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Guiding Teenagers Blogs

The Dangers of Vaping in Middle School: A Father's Guide

written by: Daniel Currie

Cover page for blog: Season 4 Episode 4 "Vaping in Middle School"

Guiding Teenagers Bite-Size 3-minute Blogs, best known as GT Mashups

No fancy formats. Opinionated. Based On Facts.

Controversial? Sure. Agree or disagree, it's a topic that demands attention. Let's dive into something that's causing quite a stir in middle schools today—vaping. My stance is clear: vaping is wrong, unhealthy, and dangerous. But as a parent, addressing it can be a bit like walking a tightrope. So, let's get into it, shall we?

It started innocently enough with my son, a bright-eyed eighth grader who's always been more into video games and soccer than anything else. But then, I noticed a shift. A sweet, odd smell frequently covered him when I picked him up, whether at school, a friend's house, or sometimes even practice. The icing on the cake—besides all the obvious signs that leave all parents in denial, crying, "Not my child!"? It was his vape, which he left out carelessly in the water bottle pouch of his book bag. I nearly blew a gasket.

"Dad, it's no big deal," he shrugged, trying to brush it off like it was nothing, trying desperately to play it off cool but to no avail. This was clearly a black-and-white problem; there was no room for gray. After all, this isn't a dirty sock left on the floor—we're talking about his health here. Vaping might seem like a harmless trend, but it's far from it. According to the CDC, e-cigarettes contain harmful substances like nicotine, heavy metals, and volatile organic compounds. These can seriously mess up a young, developing body.

Young teen boy exhaling smoke from vaping

My not-so-little boy, and perhaps even a few of you, may think I overreacted, but let's not kid ourselves; middle schoolers are impressionable. They see older teenagers, peers, and even adults, their role models, vaping, and they begin to think it's cool or a way to fit in. As his dad, my job is to cut through that BS with facts. "Look, buddy," I said, "I get that it might seem harmless, but it's not. This stuff can hurt you in ways unimaginable if you give it time." And here's where I got authoritative but empathetic. He desperately needs to know I'm on his side, even when I'm putting my foot down.

We've all been there, trying to navigate parenthood with a mix of support and tough love. Remember the days when you were in school? The peer pressure, the need to belong? It's no different now, but the stakes are even higher now with new products that we may not have had growing up, such as vaping. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that nearly 30% of teens use some form of vaping device. That's a scary-ass stat!

What's a dad to do? You talk, you listen, and you set boundaries. "I'm not here to make your life miserable," I told him. "I'm here to keep you safe." It's about striking that balance—being there without mollycoddling. He needs to learn to make smart choices on his own, but with the knowledge that I'm always here to guide him.

When I confronted my son about vaping, it wasn't about punishing him. It was about educating him. We sat down, looked up facts together, and talked about the real dangers. Did he roll his eyes? Probably. Did he hear me? I think so. And sometimes, that's enough.

Parents, it's time to step up. Stay informed, stay involved, and don't shy away from these tough conversations. Your kids might not thank you now, but one day, they'll get it—much like you did. Vaping isn't just a phase; it's a health risk. And as the adults in their lives, we've got to lead by example and with firm, supportive guidance.

So here's my takeaway: Be there for your kids. Understand their world, but don't be afraid to set the rules. Educate them, support them, and be the rock they need. Vaping in middle school is a real issue, but with open communication and a bit of tough love, we can help our kids navigate these choppy waters safely.

I hope you enjoyed Vaping in Middle School!

Until next time, check out other Mashups!


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Originally Written on: June 12, 2024



CDC: Smoking and Tobacco use, E-Cigarettes (Vapes)

CDC: Smoking and Tobacco use, E-Cigarette Use Among Youth

American Cancer Society, What Do We Know About E-cigarettes?

What We Know About Electronic Cigarettes

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