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Q&A 16-year-old son vaping


I caught my 16-year-old son vaping. I explained that this is not allowed and discussed the harmful effects. I found out through reading his texts that he was doing it again, had purchased products and was even buying vape products for other kids. I confronted him, took it all away and made it very clear that it is not allowed. He even gets to stain the fence this summer! He said he vapes because he thinks it's fun and seems to be popular in our community. I'm afraid he will just lie about it and do it somewhere else with his friends. Is vaping a trend we can hope to see go away in the near future?


teens vaping

We're glad to hear you talked about the harmful effects of vaping with your son. What's scary is that it is still a new concept, as cigarettes were back in the day, so the long-term effects of vaping ​are yet to be known, but there likely will be some, as those who vape are still inhaling nicotine in liquid form.

It sounds like your son definitely broke a house rule of yours and was delivered a consequence due to the infraction. He may have broken a state law, too. Every state is different and taking measures to put age requirements on vaping. You would need to check your state's laws to see if that may be a deterrent for your son.

When this trend will go away is truly unknown. As new trends develop, kids will gravitate to the newest and hippest, so, for now, it's best to continue to lay out clear expectations and consequences, and continually teach by reiterating your rules and concerns, sharing stories in which vaping caused harm or legal trouble, and monitoring his behaviors by checking his cellphone, conducting a random room search, and keeping in contact with parents whose homes he visits.

Remember, if your son lies, he earns himself another consequence. To "tie it to his crime," so to speak, and increase monitoring even more, you might drive by where he says he is, no longer allow overnights, obtain access to all phone/internet passwords, or even test him by asking questions you already know the answers to in order to see whether he is being honest with you. Hopefully this gives you a few ​ideas.