Skip to main content

Has your teen start vaping? 5 tips that will help get them to quit

If you recently found out your teen started vaping, you may be naturally concerned, but you’re not alone. More than one in four high schoolers vaped in 2019, a number climbing higher each year.

There is a misconception that e-cigarettes are less dangerous or addictive than cigarettes, but 99 percent of e-cigarettes contain nicotine, which is not only addictive but can harm a teen’s still-developing brain. One Juul pod contains as much nicotine as 20 cigarettes. They also contain other harmful substances, including cancer-causing chemicals and heavy metals such as lead.

Helping your teen quit is extremely important, but it can be difficult due to nicotine addiction and social pressure. However, with support and patience, it can be done. We’ve put together tips and resources to help you on your journey of supporting your teen to quit vaping.

Teen boy vaping outside
Aleksandr Yu / Shutterstock

Is quitting vaping hard?

E-cigarettes do contain nicotine like cigarettes do, so it can be quite hard to quit. Robin Koval, CEO, and president of Truth Initiative told NPR, “Two-thirds of [youth and young adults ages 15-24] didn’t realize JUUL always has nicotine. Many of them started vaping thinking it was just great flavors and water vapor. They certainly didn’t sign up to become addicted.”

Vaping withdrawal physical symptoms can last up to three to four weeks. Symptoms after that time are typically psychological.

However, quitting can be done. This is Quitting, an e-cigarette quit program for teens and young adults from Truth Initiative shows good results.

According to the program: “More than 70,000 young people enrolled in the program in 2019 and, according to preliminary data published in Nicotine & Tobacco Research, after just two weeks of using the program, more than half — 60.8% — reported that they had reduced or stopped using e-cigarettes.” Those are very encouraging odds for just two weeks of effort. To access, the program, text “DITCHJUUL” to 88709.

Quitting vaping is made easier with support, information, and a plan, and there are many resources out there to help. These at are especially for teens.

Teen girl vaping near a blue wall
Aleksandr Yu / Shutterstock

Tips to help your teen stop vaping

Having your support will help your teen be successful in their quest to quit vaping. Koval says not to shame or punish your child out of vaping, but to be encouraging.

Here are five tips on how you can help your teen quit vaping.

  1. Offer support instead of scolding them. You may want to punish your teen but they’re more likely to quit with your help than if it feels like you’re against them.
  2. Be patient. Quitting and withdrawal can cause irritability, so be ready for it and know that if your teen is lashing out, it may not be entirely in their control.
  3. Have them get the quitSTART app. It’s a free product of that can help.
  4. Ask them what is going on in their life that made them start vaping. Keep talking about these issues, since they are the most likely to make them relapse.
  5. Encourage them to think about their motivation for quitting. If you’re the one leading them to quit, educate them on the health risks and other reasons to quit so that they also want to quit on their own.

Being anxious, stressed, or depressed can lead your teen to vape again, so talk with them about what they can do to deal with those feelings instead of vaping and consider if therapy could help. There are many other potential triggers for wanting to vape, such as seeing others vape, that you can talk through how to handle. You should also be aware of where they are getting the money to buy vaping supplies and how much they’re spending on vaping.

Loop in your teen’s pediatrician as well since this is a health concern. While we don’t know the long-term effects of vaping as well since it hasn’t been around as long, the effects of smoking can be improved once you quit. For example, you’re half as likely to die from lung cancer ten years after quitting smoking as a smoker.

With these resources, patience, encouragement, and a stable commitment, you can help your teen quit vaping. Make sure to educate them on why they need to quit and provide them with all the tools possible so that they’re able to do it and stay successful long-term.

Editors' Recommendations

Sarah Prager
Sarah is a writer and mom who lives in Massachusetts. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, National…
What is the average screen time for teens? You might be surprised
Know when to worry about your teen's screen time
A group of kids on their phones.

How much time kids spend in front of a screen is always a hot-button topic for parents. Constantly questioning how much is too much, how young is too young for handing over a tablet, and whether there should there be limits on devices are a few worries a parent has to think of. Although parents can monitor screen time more easily when their children are younger, by the time kids become teenagers, parents feel a lot less in control of limits, and the average screen time for teens could become a battle.

So how much is too much screen time for teens? Parents may be surprised to learn just how long the average teen is spending in front of a screen. There are ways to help manage teen screen time without making kids feel like it's a negative thing, especially if you sit them down and explain some of the effects staring at a screen has on their productivity and development. We'll break down the teen screen time battle to arm parents with the knowledge needed to set boundaries at home.

Read more
5 genius house rules for teenagers you’ll wish you’d adopted yesterday
Make life easier with these rules
Teenage girls eating pizza happily together.

Regardless of how much eye-rolling and verbal protest they will be met with, having a set of house rules for teens to abide by is important. Establishing these house rules for teenagers presents a challenge to both parents and teens, but it’s a necessary step toward teaching your kids a vital life skill — which is taking accountability for one’s actions. You’re also keeping your teen grounded in reality by establishing boundaries and communicating the message that every place and every situation has ground rules and that they are accountable for following theirs.

House rules may be a pain for your kids, but implementing them doesn't have to be. We've compiled some great ideas that’ll make the process less painful. Furthermore, if you involve your teen in setting up the rules and consequences, then most likely, you’ll get more buy-in.

Read more
These are the college planning tips parents need to know for their teens
When the time arrives, these tips will come in handy
Excited freshman girl

If you're the parent of a high school student, the college years aren't as far away as you may think. When teens are freshmen, most of the focus is on helping kids adjust to the demands of high school. By the end of sophomore year, it's time to start thinking about college.

While it might seem early, it's actually not. Senior year will be here before you know it. As a parent of a teen, it can be difficult to know when to start prepping for the SATs or when to book those college visits. Planning for college is a stressful process for parents and teens. Having college planning tips helps make the undertaking less daunting, especially if this is your first child in high school. College planning also keeps you and your high schooler on track.

Read more