Conversations – How to Say NO when it seems like all your friends are vaping

Are you a teen or young adult who wants to avoid vaping, yet it seems like all your friends are doing it and you are feeling the pressure? Or maybe you are a parent who

Are you a teen or young adult who wants to avoid vaping, yet it seems like all your friends are doing it and you are feeling the pressure? Or maybe you are a parent who wants to help your son or daughter avoid vaping.   We’ve all read plenty about the possible health implications of vaping so don’t need to go there in this article, but what we do need is more strategies to help those who don’t want to vape but are feeling the pressure.

 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 38% of high school students and 13% of middle school students have tried vaping (CDC Vital Signs, February 2019).  It may seem like everybody is vaping and you may feel pressure by friends to vape.  What do you do if you don’t want to vape but feel pressured by friends?  A great strategy for handling peer pressure is thinking through conversations you might have with friends about vaping before those conversations occur and deciding how you will respond. Examples include:

 

Friend: “Come on, everybody is vaping.”

Response: “Everybody doesn’t vape.  I know plenty of people who don’t vape and I don’t want to be one that starts.”

 

Friend: “I thought we were friends. If you really were my friend, you would want to hang out with me and do the same stuff I do.”

Response: “I am your friend and I do want to hang out with you, but we don’t have to do all of the same stuff. I want to hang out, but don’t want to vape.”

 

Friend: “Vaping is really cool, and there are so many great flavors. Why don’t you just try it and see for yourself?”

Response: “I don’t think it’s cool.   People who study vaping say it can cause major health problems including messing with your brain’s development and you can get addicted to it. That’s not cool.”

 

To learn more about vaping, visit https://teen.smokefree.gov/ and educate yourself so you can be knowledgeable when friends may try to pressure you in to vaping.   Talk with your parents, teacher, or doctor or another trusted adult if you need help.   And think through what kinds of things YOUR friends might say to try and convince you to start vaping and prepare your responses in advance.  You can do this!

 

Do you know someone who is already vaping and wants to quit OR who smokes and wants to quit? This week is the Great American Smokeout.  This year’s event is on Thursday, November 21st and is always held on the third Thursday in November.  If you or someone you know is already using tobacco and wants to quit, start preparing and make a quit plan today at CDC.gov/quit or call 1-800-QUIT-NOW for help. #GASO

 

Feature Image from www.pexels.com, courtesy of Thorn Yang

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Cindy Chafin
Cindy Chafin, M.Ed., MCHES® serves as editor-in-chief of Unconditionally Her. Through her many years as a masters-level certified health educator and 18-year employment in a higher education setting – as well as several years as a graduate and doctoral student – she has written countless articles, essays, publications, grant applications, proposals, reports, and other technical and creative writing documents. In addition to her training and professional work experience, she spent four years as volunteer editor of New Focus Daily, a publication of the Women Survivors Alliance, a national women cancer survivors-focused organization based in Nashville, Tennessee.
While serving as editor of Unconditionally Her, a women-focused magazine which provides content on anything from recipes, travel, books, and everything in between, she has a special interest in fitness, health, and well-being. She is certified by the National Commission on Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC) and was part of the first cohort to receive master's level designation. NCHEC certifies health education specialists, promotes professional development, and strengthens professional preparation and practice. She is proud to be a CHES® and has been a public health professional for many years after receiving her graduate degree in health promotion and education from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. She was a personal trainer and group fitness instructor for many years and looks forward to re-engaging with women one-on-one as a health coach pending completion of her certification and doctoral degree to supplement her public health and academic work.

She currently is the Associate Director for Community Programs for the Center for Health and Human Services at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, located just outside of Nashville, where she has been a project director of multiple grants since 2002 and served as interim director from 2015-2018. Cindy offers her consulting services and volunteer hours under the umbrella of Community Health Collaboratives, LLC which she founded in 2002 for organizations such as Unconditionally Her and other non-profit and charity organizations. She is pleased to promote empowerment and confidence of women readers across the globe, and to provide inspiration, motivation, and voice for social change through her role as editor-in-chief of Unconditionally Her.