Want to help make sure your kids don’t start vaping? Sitting down with them to talk about setting goals may help, according to a new study. It finds that adolescents who have goals and a strong relationship with their parents are less likely to try vaping or traditional tobacco products.
Researchers with the Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh started by surveying 25-hundred high school kids about if they use e-cigarettes or smoke regular tobacco products and how often they do it. And 27% of the teens polled said they had vaped in the last month. Study authors looked at whether one of these “protective factors” affects the teens’ decision to vape or smoke: future orientation, parental monitoring, social support and school connectedness.
Study results show that future orientation - which includes hopes and goals for the future - and parental monitoring have the biggest impact on lowering the chances of vaping. Those two factors contribute to a 10% to 25% drop in the odds a kid will start vaping. Social support and school connectedness weren’t found to affect the chance a youth will start vaping, but all four protective factors do help reduce the chance of them starting to use a tobacco product. So while parents can’t completely control what their kids do as they get older and become more independent, study author Dr. Alison Culyba points out the findings can “help encourage open conversations with their kids about what they’re encountering.”