can also be made for a Consider the Consequences of Vaping awareness kit, which include:

  • Consider the Consequences posters (two copies of each bilingual poster)
  • Consider the Consequences mirror clings (two English and two French)
  • Talking with teens about vaping tip sheet (for teachers)
  • Student Activity Sheet

Alternately, you can download a copy of the tip sheet for teachers and the vaping awareness activity sheet as well as the vaping awareness activity sheet.

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