- How to Quit Vaping
- How to Quit Vaping: A Practical Guide
- Want to Quit Vaping? Here’s How to Kick the Habit
- Is vaping better than smoking cigarettes?
- How addictive is vaping?
- How can I quit vaping?
- 6 Steps to Quit Vaping or Smoking
- Tip 1 – Make a Firm Decision To Stop Vaping
- Tip 2 – Find Substitutes to Help Quit Vaping
- Tip 3 – Ask For Help
- Tip 4 – How to Stop Vaping by Weaning Off Nicotine
- Tip 5 – Vaping Withdrawal – This Too Shall Pass
- Tip 6 – One Vape is Too Much
- Tip 7 – Get Rid of All Vape Gear
- Quitting Juul may be harder than quitting cigarettes
How to Quit Vaping
Know Why You’re Quitting
There are many good reasons to stop vaping. Do you want to feel healthier? Save money? Knowing why you want to quit vaping can help you stay motivated and focused on your goal to become vape-free.
Think about the things in your life that are important to you. Does vaping get in the way of what’s important? If you’re not sure, try asking yourself these questions:
- Is vaping controlling my life?
- How does vaping affect the way I think and feel?
- How does vaping affect my relationships with my friends, parents, boyfriend/girlfriend, or other people important to me?
- How does vaping or thinking about vaping interfere with my schoolwork or grades?
- Are there activities that I used to enjoy that I don’t enjoy anymore because of vaping?
- Am I spending a lot of money to keep vaping?
- What am I looking forward to the most after quitting?
Your answers to these questions can help you see how vaping is affecting your life, maybe in ways you hadn’t thought about before. Make a list of all the reasons that you want to quit vaping and put it in a place where you will see it often. It might help to keep the list on your phone. When you have the urge to vape, look at the list to remind yourself why you want to stop vaping. Frequently reminding yourself why you want to quit can keep you focused on quitting vaping.
Quit Tobacco Completely
Some people who vape also use cigarettes or other tobacco products. If you smoke cigarettes or use other tobacco products besides vapes, now is a good time to quit those too.
We know it can seem challenging to quit smoking or using other tobacco products at the same time as quitting vaping, but becoming completely tobacco-free is the best thing you can do for your health.
Remember: There are tools available to help you quit. Download the quitSTART app or try SmokefreeTXT by signing up online or texting QUIT to 47848.
Set Your Quit Date
The first step to giving up vaping is to choose a date to quit. Here are some tips to help you pick a quit date:
- Give yourself time to get ready. Getting ready can help you feel confident and give you the skills you’ll need to stay quit.
- Don’t put it off for too long. Picking a date too far away gives you time to change your mind or become less interested in quitting. Choose a date that is no more than a week or two away.
- Set yourself up for success. Try not to pick a quit date that will be stressful, like the day before a big test.
Have you picked your quit date? Circle it on your calendar or set an alert on your phone, and make sure you have a plan for what you will do on the big day.
Know What Challenges to Expect
The first few weeks of quitting vaping are usually the hardest. Take it one day at a time. You may face some challenges along the way, but knowing what to expect and being prepared can help.
Learn your triggers. Certain people, feelings, or situations can cause you to want to vape. It’s important to know your triggers. It may be best to avoid situations that can trigger you to vape when you’re in the early stages of your quit.
Prepare for cravings and withdrawal. Think about how you will fight cravings and deal with withdrawal symptoms. Knowing what to expect and having strategies for handling thoughts about vaping or uncomfortable feelings will help you succeed and stay with your quit in those tough moments.
Resist temptations. Avoid places and situations where others are vaping. If you can’t avoid being around vaping, plan for how you will handle these situations. Maybe that means you take a temporary break from friends you vape with and think about what you will say if somebody offers you a vape.
Imagine Your Vape-Free Self
It might be hard to imagine your life without e-cigarettes – especially if vaping is something you do a lot throughout the day. You might feel like a piece of yourself is missing when you first quit. It can take time to get used to the new vape-free you, but over time this will become your new normal. Here are some strategies that can help:
- Make the mental shift. Start thinking of yourself as someone who doesn’t vape. This will help separate you from vaping and give you the confidence to quit and stay quit.
- Focus on the positive. Make a list of all the positive things about yourself that don’t involve vaping and put it somewhere you can see often, like on your bedroom wall or phone. It will remind you that vaping does not define who you are.
- Picture the future you. Think about who you want to be in the future. Compare that with who you are now. Ask yourself: How are they different? How does vaping get in the way of what you want for the future? The answer to this can help motivate you to stick to your decision to quit.
Build Your Team
Surrounding yourself with supportive people can make it easier to quit vaping. Friends, family, co-workers, and others can be there to listen, boost your mood, and distract you from using your vape.
Ask for help. You don’t have to do it alone. If you feel comfortable, tell your friends and family that you’re quitting vaping and that you will need their support. Here are some ways to ask for the support you need.
- Be specific. Whether you need tough love or something softer, tell your friends and family what type of support you want, and how often you want their help. For example, if you are feeling stressed or anxious after school, ask a friend to help keep you distracted.
- Say thank you. Tell your support team you appreciate them. A thank-you can go a long way – and it doesn’t take much time. Research also shows that being grateful can improve physical health, mental health, and self-esteem.
- Support others. Support is a two-way street. Check-in with your friends and ask them what you can do to help them. Or, do something to brighten someone’s day.
Talk to a doctor. Talk to your doctor or another health care professional about how to quit vaping. Ask how they might be able to help you. They can offer support and resources.
Talk to a tobacco cessation counselor. Get free, personalized support from an expert. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or 1-877-44U-QUIT to talk with a tobacco cessation counselor. You can also chat online using the National Cancer Institute’s LiveHelp service.
Dealing with people who don’t get it. Some important people in your life may not understand your decision to quit. It can be frustrating or discouraging when someone in your life is not as supportive as you’d like. Try one of these strategies:
- Distance yourself. You may need to take a break from unsupportive people when you first quit. Let them know that you need to make quitting vaping your priority right now.
- Recommit to quitting. Remind yourself why you are quitting and why being vape-free is important to you.
- Ask them to respect your decision. Not everyone will know how to be supportive, and that’s okay. Ask them not to vape around you or offer you to use their vape.
- Lean on positive people. Spend time with people who make you feel good about your decision and who want you to quit.
How to Quit Vaping: A Practical Guide
Learn about medications and nicotine replacement options. Dr. Neptune calls the nicotine patch the “anchoring drug” for nicotine replacement therapy. The patch is placed on the skin and delivers a low-level stream of nicotine around the clock.
Folan cautions that the patch isn’t always enough when a nicotine craving strikes. In those cases, an individual can also try a nicotine lozenge, gum, inhaler, or nasal spray along with or without the patch. Yetto, for example, is trying to only use nicotine gum but finds it least effective in the morning when his nicotine craving is the greatest.
“It was really nice to wake up and take the first puff off the vape,” he says. “Your body is just coming back online and you need that kickstart. I would like to vape or smoke, but in goes the gum.”
Determining a patient’s nicotine intake can be tricky for doctors. Nicotine amounts vary from product to product; and it can be difficult to gauge how much a person is vaping as opposed to smoking, which can be measured in terms of the number of cigarettes smoked daily.
According to Folan, the two questions that healthcare providers usually ask are: How much do you smoke and how soon after waking do you smoke?
“If you vape within five minutes or less of waking, that’s usually an indication that you are quite addicted and you need more nicotine products,” she says.
A person trying to stop may also consider a medication that can help suppress the urge to smoke, such as Zyban or Wellbutrin (both forms of buproprion) or Chantix (varenicline).
A study published in 2016 in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that the nicotine patch worked just as well as Chantix for smoking cessation. But the most effective approach largely depends on the individual.
Find replacement activities. It can be useful to make a list of activities to distract you when the urge to vape strikes. It might be something as simple as taking a walk, calling a friend, drinking water, brushing your teeth, or taking a shower.
“If smoking was always the first thing you did under stress, try something else; take deep breaths, and move on,” Folan says.
Have a positive support team. Osei stresses the value of a good social support team and encourages people to seek out friends, family, and professionals who can help them meet their goal. “Teachers and cessation experts have an important role,” he says. “It is a concerted effort.” Support groups with other people who have quit or are trying to can also be invaluable.
Avoid negative influences. While accentuating the positive, don’t forget to eliminate the negative. “Distance yourself from unsupportive people, from places where you’ve vaped, or from people who still vape,” says Folan.
Expect setbacks and don’t give up. Yetto sees himself quitting nicotine completely eventually but admits that those who are addicted always seem to be quitting.
“Nicotine is a weird little gremlin I always have with me,” he says. “I want to kick it altogether, but when I’m fading, I need to get some.”
“People do relapse,” Folan says. “You just have to keep trying.”
Want to Quit Vaping? Here’s How to Kick the Habit
Maybe you started vaping to help you quit smoking. Maybe you just needed a way to de-stress and chill. Or maybe your friends were all doing it and you thought you’d give it a try it, too.
Whatever your reason for starting, here’s a darn good one to stop: As of early October 2019, nearly 1,300 people in the United States have fallen ill with vaping-related lung disease. Twenty-six of them have died.
Everyone with this mysterious illness, which develops quickly over the course of a few days or weeks, has a history of e-cigarette use with nicotine, THC (marijuana), CBD or some combination of the three. Symptoms include coughing, shortness of breath, nausea, diarrhea, fever, fatigue and abdominal pain.
If this news has you thinking about ditching your vape for good, here’s what you need to know and how you can quit.
Is vaping better than smoking cigarettes?
E-cigarettes were originally marketed as a transition tool for those looking to quit smoking tobacco. And, yes, experts acknowledge that compared to combustible tobacco products, which are the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, vaping is likely less dangerous.
That said, it doesn’t make vaping a safe habit or any less addictive than smoking cigarettes, especially as the long-term effects of vaping are still unknown.
E-cigarettes aren’t systematically reviewed by the Food & Drug Administration and, in many cases, vaping still exposes you to a slew of harmful substances.
According to the American Lung Association, e-cigarettes not only contain high doses of nicotine but also a cocktail of toxic chemicals that can cause cancer and irreversible lung damage. Some vaping cartridges have even tested positive for formaldehyde, heavy metals and substances that are used in weed killer and found in car exhaust.
How addictive is vaping?
In a word, very.
“The level of addiction that we’re seeing is really unprecedented in terms of the trajectory of use from initiation to dependence,” says Patricia Atwater, director of health promotion at Hall Health Center on the University of Washington campus.
She recalls one patient who started vaping just four months before seeking help. Within that short amount of time, he was already getting as much nicotine as someone who smokes a pack of cigarettes a day.
If that seems like an extreme example to you, it’s shockingly not.
Vaping manufacturers like Juul, which owns 50% of the e-cigarette market, produce pods that contain as much nicotine as 20 cigarettes — equivalent to one pack. If you go through a pod a day, well, consider yourself a “pack-a-day” vaper.
According to the American Cancer Society, even e-cigarettes that say they don’t contain any nicotine often still do. So you could unknowingly be vaping nicotine when you think you’re in the clear.
“I think about tobacco control and public health and all the work that we’ve done over many, many years to try to prevent young people from starting to smoke cigarettes so they don’t have to go through a painful withdrawal-quitting process,” Atwater says. “Now with vaping, a lot of that has been undone.”
What’s perhaps more alarming is that the target audience for many e-cigarette manufacturers appears to be teens and millennials, who seek out their approachable flavors. And if you start young, that can only make it harder to quit, Atwater explains.
“When you start using nicotine products under the age of 26, nicotine actually rewires your brain to predispose you to nicotine addiction for the rest of your life,” she says.
How can I quit vaping?
Due to the surprising amount of nicotine in each e-cigarette cartridge, it can be harder to quit than you initially anticipate. To help you get started on the right track, Atwater has a few tips that can help you vanquish vaping once and for all.
Seek professional help
Quitting can be scary, especially if you’re not sure how to begin or are worried about being able to stick with it. That’s why, Atwater says, your first step should be to get help from a professional.
“You will be more successful in quitting if you take advantage of the support that’s available to you,” she explains.
Online and in-person tobacco cessation programs offer that solid support in the form of counselors who are trained to assist people just like you. They can help you figure out your motivations for vaping and suggest some techniques to quit.
If you’re unsure which type of program suits you best, visit or call the Washington State Tobacco Quitline (1-800-QUIT-NOW) or ask your doctor or other medical professional for recommendations.
Don’t switch back to cigarettes
If you initially switched from smoking to vaping because you thought e-cigarettes were a safer option, don’t make the mistake of switching back, Atwater says.
“Treating nicotine addiction is treating nicotine addiction, regardless of the form,” she explains.
Simply put, neither smoking nor vaping is a “safe” option, especially since both foster an unhealthy addiction to nicotine and can have untold health consequences. Instead, consider the recent vaping news as just one more reason to seek treatment.
Follow nicotine-replacement therapy
A promising method to quit vaping (and smoking, for that matter) is nicotine-replacement therapy. That’s replacing the nicotine found in your e-cigarette with a harmless, nicotine-containing product like the patch, gum, lozenge or spray. Using these nicotine replacements allows you to slowly wean yourself from dependency.
Based on your health history and level of nicotine dependence, one strategy to try is using more than one item at the same time. For example, opt for both the patch and the gum instead of choosing just one product. The idea here is that you’ll be able to get a steady dose of nicotine from something like the patch but then also have a secondary product to use, such as the gum, when you need a boost to fight off a strong craving.
Just be sure to consult with a medical professional to ensure you’re getting the appropriate nicotine dosage.
Understand why you vape
While addressing your nicotine addiction using replacement therapy is important, so is confronting why you’re vaping in the first place, Atwater says.
“A big part of quitting any kind of tobacco- or nicotine-containing product is addressing the function that the product is playing in your life,” she explains.
If you vape socially, are you simply doing it to fit in with your friends? Do you find yourself vaping out of habit or boredom? Are you more inclined to vape when you’re feeling stressed or lonely?
Identifying the emotional and psychological situations that are causing you to vape can help you better understand the role e-cigarettes play in your life. Once you acknowledge that, you’ll be better equipped to adjust your behavior or avoid those people and circumstances altogether.
Get support from friends and family
Maybe you’re worried about letting your family know that you’ve been vaping, or maybe you’re concerned that your friends will ostracize you for quitting. While it’s tempting, don’t keep your intentions to quit a secret.
It’s important to fill in your friends and family so they can create a supportive environment and help you along the way. That can mean offering words of encouragement, holding you accountable or even helping you avoid situations and social settings that might entice you to vape again.
If your friends and family are part of the reason why you vape, though, letting them know that you intend to quit can help you establish clear boundaries so you’re not tempted to start up again.
“Quitting is hard,” Atwater says. “It’s work. It’s uncomfortable, but it’s worth doing.”
6 Steps to Quit Vaping or Smoking
On May 13, 2019, I quit nicotine completely.
I had been compulsively vaping (using an electronic cigarette) for about four years. I was intermittently smoking cigarettes, using nicotine gum, and trying to find any way to quit altogether.
I read scores of articles about how to quit. Some encouraged nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) like gum, patches, or lozenges, while others swore by total abstinence and quitting cold-turkey.
The anxiety that was wrapped around the possibility of quitting was paralyzing. I would talk myself out of it day by day, swearing that I would do it eventually.
As the days passed, the anxiety didn’t lessen. As the weeks passed, my will to quit did not grow stronger. As the years passed, my self-efficacy slowly drained. Then, one day, with seemingly no catalyst or precipitating event, the decision was as clear as day.
It was time.
Granted, it did not feel like the right time. I had 100 reasons why it was absolutely not the right time. For whatever reason, which I will try to deconstruct step by step, it worked.
It’s been 43 days without nicotine and I haven’t looked back.
1. Don’t set a specific quit date
I have been telling myself for years that I will quit on a specific day. This “plan” gave me the illusion of control and helped me to feel better about knowing the ball was in my court. I would vape or smoke even more in the days leading up to this date, so by the time it was the day to quit, I had psyched myself out and developed an even stronger nicotine addiction.
It will never feel like a “right time” to quit.
The right time is now.
I had planned to quit Juuling (a popular electronic cigarette) as soon as I finished my last pack of Juul pods (the cartridge with the nicotine in it). I’m not sure where the idea came from, it just came. I had a plan all weekend to quit once I was completely out of nicotine. The remainder of my nicotine would last until that Tuesday. On Sunday evening, much to my dismay, my significant other asked for a Juul pod. I hesitated but agreed. I was out of pods earlier than expected, which was the best thing that could happen to me.
I woke up on Monday morning, left all of my nicotine devices at his house, and went to work with nothing to fall back on. I asked the universe for willingness and strength. I didn’t look back.
Planning does not work.
It will never feel like the right time.
Make an impulsive decision and stick with it.
2. Oral substitutes
Sunflower seeds saved my life.
I chewed sunflower seeds nonstop for that first week. It was such a helpful tool to keep my mouth and hands fixated on something other than my electronic cigarette. After about a week, I had to get emergency wisdom tooth surgery, so I wasn’t able to chew sunflower seeds anymore. Before that, though, they kept me from falling back on the physical habit of reaching for a cigarette or a vape.
I also kept a pack of Mentos in the car. This was helpful as well because I loved smoking in my car, so the strong association during those first few days needed to be broken with something else.
I got to work in an anxious frenzy. I had been told by friends who quit vaping or smoking in the past that the first week is the worst. I knew what I was in for, but the mental anguish was very strong. I decided to write down my thoughts because they were careening through my mind like a freight train which had been derailed.
Journaling helped me to get out of my head and see in black and white how rapid my thoughts and cravings were changing. One minute I felt like I couldn’t go another second, the next minute I knew I would be fine. I did this for the first few days, and it helped me to feel more confident in my ability to sit through the debilitating nature of a craving. I knew it would be short-lived. I had proof.
Here are some of my ramblings:
Today is day one. I woke up at 7:30 A.M. and it’s 11:33 A.M. It’s only been four hours without nicotine (plus the seven-plus hours of sleep), but it’s hell. I’m not sure if it’s the physical craving for nicotine or the strong associations.
I’ve been listening to a “Master Class” on the app “Calm” about breaking bad habits. It educates the listener on feedback loops, ignited by an initial trigger, a behavior, and then the response.
The issue with vaping is that I did it literally everywhere. I vaped all day every day, in my car, in my house, while reading, while watching TV, while out with friends, during 12-step meetings, before and after 12-step meetings, etc.
Today is day one. Hour four. The association is strong—I reach for my vape every few seconds. I’ve been chewing sunflower seeds, drinking lots of coffee and water, and even taking deep breaths with a pen (like, an ink pen—there’s no vape in there).
Deep breaths help. Reminding myself that I “get to enjoy this moment without vaping” helps, too. A website encouraged the vape-quitter to remind themselves that they aren’t giving anything up, they’re gaining a whole lot. They get to enjoy their lives now, without being a slave to nicotine.
Oh, nicotine, how I love you and miss you and need you and hate you.
The physical withdrawal really isn’t that bad. I have a dull headache but I usually do in the mornings. My chest is a little tight, but it’s the mental obsession that’s really the kicker.
- It’s 12:48 P.M. and I just ate lunch and returned to my office. I feel borderline homicidal. I feel depressed and deflated and empty and angry and annoyed and frustrated and EVERYTHING is pissing me off.
- It’s 1:34 P.M. and I did a workshop with my patients which began to help. Then I walked around in the rain (dramatic) and got gum from another staff member then talked to a patient about Brene Brown which was helpful too. I don’t feel as homicidal right now.
- It’s 2:11 P.M. now and it has been pretty easy while being distracted with gum and Game of Thrones Youtube and Instagram clips. I have a pretty bad headache in my temples which comes and goes in this throbbing way and I’m super irritable and restless.
- It’s 3:40 P.M. and my head hurts so badly. A coworker did a good job of keeping me distracted and we talked about Game of Thrones and I tried to do a puzzle.
- It’s 4:06 P.M. and I feel hopeful and OK!!!!
- It’s day five and I’m fine!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
4. Prayer or intention-setting
This was a lifesaver for me. You don’t have to be religious or spiritual to acknowledge the benefits of intention setting. That is how I see prayer. When I ask the universe to help me with anything, I’m consciously setting an intention to be mindful of whatever it is and cultivate it. I cannot stress this enough: pray for strength. Set intentions for willingness. Ask the universe or whatever it is you believe in for help. The act of asking for help is invaluable. There is a reason why, in the 12-steps, the first step is, “admitting we were powerless.” If I’m powerless over something, that means I need a power greater than me to help. This power can be a fellowship of friends, it can be an intangible and abstract notion of God or the universe, or anything outside of you. When I try to quit on my own, I talk myself back into vaping or smoking. Every single time. Level your pride and ego and ask for help.
5. Get a helpful app
If you have a smartphone, which you probably do, you have access to millions of apps. I love daily readers (specifically, “The Language of Letting Go” by Melody Beattie), which also come in app-form, as well as meditation apps (my favorite is called “Calm”). When I looked up smoking cessation apps, the one that caught my eye was called “Smoke Free.” This app shows me what’s happening to my body after I quit, how quickly I’m recovering, how long it takes for the nicotine to leave my body (so I know what’s mental and what’s physical), as well as the exact amount of money I’m saving by not smoking. It gave me so much motivation once those initial cravings subsided!
6. Change the narrative
As I love to point out, the story we create for ourselves becomes our reality. This means that I need to tell myself (and others) that I am not a smoker. I am not a vaper. This is not who I am. This is something I did, but I am detaching from that narrative now. Most people relapse on cigarettes or any nicotine device after the cravings have subsided and they feel better. This is the insidious nature of addiction (and it happens with other substances, too)—we relapse when things are going well. We tell ourselves that we are fine now, and we can smoke “just one.” We need to remind ourselves, “Not enough puff no matter what.”
I was once told that every time I pick up a cigarette or a vape, I’m inadvertently acting out in self-destructive behavior. I disagreed at the time, stating that I have no reason to self-sabotage. I was reminded that if even a core part of me believes that I’m not worthy of health and happiness, I will continuously act out in ways that validate this belief.
For me, smoking and vaping go against everything I believe in. I believe in self-love, in body-love, in appreciation of health, of others, and of the environment. So why was I smoking?
Every time I picked up a cigarette or a vape, I would shame myself.
“I’m not strong enough.”
“I’m a smoker.”
“This is just how I am.”
But none of this is true. I am strong. I am capable of growth and change. I am not a smoker. I am not a vaper. I am not this behavior. I can change.
So change the narrative.
And remember …
For me, the “really bad” anxiety, frustration, anger, and cravings only lasted four days. I was vaping almost constantly, with a very high level of nicotine. After four days, the cravings went away.
It has been 43 days and I only know this because of the “Smoke Free” app. I no longer count the minutes, hours, and days. I no longer want to smoke. I have a newfound freedom—I am no longer a slave to nicotine. I am free today.
You can be, too.
Comment below with tips that have worked for you!
Many people are under the misconception that the techniques for how to quit vaping are easier than those to stop smoking cigarettes. But that’s simply not true, as quitting vaping can sometimes be harder than quitting smoking cigarettes.
Sadly, fun fruity vape juice and stylish Juul pods have been adopted by high school kids, and the electronic cigarette vaping trend has now become a worldwide phenomenon.
There were about seven million vapers in 2011 and this figure shot up to 41 million in 2018. The trend is rapidly gaining ground, and the global e-cigarette market is now said to be worth $19.3 billion.
Until the massive outbreak of lung associated injuries in the United States hit the world, everyone considered e-cigarettes (or vaping) to be safe.
As of October 1st, 2019, 1,080 lung injury cases have been reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and there have been twenty-six confirmed deaths.
In response, one city and three states have enforced a ban on e-cigarettes – San Francisco, Michigan, New York, and Massachusetts. Vaping is clearly not a safe practice, and it’s highly addictive.
Here we’ll explore helpful tips for how to stop vaping for good.
Tip 1 – Make a Firm Decision To Stop Vaping
Many people advise setting a date to stop vaping. This plan can work for some, but it can backfire if you’re in control and can make excuses as to why now is not the right time.
The truth is, you can make an impulsive decision to quitting vaping cold turkey or set a date. But either way, you need to have a strong reason to stop. Set the intention to stop now.
Make a firm decision in your mind that you are going to quit e-cigarettes, Juuling or vaping for good. Then stick firmly with your decision.
If you do set a date, make sure to stick with it, and don’t let the date drift off into next week or next month. As the ancient 16th-century proverb states, “No time like the present, a thousand unforeseen circumstances may interrupt you at a future time.”
Learn More: 10 Questions to Ask When Searching for Addiction Rehab
Tip 2 – Find Substitutes to Help Quit Vaping
Vaping is a physical oral habit, and you’ll probably miss the experience of putting the vape in your mouth. For this reason, find substitues to help quit vaping and make sure to stock up on snacks or other things that will keep your hands and mouth occupied.
Good Substitutes to Help Quit Vaping Include:
- Bubble gum or gumballs
- Straws to chew on
- Hard candies
- Pumpkin seeds
- Pretzel sticks
Try to substitute a food or snack flavor that reminds you of vaping. If you use strawberry flavored juice, find gum or candy that tastes the same, or maybe snack on fresh or dried strawberries. This might help your mind overcome missing out on the vaping ritual.
Keep in mind that people sometimes gain weight after they quit smoking so be sure to limit the amount of sugary or processed foods, at least in the long run.
In the beginning, don’t be too concerned with this, as the goal is to use anything that will provide an adequate substitute for overcoming the oral fixation of vaping.
In addition to the physical routine of a having a vape in the hand to fiddle with or putting something in the mouth, there is also the mental aspect to any form of smoking.
Meditation and yoga are good replacements to help overcome the mental side of vaping and they fit perfectly into a healthier lifestyle.
Both meditation and yoga focus on the mind and breathing, and they are also excellent ways to reduce stress. Instead of reaching for a smoke to deal with a stressful situation at home or work, take a minute or two to focus on breathing and being mindful of your breath and surroundings.
Learn More: Establishing a Daily Routine and Its Positive Impact on Recovery
Tip 3 – Ask For Help
When we try to give up an addiction or habit on our own we often relapse. Don’t take it personal and understand that this happens to everyone.
If you’re serious about quitting, it’s important to drop your pride and ask for help. Admit you currently have a problem with vaping, and you really want to rid yourself of the habit.
You could find a friend or family member, or get professional help. The downside of going it alone is that life triggers often take over and we fall back to old habits.
Ask a doctor to suggest a nicotine substitute, and make sure to let friends and family members know you are trying to quit so they can offer support and not smoke around you if possible.
Get some form of accountability so that you can have a support mechanism to help you as you overcome your addiction.
Tip 4 – How to Stop Vaping by Weaning Off Nicotine
For some people, quitting cold turkey is the most effective option. But for many others, the best way to stop vaping is by weaning off of nicotine first.
Vaping is partly habitual – the act of holding something in the hand and putting it in the mouth. Vapes also contain nicotine and it is one of the most addictive substances available.
Vape juice comes in varying nicotine strengths, and by gradually reducing the amount of nicotine intake, it’s possible to wean off the addiction to it.
Instead of the usual 24 mg of juice, begin by cutting back to juice that contains 18 mg of nicotine concentrate for a week. At week two, cut it back to 6 mg of nicotine.
For week three, switch to 0 mg juice that is nicotine-free, and stay at that level for another week. This will help reduce the cravings for nicotine, but it still won’t help with the habit of vaping.
At this point, cut back on the number of times you vape each day. Try to get down to one or two times a day for a week. The following week, only smoke once a day.
After that, try alternating one day smoking and one day not smoking. Eventually, it will get much easier until you can stop vaping altogether.
It might take a long time to wean off, but some day it will be possible to join the ranks of the non-vapers and be completely free oof smoking.
The same method used for weaning off nicotine can also be used for those who want to quit smoking marijuana.
Tip 5 – Vaping Withdrawal – This Too Shall Pass
Vaping withdrawal is very real, and the physical withdrawal symptoms from nicotine will be fleeting and most likely most intense on the first few days after the last puff.
Vape withdrawal isn’t as painful as giving up hard drugs, but nicotine is very powerful and there may be some growing pains, so recognize them as such.
Common Vape Withdrawal Symptoms Sometimes Include:
- Irritability and restlessness
- Nicotine cravings
- Increased appetite
- Anxiety, depression, and mood swings
- Trouble concentrating
- Difficulty sleeping
There isn’t much that can be done to treat withdrawal, although nicotine replacement therapy can be helpful to stop or reduce the symptoms. This type of therapy uses small amounts of nicotine in gum, tablets or patches.
Welcome the change, with the understanding that each bout of cravings will pass. Do something in the moment to distract yourself from the craving.
You could go for a walk, have a cup of tea, make a smoothie or call a friend. When facing cravings, remember the old adage, “this too shall pass.”
Understand that the most intense feelings of withdrawal and cravings will often diminish after the first week, and the addiction will begin to subside. Nicotine withdrawal usually lasts about one month, and will get much easier after that time.
Find healthier activities to replace vaping. As a non-smoker, you’ll be making better choices for the future.
Temporary pleasures can often lead to pain later on and every time you think about vaping, switch your thoughts to how grateful you are that you are no longer a vaper.
Tip 6 – One Vape is Too Much
Once you quit – if you find your mind playing tricks on you (like it often can), saying things like “I’ll just have one” and then adding a reason – understand this is a trap.
If you have just one hit of a vape you’ll need to start detoxing from the beginning. After you have managed one week, it’ll be so much easier. At any point, “just one vape” on a night out, or to deal with something stressful will simply start the cycle of being hooked again.
This ties in with Tip 2 – Find Healthy Substitutes. When you find yourself tempted to have just one, do something else or simply tell your mind that you’re a non-smoker now.
Tip 7 – Get Rid of All Vape Gear
Having anything related to vaping around only tempts fate. Make sure to cleanse your home, car, work, and all personal effects of anything to do with cigarettes or vapes.
Immediately after making the decision to quit vaping, get rid of all electronic e-cigarettes, vaporizers, vape juice refill cartridges, and anything else that might make you think about it.
You are a non-smoker now and you don’t need anything related to vaping, so be clear on your decision and get rid of all vape gear.
Living a vape-free/smoke-free life gives you a newly found freedom. But don’t confuse freedom and compulsion, they are two different things. Remember you made the wise choice to stop vaping, so take a moment to congratulate yourself every time you think about it.
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Quitting Juul may be harder than quitting cigarettes
As the outbreak of vaping-related respiratory illness keeps growing — with the death toll now at 26 — health officials are advising everyone to avoid vaping products (particularly those containing THC).
The outbreak, which to date involves mainly people under the age of 35 , has been a wake-up call about the risks of vaping, both acute and long-term — particularly for habitual users.
It’s also revealed another unsettling problem: We have no clear evidence on how to help young people quit.
“We don’t have any literature,” Suchitra Krishnan-Sarin, a Yale professor of psychiatry who studies adolescent tobacco use, told Vox. “There are no published on vaping cessation in youth.”
Yet young people are far and away the heaviest users of nicotine e-cigarettes. And the trend belies a tragic irony: E-cigarettes were initially marketed as a way to help adult smokers quit. It’s not clear how many youths are actually addicted to their devices — but stories and Reddit communities suggest it’s a problem.
So what can teens, and parents who want to help them, do in the absence of evidence?
There’s a robust literature on what works — and what doesn’t — to help youth get off cigarettes. Krishnan-Sarin says for now, she and other tobacco and addiction experts are extrapolating from that research to help patients who want to quit vaping. But there’s a twist: The experience of quitting nicotine vaping may actually turn out to be quite different from stopping smoking. Quitting vaping may actually be harder.
Why quitting vaping may be more difficult than ditching cigarettes
There’s a pretty strong case that vaping is a different beast from quitting smoking — that it may actually be harder to stop vaping. “There are unique aspects of e-cigarette devices, particularly ones like Juul, that may facilitate addiction,” said Rachel Grana Mayne, the program director in the Tobacco Control and Research Branch at the National Institutes of Health. “Many of these devices contain high concentrations of nicotine and are smoother to inhale.”
Each Juul pod, for example, carries 59 milligrams of nicotine per milliliter of liquid. Juul Labs— maker of the bestselling cigarette on the US market — claims one pod is equal to a pack of cigarettes in terms of nicotine. Considering you can get through a pod in less than a few hours of chronic use, that’s a lot of nicotine.
The nicotine in these products also goes down more smoothly than regular cigarettes. The reason: Juul vaporizes a liquid that contains nicotine salts. Unlike the nicotine in regular cigarettes, which can be irritating to the throat and lungs, nicotine salt doesn’t cause those unpleasant feelings. “This innovation in nicotine chemistry may be critical with regard to the addictiveness” of e-cigarette pods like Juul, according to a perspective piece in the New England Journal of Medicine.
There are other features of vaping that could make it more difficult to quit. The vapor doesn’t have the nasty smell of cigarettes and can instead emit a subtle scent of fruit or other flavors when users vape — or no odor at all. “Vaping doesn’t have the negative effects cigarettes have,” said Megan Jacobs, a managing director at the nonprofit public health organization Truth Initiative. “Those reminders every time you that aren’t there for vaping.”
It’s also much easier to vape in public than it is to smoke. “Over the years, we put effort into making sure smoking is taboo, and many kids are not used being exposed to smoking cues on a daily basis,” Krishnan-Sarin said. With e-cigarettes, “ exposed to vaping cues every day. I think it’s going to be more difficult — we need to understand the cues.”
Still, Grana Mayne warned, “We don’t have data yet that allows us to directly compare the experience of addiction to e-cigarettes to other vapes or cigarettes and tobacco products.” Yet, there’s good reason to believe it may turn out to be more challenging.
The best advice on how to quit now
So what to do if you want to stop vaping? Again, the best quitting e-cigarette advice comes from hundreds of randomized trials over the past several decades on stopping smoking. And it’s centered on three core components:
1) Changing your behaviors — Overcoming the habits associated with using nicotine-based products, which means finding new ways to cope with stress, deal with cravings, and reduce your exposure to vaping. “It also means understanding and recognizing what triggers you to want to use the products and coming up with a plan to have an alternative to vaping in place,” said Jacobs. These should be activities that are in no way associated with vaping, such as participating in sports teams or spending time around people who don’t vape.
2) Getting social support in place — Surround yourself with people who are supportive of the quitting process. The experts advised telling everybody in your life that you’ve decided to stop vaping, and asking those who use e-cigarettes not to vape around you. “Having a nice support system that knows they’ll be going through this and makes sure people don’t enable them to go back to nicotine use ,” said Steven Sussman, a University of Southern California preventive medicine professor focused on tobacco.
3) Nicotine-replacement therapy — Think nicotine patches, gums, nasal sprays, or lozenges. They’ve been shown to help increase the chances of quitting nicotine by reducing cravings and helping people overcome the physiological effects of addiction. But they’re only approved for people over the age of 18, and, Sussman cautioned, there’s no good research suggesting they work in young people. “ done 14 trials with nicotine-containing products,” Sussman explained. “The overwhelming evidence right now is that pharmacological adjuncts don’t work with teens.” Still, doctors may sometimes prescribe them for people who are younger and suffering nicotine withdrawal symptoms anyway.
Step one, though, is setting a quit date and sticking with it. In the lead-up to that day, get rid of anything that reminds you of vaping, including all vaping products.
You might also try a text-based tool if you think that might help, such as the This Is Quitting app from the Truth Initiative. The program focuses on social support and skill-building to help people stop vaping by sending users daily texts tailored to their age and the product they’re trying to ditch.
According to Jacobs, 54,000 young people have signed up since it launched nationally in January. (To access the program, youth and young adults can text “DITCHJUUL” to 88709 on the cell phones. Parents looking to help young people quit and adult vapers trying to quit can text “QUIT” to (202) 899-7550.) Smokefree.gov and the National Cancer Institute also have teen sections focused on helping young people stop vaping.
What concerned parents shouldn’t do
Finally, the tobacco experts had a couple of words of advice for parents concerned about their kids: Don’t fear-monger.
“Fear-mongering never works with kids,” said Krishnan-Sarin. That means no exaggerating about what we know about the health effects of vaping. Instead, she advised, “Take the approach of helping them understand these are products, which contain chemicals — chemicals that could be having an influence on their physiology.”
Krishnan-Sarin is referring to the fact that, in addition to the potential harm vaping may be doing to the developing lungs, nicotine itself carries numerous health risks — which is why it’s never recommended for young people. It’s highly addictive, and when the brain is still developing — up until age 25 — exposure can prime youth to being more sensitive to substance use disorders later. So instead of taking a punitive approach, she added, “Connect them with science.”
And don’t forget: Quitting is hard — for teens and adults alike. “Nicotine is a powerful psychotropic drug that people really underestimate because it is legal,” said Susanne Tanski, a pediatrics professor at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. “Parents need to support their kids through their quit, tolerate moodiness and snarkiness — and continue to support them. It’s not easy on the parent side either.”