A message to parents from Dr. Vivek H. Murthy about the value of our kids' health and well-being.
You can talk to your children or other young people you know about the dangers of e-cigarettes. Tell them about the harm that nicotine in any form can do to their growing brain. Let them know that you have a strong stance against them using any tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, now or in the future. Even if you have used tobacco yourself, they will listen if you discuss your struggles with nicotine addiction.
Sometimes adults need help to start the conversation about health topics they're not familiar with, like e-cigarettes. This tip sheet offers ideas for conversation starters, if you need a little help. Print it for yourself or share it with your children. Ask them what they think after reading the tip sheet.
Videos are a great way to share information with youth. Watch or share this video with your child. Use the video as a conversation starter.
You can share the facts straight from the source – the Surgeon General. This fact sheet features key findings from the Surgeon General's Report on e-cigarette use among youth and young adults that you can share with your child.
Parents and other adults can do their part to reduce young people's exposure to e-cigarettes.
Don't let anyone use e-cigarettes or other tobacco products around young people. Not only are they watching the behaviors of others as an example, but they're also at risk of exposure to nicotine and other chemicals that can be harmful to their health.
Avoid restaurants and other locations that allow use of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.
Check with your school administration to ensure your child's school, college, or university is completely tobacco-free, including being free of e-cigarettes.
Make your home and vehicles tobacco-free by prohibiting use of all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, by family members, friends, and guests. This is an important step to fully protect your children from exposure to secondhand cigarette smoke or secondhand aerosol from e-cigarettes.
Be an example to youth by living tobacco-free. Even if you're quitting tobacco, share the reasons why you want to be tobacco-free and ask for support in your journey.
A visit to a health care professional is a great chance to educate your child on the potential risks of e-cigarette use. Ask your provider to discuss these health risks, including nicotine addiction, the impact of nicotine on the developing brain, and the dangers of using other substances (like marijuana) in e-cigarette devices.