DOES MY CHILD USE TOBACCO PRODUCTS?
Children and teens are at risk of nicotine addiction and the lasting effects of tobacco. No matter which method is used, tobacco products are detrimental to a child's health. If your child uses tobacco products, here are the signs to look out for.Get Help for Your Child
Smoking commercial cigarettes and cigars puts off a strong, undeniable tobacco scent that can linger on clothes, inside vehicles and on the smoker’s breath.
The physical and mental signs of smoking could present as:
- Bad breath or acts to alleviate bad breath
- Yellowing teeth or increased oral health issues
- Shortness of breath
- A chronic cough or scratchy voice
- Irritability that is minimized after a few minutes outside
The signs of vaping are not typically as clear as those for cigarettes and cigars — vaping is odorless unless the cloud is from flavored juices. This makes it easier for youth to vape indoors undetected.
Perhaps the clearest evidence of vaping is finding an e-cigarette, vape juice or other related products stowed amongst your child’s things.
The physical and mental signs of vaping could present as:
- Bad breath
- Shortness of breath
- Increased stress
- Trouble concentrating
- Symptoms of anxiety
- Symptoms of depression
- Irritability from withdrawals
Chewing tobacco allows nicotine into your child’s bloodstream through the mouth, leading to an increased risk of oral cancer and serious oral health problems.
The signs of chewing tobacco could present as:
- Irritated gums
- Receding gum lines
- High blood pressure
- Cracked or bleeding lips
- Excessive spitting in trash cans or cups
- Red or white patches on the gums
Another sign that your child is using smokeless tobacco is by finding the tin or pouch with the product amongst their belongings.
WATCH FOR SIGNS OF TOBACCO ADDICTION
If you discovered that your child has used one or more types of tobacco, here are signs that they are addicted and need help.
- They feel the need to use tobacco when they first wake up and frequently throughout the day.
- They feel withdrawal symptoms like anxiousness and irritability when they don’t use tobacco.
- They have a habit of reaching for their tobacco products without thinking about it.
- Their day is interrupted by thoughts of using tobacco.
- They struggle to concentrate or sleep.