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Vaping: What’s a parent to do?

"He honestly did not think there was anything wrong," Kennedy said. "He told me that almost all grade seven were doing it."

And soon he realized that the trend had reached many other children in his orbit: Kennedy, who owns a dance studio in northern California, discovered that most of his dancers had tried to vape. He learned that children vaping at school, taking puffs in their shirts and, in some cases, reloading their e-cigarettes into their teacher's computer, he said.

In the meantime, many parents seemed to forget.

Health experts say parents whose children are vaping often do not know what to do or where to turn for help.

While federal authorities are discussing how to regulate e-cigarettes on a large scale and while the Altria tobacco company invests billions in the Juul electronic cigarette maker, parents are scrambling home to deal with nicotine addiction or to prevent to their children to be attached to something that is omnipresent in many schools. Some are approaching addiction rehabilitation programs in hopes of weaning their children from these products.

"It's all about social media," said Kennedy, and popular with the most famous athletes in his community.

As a mother, Kennedy said, she understands the role peer pressure can play with fashions like electronic cigarettes. And as an athlete's mother ̵

1; Ryder is an avid soccer and basketball player – Kennedy said he knew he had to do something. So he asked a local company to print some shirts with a clear message: "The athletes do not make the vape". He did not know it would happen.

Ryder called his mother the first day he brought his shirt to school, saying some of his friends wanted theirs. Kennedy also shared the photos of the shirt on Facebook and received requests from people in Los Angeles, Sacramento and Canada who wanted the positive message. He also invited local athletes to a photo shoot and posted the results on social media – and they actually showed up on Sunday morning, to his surprise.

"The children's response was the thing that shocked me," Kennedy said.

  Sonya Kennedy began a campaign against the use of youth electronic cigarettes with the slogan
Ben over 500 t-shirts were printed, he said; most were donated in cooperation with Ryder's middle school and Kennedy's ball company, and others continue to be sold at cost. Kennedy said that his goal is to share a positive message and raise awareness among children and parents.
"It may be frightening for some parents [and] to be anxious for parents to realize that their children are vaping," said Pat Aussem, an addictive counselor with the parent coaching program at the no-partnership. profit for children without drugs.

Aussem first tells his parents overwhelmed, "take a deep breath."

An important conversation

"The first thing parents can do is educate yourself," said Meredith Berkman, who co-founded Parents electronic cigarettes last year. Against Vaping when he realized that fashion was hitting close to home – literally.

"I kept hearing the window open," said Berkman, a mother of four in New York. "I realized this was happening at my house."

  Which parents should know about the huge epidemic & # 39; to svapare

Electronic cigarettes, which work by heating a liquid until they vaporize, can be difficult to spot because many seem USB drives and regular pens. The liquid commonly contains different concentrations of nicotine, although some people use devices to vape only marijuana or flavorings.

Experts fear that e-cigarettes may endanger the evolving brain of children, make them fall in love with nicotine early in life and access to smoking and other drugs – but long-term effects are not clear.

"In many cases, parents do not know their children are vaping, or they do not know what's in vape," Aussem said. "There are parents who know their children are vaping, but they assume it's harmless because they think," Oh, it's aromatic. "" How bad can it be? ""

Experts also recommend that parents are familiar with the signs that their children might vap: if they notice a faint smell, for example. Young e-cig users can also show a change in mood, take frequent breaks to take puffs and share vape-related posts on social media, according to experts

Parents can also model good behavior by not fumbling or smoking tobacco on their own, according to the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. And it's important to have an open conversation with your child – listening to the lessons, experts say. It can also be helpful for parents to understand the reasons why their child may fade – such as peer pressure, anxiety or avoiding withdrawal symptoms – in order to encourage healthier ways of responding to those needs, he says. the Partnership.
is that your child has at least heard of the most popular electronic cigarette, Juul, according to a research by Bonnie Halpern-Felsher, founder and executive director of the Stanford Tobacco Prevention Toolkit.
  How Juul & # 39; s program to to teach the vaping students have gone up in smoke

Halpern-Felsher said these conversations could go further simply by telling the children that e-cigarettes hurt them and set clear expectations on the use of drugs. Parents can also discuss how the devices have been marketed in such a way as to attract young people, including advertisements, a vast presence on social media and the variety of flavors they enter.
Ashley Gould, chief administrative officer at Juul Labs CNN in June, "We were completely surprised by the youthful use of the product." The company claimed that its product is intended to convert former adult smokers into what Juul describes as a less harmful alternative and states that he is taking steps to restrict the use of electronic cigarettes by children.

"It was devastating us," said Gould. "This is not a product for young people."

The company, which holds about 75 percent of the US e-cigarette market, has also argued that flavors are a useful tool for helping adult smokers to switch from combustible cigarettes.

Dr. Scott Gottlieb, Commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration, proposed in November to strengthen the agency's policies against electronic cigarette flavored products. These proposals could ultimately require their removal from shelves and websites accessible to minors. But the proposed changes do not include aromas of mint, menthol and tobacco. Gottlieb said he wanted to leave the door open for adults who could use these products to stop smoking cigarettes, "but it can not come at the expense of a generation of nicotine-affected children," he previously told CNN.
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[19659006] Others have argued that there is no conclusive evidence to support this use of flavors.

"Who does not hope for harm reduction for adult smokers?" asked Berkman, of the electronic cigarettes of Parents Against Vaping. Despite what defines a lack of convincing evidence that flavors are playing an instrumental role in adult cessation efforts, Berkman said: "You have concrete and direct evidence that flavors are catching children and that tastes prevent children from perceiving the danger. "
Berkman, whose organization has organized an e-mail campaign for parents to solicit FDA rules such as the ban on e-cig flavors, says he is not promoting to ban Juul altogether. But there's still work to be done – and soon, he said.

"It's happening in real time," he said.

What to Watch

When Dr. Sharon Levy, Director of the Program for the Use and Dependence of Adolescent Substances at the Boston Children's Hospital, started receiving calls from parents across the country describing how electronic cigarettes were hitting their children: "I was extremely skeptical that the problem was Juuling and the use of nicotine," he said.

"I was wondering, are they using other substances, do they use marijuana or something else, or do they have mental disorders?" she said. "I've actually seen enough local children to realize that some of these presentations appear worldwide as psychiatric presentations."

  Teen vape continues to rise as more drugs are used, survey findings

Some of these kids come with anxiety, distraction, headaches and stomach ache, symptoms that Levy rarely says are seen with traditional cigarettes. In children, nicotine addiction may seem very different from adults, he added.

Other symptoms may include increased thirst, epistaxis and mood changes, according to the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids.

Levy said that "almost all" teenagers in his program have some experience with e-cigarettes, but "the news is that we are now seeing patients in the substance use program whose only substance is nicotine . "

"Children are often really struggling with this, and there are not many resources for them," Levy said, adding that many addiction programs may not be able to tackle some of the younger drug addicts who are seeing . Much better would be to ensure that primary care physicians are equipped to work with children in their communities, Levy said.

  Strict licensing requirements for tobacco retailing reduce the risk of using electronic cigarettes for adolescents

Some parents have followed nicotine gum and other cessation tools for their children under the guidance of doctors. Levy said it may be difficult because some children can use these products as a "bridge" between puffs of vapes and tobacco products.

There are no nicotine cessation products approved by the FDA for users of electronic cigarettes under the age of 18, but the agency plans to hold a public hearing to discuss whether to approve drugs to stop smoking. smoking for children in order to get them out of the vapors.

Drugs may be important in some advanced cases, but they are not enough, said Levy; children also need a "good, solid counseling".

"In the end we need to teach children how they can cope with cravings, how they can identify high-risk situations, how they can actually deal with being surrounded by people who are using these things," Levy said. "Because the reality is that, for most children, we treat them and put them back to school, and then they go to the toilet, and everyone is Juuling."

Aussem said parents can also use positive reinforcement to offer their children something "more interesting for them than vaping" and can have negative consequences. But it is important to follow, he added. For example, many parents may threaten to take away their children's phones, only to return them a couple of days later, because it is difficult to reach them.

Aussem also recommended Smokefree Teen, from the National Cancer Institute, which has a smartphone app and text messaging program geared toward teenagers. They may be more likely to quit those they seek without assistance, he said.

For many parents, he said, it is important to understand that there can not be a quick solution.

What is the key, Aussem said, "is it really thinking," how will I intervene and really be willing to see this as a journey? & # 39; "

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