AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Tobacco Free Amarillo has a ‘What You Need To Know and How To Talk With Your Kids About Vaping’ guide on their website provided by The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids.
One of Tobacco Free Amarillo’s board members, Trudy Tripp Smith, is a mom herself and shares some ways parents can approach the topic with their kids.
The guide provides contains basic information about vaping, the different types of products and shows why it’s so appealing to teens.
There's also a section of 'what to say' when your teen asks certain questions about it.
“If they come home from school and say ‘Well, Joe said I could try his vape. What am I supposed to say?’, and, you know, just be direct to them,” said Smith. “You can say, ‘You guys can, but I’m not going to.’ Be the stronger one in the group. Know it’s not safe and it’s okay to be strong and to not be that person.”
Smith said Tobacco Free Amarillo has provided educational materials to high school counselors and works with Student Crime Stoppers of Amarillo in promoting the P3 Tip App.
Students can use it to report the use of vaping devices.
“They go in on the P3 tip app, log in and fill out all the information and then the officer liaison on the school grounds is then alerted,” said Smith.
As a mother herself, Smith makes sure to use Google alerts to stay informed about the latest reports on vaping.
“When I find things that have happened to kids that are my kids’ age, I share it with them. It’s not always a hard one-on-one conversation,” said Smith.
She shares what she knows with her kids in the car or just walking around the kitchen.
“Every now and then when we’re driving to school, she’ll tell me about, you know, recent stuff she’s heard. She’ll tell me just stuff to discourage me from ever trying it,” said Smith’s eighth grader son David Tripp.
Smith said it’s also important for parents to know the facts before having a conversation.
“You’ve got to let them know that it’s just not safe. It’s not safe to start,” she said. “If you’re a non-smoker, you’ve never been addicted to nicotine, it’s not safer. It’s not safe at all.”
Tobacco Free Amarillo encourages anyone who has any concerns about how to talk with their kids about vaping to shoot them an email or contact them on Facebook.