Talking to Kids About Vaping


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Diane Ainsworth
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Modern girl smoking vape

It’s concerning to know in WA, around 14% of 12 to 17-year-olds have tried e-cigarettes.  It’s even more alarming to see instances of vaping occurring in younger, primary school aged children too.

For parents and educators, it can be a challenge to know how to raise the topic in a productive way that cuts through enough to help young people stop and think about their decisions – especially when they are faced with social dilemmas.

It is an issue that demands attention and needs to be discussed. Below, we have listed some ideas on how to help get the conversation flowing.

Look for ways to openly discuss vaping in a calm and reasonable way

Finding an opportunity to talk about vaping in an informal and non-judgemental environment is a always a positive step.

Current news articles, health research findings, discussions about peer group pressure and stories linked to vaping are some of the ways we can open up the conversation and gain a greater insight into young peoples’ thoughts on and experiences with vaping.

The recent media coverage about a joint operation between WA Health and WA Police Department, seizing 950 vaping products in our southwest presents a relevant discussion point.

In addition to highlighting the negative impacts on health, it is also a springboard for talking to children and young people about making good life choices and informing them about vaping legislation in WA.

Inform them of the facts

Find out what they know about vaping or what they think they know about it.  Ensure they are armed with the correct information.

In a conversational and open way, present them with factual information from verified and independent sources such as WA Health .

Put yourself in their shoes

Kids may find the idea of vaping appealing for any number of reasons. Perhaps they are curious, maybe they think it’s cool and want to fit in, or it could be a relief from anxiety.

Unless we really take the time to listen and put ourselves in their shoes, we won’t really know what drives them to vape or consider doing so.

If some of the underlying reasons can be bought to the fore, actual progressive discussions can begin.

Asking questions like “What do you like about vaping?” and “How does it make you feel?” can highlight a child has needs that could be addressed in healthier ways.

Role play and Theatrical Education

Arm them with a toolbox of peer pressure resistance skills.

At some stage of their lives, kids are likely to be in social situations where they are offered drugs, alcohol and vapes.

Role play and theatrical education are powerful tools for school children and teens faced with these situations.

Presenting them with entertaining and relevant content provides opportunities for them to practice what they would do and empower them to come up with their own ideas on how they could handle. social situations.

Check out Constable Care Foundations offering for Secondary School students.

The  Youth Choices Films Program showcases a range of interactive films, dealing with hard-hitting topics such as peer pressure, bullying and alcohol and substance abuse. These interactive videos take the viewer on a journey where they ultimately choose the final outcome by the decisions they make throughout the video.

Rapid Response Theatre offers a safe, creative solution for the growing problem of vaping in young West Australians, where they explore and resolve problems in real time. It is an effective and engaging medium of theatre, available for upper primary and secondary audiences.

To make a booking, or find out more, contact us: