Florida lawmakers are talking about raising the legal smoking age from 18 to 21. That's part of an effort to keep young people from vaping.
The kids who are trying it are starting younger and younger. In 2018, nearly 5 percent of children reported trying e-cigarettes within the last 30 days. That's one in 20 middle school students in the U.S.
Doctors worry about children making it a habit because nicotine can interfere with memory and learning---particularly in young people. So what can parents do?
University of Tampa Associate Professor Mary Martinasek has been looking at the effects of vaping on young people. She says parents should educate themselves on what's out there and talk with their teens when there’s an organic opportunity to open the lines of communication.
“It could come up as they’re passing an e-cigarette shop and say what do you know about this product? I read this and this is what I learned so let’s have that conversation if you’ve you tried it," Martinasek said. "And have that caring attitude that you should with your child if they are trying the product or they have tried it, express your concern that they’re using this product."
A good resource is the surgeon general's website. It walks you through the basics of e-cigarettes, what's in them, and why it can be harmful to use nicotine under the age of 25.
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