It turns out vaping is more challenging for parents to detect than traditional smoking is. University of California researchers tracked thousands of kids ages 12 to 17 and found their parents or guardians were substantially less likely to report knowing or suspecting that their child had used tobacco. If they mostly stuck to vaping (e-cigarettes), or using smokeless tobacco, compared to smoking cigarettes or using multiple tobacco products.
They also discovered that kids were less likely to start tobacco use when parents set strict household rules about not using tobacco, but that only talking to kids about not smoking was far less effective. Study co-author Tsu-Shawn Wu adds, “Low parental awareness of e-cigarette use belies rising public attention to youth vaping. Youth tobacco use is a considerable public health concern, regardless of the tobacco product used, and parents play a vital role in tobacco prevention.”