So you vape. You're not the only one. While vaping hasn't been proven to be more dangerous than smoking cigarettes, it isn't totally free of potential harmful short- and long-term consequences to your health.
If you are concerned about the frequency of your vaping habit and want to limit it or kick it totally, here's some advice from experts around the United States that may provide some insight and assistance.
Brooke Sprowl, LCSW, CNTS
Clinical director and owner, My LA Therapy
"In some ways, vaping addiction is no different than dealing with any other addiction, but on the other hand, vaping is more insidious because it's socially acceptable. In order to deal with an addiction to vaping you must simultaneously detoxify your body in order to release yourself from your physiological dependency as well as seek psychological support to deal with the underlying causes and habits of avoidance.
Addiction is often a compensation for what is lacking in our lives. Having a rich and healthy life evokes neurotransmitters like endorphins, serotonin and dopamine into our brains. When your life is missing healthy hobbies and social support, we use drugs as a synthetic substitute for these things. We're tricking our brains into experiencing the same neurotransmitters and therefore providing a manufactured experience as if our lives are balanced and joyful without actually doing the work to make that a reality."
Dr. Caroline Fenkel, DSW, LCSW, psychotherapist
"Understanding and acknowledging addiction are the first steps in seeking help. In the early stages, a person may not show signs of full-blown addiction, but rather early stage clues such as experimentation, seeking out situations where the substance or activity is present, and/or ignoring the negative consequences of their actions. It's best to seek help as early as possible. This could mean speaking with a loved one, a medical professional or a support group."
Christine Storm, MPH
Director of community education at Caron Treatment Centers
"The longer you let vaping addiction go on, the more difficult it will be to stop. The time to start making changes is now. It is important to be prepared and have a plan for how you are going to deal with cravings and triggers that make you want to use.
Quitting isn’t easy, so the more motivated you are to make changes, the easier it will be. Some teens are motivated for health reasons or to save money. Some don't want the burden of having nicotine control their lives anymore or are tired of getting into trouble for it. If you have tried to quit cold turkey but haven't been successful, you may benefit from support. Ask your school nurse or guidance counselor if your school offers nicotine cessation support groups."