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How to Quit Vaping

Medically Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on July 23, 2021

While vaping is often marketed as a healthier choice than smoking, it comes with its own long list of risks. It’s true that vaping exposes users to fewer chemicals from burning than traditional cigarettes, but vaping still forms unhealthy nicotine addictions in kids, teens, and adults. Beyond this, the long-term effects of vaping are still unknown. That means that vaping could be causing more damage to your lungs and body than you realize.

There’s never been a better time to quit vaping. If you’re struggling to drop your habit, there are several steps to quit vaping that you can take.

5 Steps to Quit Vaping

Deciding that you need to quit is easy, but it can be hard to actually start. Here are 5 steps to help you kick the habit:

1. Prioritize your health. One of the best ways to start quitting is to take a clear look at how vaping is affecting your life. Some questions to consider include:

  • Is vaping getting in the way of your daily activities?
  • Do you rely on vaping to get through the day?
  • Do you notice vaping affecting your health?
  • Do you want to help your long-term health?
  • Is vaping affecting your relationship with your partner, family, or friends?
  • Are you spending too much money on vaping?

Overall, one of the best ways to quit is to take an honest look at the damage it may be causing your general health and well-being. Write down or type out a list of reasons why you want to quit. Use these as a reminder when the process gets tough.

2. Build a positive mindset. Studies show that people who believe that they have the ability to overcome their addiction had higher levels of motivation, commitment, and willpower than those who focused on the permanence of addiction. They also reported fewer set-backs and barriers to quitting.

Other studies show that people with a positive mindset may have fewer cravings, find quitting easier, and are less likely to relapse.

You can build a positive mindset through meditation, exercise, and other mindfulness activities.

3. Be prepared. Quitting vaping can be hard, but having a plan and knowing what to expect will set you up for success. Some things to keep in mind as you start your journey include:

  • Triggers. People, places, emotions, or settings can remind you of vaping and cause cravings. As you quit, it’s important to learn what your triggers are and try to avoid them throughout the process.
  • Cravings. As you quit, cravings and nicotine withdrawal symptoms are going to happen. Make sure to have a plan for coping with your cravings, whether it is exercise, candy, or other tools to stop smoking and vaping. 
  • Temptation. Make a list of the places where vaping is most accessible to you and avoid them.

4. Find Support. One of the most important steps in the quitting process is finding support. Research shows that finding a community or support group helps raise the success rate of quitting and lowers the chances of relapse. Before you take the first steps, talk to people you can count on and get their emotional support.

Another source of support is your doctor. Tell them that you want to quit vaping and ask for their advice. They will be able to offer support and resources tailored to your specific needs.

5. Don’t give up. It takes the average smoker or vaper several attempts at quitting to make a permanent change in their life. Remember, just because you failed the first time doesn’t mean you can’t succeed on your next attempt to quit. Be kind to yourself and stay positive throughout your journey. Stay committed to your long-term health.

Some positive activities to help manage your withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Physical activity. Exercise is a healthy way to combat craving symptoms. The endorphin boost you earn from working out is a great alternative to the nicotine you may be craving. Find an activity that works for you, whether it’s running, yoga, or lifting weights.
  • De-stress. As you learn more about yourself in the quitting process, find outlets that help you relieve stress in a more positive way. Try reading, drawing, playing a game, going for a walk, or even taking a self-care day.
  • Celebrate. Don’t be afraid to celebrate milestones in your quitting journey. Celebrating will give you moments to look forward to along the way.
WebMD Medical Reference

Sources

SOURCES:

Biomed Research International: “Association between Positivity and Smoking Cessation.”

BMJ Open: “Estimating the number of quit attempts it takes to quit smoking successfully in a longitudinal cohort of smokers.”

CDC: “Quick Facts on the Risks of E-cigarettes for Kids, Teens, and Young Adults.”

Journal of Smoking Cessation: “Motivational Benefits of Social Support and Behavioural Interventions for Smoking Cessation.”

Smokefree: “How to Quit Vaping.”

Substance Use & Misuse: “Addiction Mindsets and Psychological Processes of Quitting Smoking.”

Truth Initiative: “Quitting vaping? Here are 5 tips for handling nicotine withdrawal.”

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