Talk With Your Kids ABout


Know the Law: Age Limits

It is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to buy or possess vapor/ nicotine products in the state of Tennessee.

The First Step

Studies show that talking with your kids about the dangers of substance use makes them 50% less likely to start using.

Tennessee Together Survey Results

The Tennessee Together Survey is given every two years to 8th, 10th, and 12th graders. It captures data on substance use attitudes and behaviors.

When asked how often students talked with their parents about the dangers of vaping, these were the results: 

Results by Grade

8th - 46%

10th - 51.7%

12th - 46.2%

Overall Total - 47.9%

Based on the above data, it is clear parents need to engage with their kids more often and in a more consistent manner regarding not using substances.

Zyn.  The  Next  Nicotine Epidemic? 

Phillip Morris International, the parent company of Zyn, indicated a "stellar" U.S. growth of 66% in Quarter 3 2023. Since its inception in 2014, Zyn has shipped approximately 334 million cans in the U.S., with a drastic increase in the last couple years. 

Parents need to be aware of this product as it is much easier to hide then vapes or even dip. There is no smoke, and the user is able to swallow the product.

Where to Begin: Talking Checklist

1. Educate Yourself

2. Find the Time

3. Develop a Plan

4. Resistance Skills for Them

5. Resistance Skills for You

6. Practice Listening

7. Delay Use

8. Natural High

1. Educate Yourself

Take time to research the substances you want to discuss with your kids. Having a basic understanding will help you answer their questions. 

But don't worry, if you don't know how to answer a question, take the time to look it up. You can even look it up together to make it a learning experience for the both of you. 


It is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to buy or possess vapor/ products in the state of Tennessee.

A law enforcement officer can issue a citation if caught under the age of 21, and if caught under the age of 18, a citation can be imposed on the parent/guardian by the juvenile justice system.


According to the American Addiction Center, nicotine is one of the top 5 most addictive substances.

Some other potential issues with vaping include: exposing the lungs to a variety of chemicals; affecting the development of brain circuits that control attention and learning; mood disorders, permanent problems with impulse control; and increases to blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing.


The data shows that not everyone is vaping or using tobacco products. According to the Tennessee Together Student Survey (2022-2023), only 27.1% of Sullivan County students have used a vaping device in their lifetimes, and only 8.6% of Sullivan County students have used a vaping device in the past 30 days.

When talking with your kids, these numbers might put the total number of kids using into perspective. Just because someone at school says they are using something does not mean they actual are, and it also does not mean everyone else is either.

2. Find the Time

Saying “we need to talk” might not work as this could put your kid on edge. Instead, saying these instead:

Finding the correct time to talk is just as important as easing into the conversation. Here are some times to bring up these issues:

Instead of longer talks, try to have more frequent shorter talks to keep the subject fresher in their minds.

3. Develop a Family Plan

Working together to develop a plan shows your kid you are invested and care about the topic at hand. There is no-one-size-fits-all approach. The plan needs to work for your family.


4. Build Their Resistance Skills

No isn’t always enough. Discuss reasons they feel comfortable with.

5. Build Your Resistance Skills

Remember, you are the parent, you need to be able to say no. It might be hard, but saying no is the correct response in some situations. 

This is also the time to be honest with them about your past history of use if asked. 

6. Practice Listening

Working on active listening can go a long way. Ask questions and get them talking. Follow-up with any points that can keep the conversation going and play dumb. The more they explain, the better the conversation can become. 

It's never too early to have age appropriate conversations.

7. Delay Use

As mentioned above in greater detail, the use of nicotine/tobacco products during adolescence can lead to a variety of serious developmental issues.

The longer substance use is delayed, the more likely your kid will never start in the first place and it will also reduce the chance of them developing a substance use disorder down the road.

8. Natural High

One of the main reasons kids are using substances is due to stress and anxiety.

If your kid can find a healthy alternative “Natural High," this can help alleviate stress and anxiety as well as increase their natural dopamine in their brain. Some examples of natural highs include:


Some of these skills can take time to learn. The more practice you have, the better you will become.

We also offer workshops which go into greater detail on these topics and give an in depth background on cannabis products. For more information contact