Smoking and vaping
- Young people who smoke in their teens are more likely to continue smoking as adults and so they are also more susceptible to the long term harms of tobacco.
- Impact of smoking on health:
- Children and young people who smoke are two to six times more susceptible to coughs, increased phlegm and wheezing compared to non-smokers.
- Smoking can impact on the growth of the lungs of children and young people, and is a known cause of asthma related symptoms in both childhood and adolescence.
- Why do children/young people smoke? Common reasons are
- peer pressure and to fit in,
- influenced by their parents who may smoke,
- to appear as more grown up,
- social media influence.
- How to help your child/young person?
- Be a positive role model by not smoking yourself,
- Discuss smoking with your child/young person as part of day to day conversation rather than one big discussion,
- Prevent your child from purchasing them or having the means to purchase them if you are concerned.
- Educate your child/young person about the impact of smoking, reduced fitness levels, stained teeth and fingers, coughing and wheezing, wasting money and addiction.
- What is Vaping?
- This is the inhaling and exhaling of an aerosol produced by a vaping product, whether it be an electronic cigarette or vape.
- A vape is a battery powered device that heats liquid solution to create vapour.
- There are many different device names. Examples include: Mods, Vapes, Sub-Ohms, Vape Pens, E-Hookahs, Tank Systems, Electronic Cigarettes/E-Cigarettes, and Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS).
- Why do children/young people vape?
- This can be because of curiosity, peer pressure, boredom, normalised by seeing family and friends doing it, addiction, flavours of vapes, devices are seen as trendy or the user simply does not see the harm in vaping.
- Effects on Health
- coughing and wheezing,
- inflammation of lungs,
- increased heart rate,
- increased blood pressure,
- nicotine can alter brain development,
- for those under 25 it can impact on memory, ability to concentrate, personality and emotional control.
- Those who vape can become reliant on nicotine as it is highly addictive.
- Don’t be afraid to ask Questions:
- What do they think about vaping?
- Do they know people who vape?
- Why do they think people Vape?
- What do you enjoy about vaping?
- How does vaping make you feel?
- Knowing the answer to these questions will help you understand their needs and help them meet them in a different way.
- Listen to them. Learn from them, but also use your own knowledge to help them understand the facts and that vapes are not harmless.
- If you know of anyone who does sell vapes or tobacco illegally, you can report them to trading standards through the Citizens Advice online portal
- Children and Young people can find out more information on vaping on the FRANK website
The Healthy Family Service provides information and signposting to specialist services for parents and young people who wish to stop smoking.
We will often ask you about your smoking status and interest in stopping or changing smoking habits. We will direct you to useful websites and other resources and can refer you to a local stopping smoking support service.
Guidance and helpful information
Evidence suggests that you are more likely to be successful in quitting if you access a combination of support and treatment. Treatment choices depend on your personal preference, age, whether you are pregnant or breastfeeding, and any other medical conditions you might have.
A previous failed attempt does not mean that you will not be successful in quitting.
It can be helpful to identify/understand any triggers or habits in your smoking patterns.
Other things that can help include:
- Setting a clear date and telling people about it
- Getting rid of all related products on quit day
- Make a list of all the reasons for quitting. What is motivating you?
- Get active. Taking part in physical activity can be helpful
- Think of other ways to keep you hands and mouth busy!
- Save the money you would have spent on cigarettes and use this for a treat
- Consider whether your friends smoke and how friends can support or hinder you
- Think positive
Reducing the amount that you smoke still has an immediate improvement on your health now and in the future.
Find out how quickly you’ll notice the benefits of stopping. For example:
- After 48 hours there is no nicotine in the body. Your ability to taste and smell is improved
- After 3-9 months, coughs, wheezing and breathing problems improve as lung function increases by up to 10%
- After 10 years your risk of lung cancer falls to half that of a smoker
The impacts of passive smoking are now governed in law specifically around the health and wellbeing of young children. This includes no longer smoking in cars with children.
Who might my child or I see?
A member of the Healthy Family Team may ask you about your smoking status when they see you to ask about your interest and motivation in making any changes.
What do I do next?
Speak to a member of your Healthy Family Team or your GP if you would like to find out more about your local smoking cessation support services.