Helping Your Teen Quit

Tennessee Tobacco QuitLine

Begin with having conversations with your child or teen. The American Lung Association has some helpful resources to use before you start your conversation. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has a Tip Sheet for Parents with facts and conversation starters.

You might be tempted by e-cigarette flavors, but inhaling certain flavorings that
have been found in some e-cigarettes can be harmful. 

Help Your Teen Make a Plan

Start by asking your teen to think through strategies they think might work best. Some strategies could include:

  • Discovering their reason for quitting. They can use this list to help motivate them when temptation arises. 
  • Set a quit date
  • Be prepared for cravings
  • What are the benefits of quitting 
  • Discover reasons to quit

The CDC provides resources to help build a quit plan, and has a 6 step process for personalizing a quit plan.


Help Your Teen Understand the Risks

“I talk to them about the risks all the time,” she says, “and those talks reveal that they have never really thought about it. They are always interested when I pull up research and start listing off findings” Lauren W a high school teacher
  • Nicotine is addictive. Nicotine is what addicts and keeps people using tobacco products. Products that include nicotine are cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, hookah tobacco, most e-cigarettes, pouches, gum, and lozenges. 
  • Tobacco and tobacco smoke contain thousands of chemicals that cause serious disease and death in users, including fatal lung diseases, like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and cancer. 
  • E-cigarette aerosol is not harmless, and it contains harmful substances, including nicotine, ultrafine particles, cancer-causing chemicals, and flavoring linked to lung disease, volatile organic compounds, and heavy metals such as nickel, tin, and lead. 
  •  Nicotine can harm developing brains. The human brain keeps growing until around the age of 25, and using products with nicotine under age 25 can:
    • Harm brain development, which continues until about age 25
    • Impact learning, memory, and attention
    • Increase risk for future addiction to other drugs
  • There is evidence that young people who use e-cigarettes may be more likely to smoke regular cigarettes in the future. 
  • Smoking causes cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung diseases, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including emphysema and chronic bronchitis. 
  • Smoking also increases the risk for tuberculosis, certain eye diseases, and problems of the immune system, including rheumatoid arthritis. 

Resources for Quitting

SmokeFreeTeen - Tools and tips

SmokeFreegov - Help your teen make a quit plan

CDC Quit Smoking - Help your teen make a quit plan 

American Lung Association - Help your teen quit 

4 Things Parents Need to Know About JUUL and Nicotine Addiction

Become An EX

TN Quitline - Telephone, online, or texting coaching 

EX Program Helps Answer “How to Help Your Child Stop Vaping” 

TN Quit Line