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How To Talk To Your Kids About Vaping

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) –  It's a dangerous trend that's affecting young people. The CDC reports that 16% of lung injuries from vaping are happening to people 18 years old or younger.

WCCO's Marielle Mohs found the best tactics when it comes to talking to your kids about vaping.

When Daniel Huff with the Minnesota Department of Health and Brain Marquart with the Department of Public Safety took the podium Tuesday to address the 75,000 THC vaping cartridges being seized in Anoka County, one message stood out.

"I want to urge all parents, have conversations with your kids," Marquart said.

"I'm taking this opportunity to talk to my kids about vaping and I would encourage all parents to do that," Huff said.

After both agencies said that parents should talk to their children about vaping, we wanted to know exactly how that conversation can happen. So we turned to an expert here at Children's Minnesota.

"I think the conversation needs to start much earlier than people are thinking," Dr. Gigi Chawla at Children's Minnesota said.

Dr. Chawla says talking with your kids about the dangers of vaping is the most important thing you can do.

"When you talk to kids who are in 5th and 6th grade they've already been exposed to vaping, so really even earlier than that," Dr. Chawla explained.

She suggests starting the conversation by asking what your child what they see at school and if they see others vaping.

"Ask about the environment around the child as a segway so you're not necessarily asking your child 'do you vape?'" Dr. Chawla said.

Dr. Chawla says research is already showing that vaping can become an addiction.

"That addictive personality trait hopefully will not translate to other addictive personality traits," Dr. Chawla added.

She says there is not enough research yet to prove long-term developmental effects.

"We are still in the learning phase about vaping and the consequences of it," Dr. Chawla said.

The CDC says they've had 530 reported cases of lung injuries from vaping. Eleven of those people have died, including one person in Minnesota.

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