Poll Finds Many Parents Unaware of Kids’ Exposure to Vaping

The following is excerpted from an online article posted by HealthDay.

Four out of five U.S. parents questioned in a large poll believe their preteen and teenage kids are clear on the risks that electronic cigarettes pose, and only a few think their child actually vapes.

Still, if their child did vape, would parents know? Nearly half of more than 1,300 parents polled said they would.

The findings, experts say, point to a potential disconnect between what parents think is going on and the real deal when it comes to vaping among American youth.

“These findings point to a few ways parents might be off,” said poll co-director Sarah Clark.

For one thing, Clark pointed to 2022 data compiled by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that found that 14% of high school students and 3% of middle schoolers had vaped in the prior month.

It’s not so easy to tell if your child is among them, cautioned Clark, a research scientist with the Child Health Evaluation and Research Center at the University of Michigan.

She noted, for example, that many parents in her team’s poll “appear to think vaping would leave a detectable odor, the way traditional cigarettes do. This is not the case.”

Many of the parents also believe “they will find vaping devices or supplies,” Clark added. “However, disposable vapes are popular with youth, and likely are thrown away before parents have a chance to find them.” Also, a number of them are disguised as pens, phone cases or watches.

“And many parents think their child would tell them if they were vaping, despite a long history of kids trying to hide this type of thing,” she said.

The vaping poll is the latest release from the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health. Conducted in February, it surveyed parents who have at least one child between 11 and 18 years old.

The Mott Poll Report was released on March 20, 2023.

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[reposted by] Jim Liebelt

Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for HomeWord. Jim has 40 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, having served over the years as a pastor, author, consultant, mentor, trainer, college instructor, and speaker. Jim’s HomeWord culture blog also appears on Crosswalk.com and Religiontoday.com. Jim and his wife Jenny live in Quincy, MA.

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