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Talking to young people about vaping, smoking, alcohol and drugs

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Raising a teenager Teens and risk-taking behaviour

You may not feel comfortable about it, but it’s a good idea to chat about these issues fairly regularly with your teen as part of your everyday conversations. For example, if a story about smoking or drugs comes up in the news or in a programme you watch, you could ask them what they think. The more open you are about these topics, the more likely your teen will be to come to you if they have any issues, for example, if they’ve started vaping and want to give up, or if they’re worried about being pressured into taking drugs.

Our page on talking and listening to your teen has more tips on encouraging your teen to open up to you, while our page on vaping, smoking, alcohol and drugs has more information about why teens experiment with these substances, how to spot the signs and where you can get support.

Talking to young people about vaping, smoking, alcohol and drugs

If you’ve spotted some of the signs that your teen may be experimenting with vaping, smoking, alcohol or drugs or you’re concerned about their behaviour, here are some tips for having a productive conversation about it.

Getting help and support

If you’re concerned about your teen’s behaviour, you don’t have to cope with the situation on your own. Our page on vaping, smoking, alcohol and drugs lists organisations offering help and support, starting with your GP.

Last updated: 21 Nov, 2023