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The Problem with Vapes

  • The truth is kids and teens are more exposed to vaping than most people realize. (1) 


  • Vapes are easy to get, easy to hide, and easy to use.

  • Some are small and designed to look like USB drives or pens. Others have a novel look that non-users may not recognize. This is a big problem.


  • An even bigger problem is that vape liquids are filled with addictive nicotine and chemicals that have been shown to cause lung injury.

  • These ingredients are harmful and can damage young brains and growing bodies. And we still don’t know the long-term effects of vaping.

Facts About Vaping for Parents

What You Can Do

  • The best thing you can do is educate yourself about vapes and have open and continuous conversations with your kids about them.


  • They want your guidance and want you to help them make good choices.

  • This is great news for you!

What you should know about

Middle School Kids

  • Middle schoolers will stand their ground.

  • Pre-teens are NOT OK with people vaping around them.

  • They believe vapes are VERY HARMFUL.

  • They ARE confident they can say "no" to vapes.

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Middle schoolers want their parents to speak with them about vapes.

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Helpful Tip:

This is the perfect time to be open, honest, and encourage them to make the right decisions!

What you should know about

High School Teens

  • Teens think everyone is vaping.

  • Teens' perceptions can be influenced by social media and novel events, but the truth is, vaping is not as prevalent as they believe.

  • Many teens say that they do not feel it is their place to judge others for doing it, and justify the reasons why others choose to vape. They are hesitant to confront someone vaping around them, even if they are uncomfortable.

  • They ARE NOT confident that they can say "no" to vapes.

  • Many teens say that when they vape they’re taking a break from the stress they’re under.

  • Some said it might be uncomfortable to talk with parents about vaping, but they’re open to it.

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Helpful Tip:

This is a great time to support your teen's individualism and reinforce their power to make their own decisions!

Which Kids Are Vaping?

Which Kids Are Vaping?


There is no "typical" vaper.

It can be any kid.

6.0% of Texas middle school kids*

18.9% of Texas high school kids*

24.7% of New Mexico high school kids*

*Vaped in the past 30 days.  (3) 

Talk With Your Kids

How to Start a Conversation (4) 

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If you’re waiting for the right moment, it will never come. In using the resources provided here, you’ll be ready to start at any moment.

  • Say something if you see someone vaping or if you see a vape advertisement. Ask your child if they’ve seen vapes at their schools.

  • Ask if they’ve seen vape videos pop up while they’re on social media.

  • Be curious and don’t feel like you need to have all the answers in the beginning.

Sample Conversation Starters and Responses (5) 

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If you’re struggling to find the words for how to address vaping with your kids use these common conversation and sample responses to get the conversation going. These tips are provided by Protect Kids Fight Flavored E-Cigs.

Click on the topics below for helpful conversation tips:

Download our parent discussion guide below

According to the CDC, almost

40% of kids have vaped

at least once. (6) 


Listen and Learn from Your Kids

  • Vapes are small and easy to hide, so you need to know how to identify them.

  • In the images below, you will see that they come in different shapes and sizes, too. They’re also known by many names like “Juul,” “e-cigarettes,” “pens,” and “hits.”

  • You can also search the internet for vaping videos and take note of the phrases and words they use.

  • Nicotine vapes and vape pens that are used to consume THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) oil or other THC substances like honey oil/BHO, Budder, shatter, dab, and wax can look a lot alike. For more information about THC, click to download this document. 

Info About Vapes

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Helpful Tip:

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Pay attention to your kid's conversations with their friends and take note if they are using words and phrases related to vaping.

Vape clouds contain chemicals that cause lung damage, like acetaldehyde, acrolein, and formaldehyde!

Resources & Citations

In spring 2020, the Paso del Norte Health Foundation and YMCA of El Paso conducted a set of focus groups on vaping in our community. The interviews involved pre-teens, teens, parents, and school administrators from El Paso, Texas, and Las Cruces, New Mexico. The information shared above contains insights from those groups as well as additional information from respected vaping resources.


For Parents and the Community



For Kids

  • For information on how to quit vaping, visit thisisquitting.

  • The truth initiative also offers youth a text-to-quit program. Text DITCHJUUL to 88709 to get tips to quit.

  • To hear from youth who quit JUUL, visit this link at

  • For more information on THC, go to True to You Awareness Campaign for Youth  http://www.staytruetoyou.organd You Can Prevention Campaign

  • Do you want to learn more about getting involved in fighting big tobacco? The Texas Say What program is Texas-based and gets you involved in policy in the state and your community. Visit to learn more.



  1. Paso del Norte Health Foundation Vaping Among Pre-Teen and Teen Audiences in the Paso del Norte Region.

  2. From

  3. 2018 DSHS Texas Youth Tobacco Survey 24.7% and New Mexico Youth Risk and Resiliency Survey

  4. Adapted from

  5. From

  6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance—United States, 2017. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. June 15, 2018; 67(SS-08).

  7. Paso del Norte Health Foundation Vaping Among Pre-Teen and Teen Audiences in the Paso del Norte Region.