Life Advice



Ask Amy: Secret vaping leaves neighbors gaping

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: For over 15 years, we have lived next door to our wonderful neighbors.

We're great friends with the parents and have been blessed to watch their three kids grow up.

We count all five of them as family. All of their children, now teenagers, are good kids and good students.

Over a year ago, we noticed that one of the teens had started vaping. We strongly suspect that the parents are unaware.

Our houses are close enough that we can see this young person vaping most evenings after dinner in one of their upstairs bathrooms (while leaving the shade open).

Now that the days are shorter, it's even easier to see since this kid turns the lights on in the bathroom, opens a window, vapes, and blows the smoke out.


We know from personal experience what smoking can lead to and we know that today's flavored vaping products are designed to attract kids.

We also know that both parents are both 100 percent anti-smoking.

We're torn as to whether we should tell the parents about this, thereby ratting on this young person (who trusts and respects us); or, asking this kid to pull the shade down every night (in which case the kid will know we know what's going on) which might inspire them to quit.

Our own adult children (in their 30s), home over Thanksgiving, reported that they noticed this teen vaping, and that they were appalled. Our adult child (whom this teen reveres) wondered if they should talk to the teen, but ultimately didn’t do so.


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