Medically Reviewed by Dr. Mohammed Saeed, MD.
Electronic cigarettes or vaping may have been touted as a safer alternative to smoking, or even a way to stop smoking, but the reality is vaping is not safe either. While around 7,000 chemicals are known to be contained in cigarettes, many of those are toxic. Less is known about the contents of e-cigarettes, meaning someone who vapes is still being exposed to dangerous and addictive chemicals.
It is possible to stop vaping, which is particularly important for young people. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated one in five high school students and one in 20 middle school students used e-cigarettes in 2020. Smoking in any form is dangerous for any individual, but it can be particularly harmful for young people whose brains and lungs aren’t fully developed. Young or older, the sooner someone quits vaping, the better it is for their overall health.
What is Vaping
E-cigarettes go by many names, including e-cigs, e-hookahs, mods, vape pens, vapes, tank systems and electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS). Technically, vaping refers to the actual use of an e-cigarette.
E-cigarettes come in different forms and sizes, but typically they all include a battery, a heating element, and a place to hold a liquid. The battery warms the heating element, producing an aerosol from the liquid. The user inhales the aerosol, but passersby may also breathe it in as users exhale. This liquid contains nicotine and flavorings, among other chemicals, and it may be referred to as e-juice, e-liquid, vape juice, or vape liquid.
The devices come in many forms, including ones that resemble a regular cigarette, cigar, or pipe. Other e-cigarettes mimic everyday items, like USB flash drives or pens. The larger devices, such as tanks or mods, do not look like a tobacco product. Marijuana and other drugs can be consumed through vaping.
How to Quit Vaping
Many people find it helpful to know their reason for quitting vaping. They may want to save money or protect their health. Whatever the reason, specific steps can help someone’s chances of quitting vaping.
- Prioritizing their health — Vaping is just as addictive as smoking, and it causes damage to a person’s overall health and well-being. Writing down a list of reasons why an individual is quitting may provide a helpful reminder when they struggle with quitting.
- Creating a positive mindset — When someone believes that they can overcome their vaping addiction, they are more likely to tap into higher levels of motivation, commitment and willpower. Studies have also indicated they find it easier to quit and have fewer cravings.
- Making a plan — People who successfully quit vaping often have a plan that helps them manage triggers, cravings and other forms of temptation. Doing this helps them know what to expect and prepare themselves in advance.
- Finding support — Another critical component to overcoming a vaping addiction is having support from friends and family. Knowing that emotional support is available has been shown to improve someone’s chances of quitting successfully. Talking to a doctor can also be helpful because they can provide additional resources to support someone in their effort to quit vaping.
- Continuing to try — Quitting vaping may take more than one try. Just because a person couldn’t successfully quit on their first attempt doesn’t mean they will never succeed. It’s essential not to give up and continue to stay positive.
Managing Withdrawal from Vaping
Exercise can be an excellent way to fight any e-cigarette cravings. The endorphin boost someone experiences from physical activity can combat withdrawal symptoms from vaping. Additionally, someone trying to quit vaping can try other activities to help them fight cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
Many people turn to e-cigarettes to manage stress. Finding other ways to deal with life’s ups and downs can help an individual quit vaping. Options include reading, doing something artistic or engaging in any other form of self-care such as meditation.
Finally, it is important to celebrate the victories that a person experiences on their journey to stop vaping. Not only does this give them something to look forward to, but it also is a great way to acknowledge the progress that has been achieved.
Building on a belief that spiritual development and healthy recovery can bring inner peace to clients overcoming addiction and substance abuse, Into Action Recovery Centers takes a people-centered approach to addiction treatment. The center is conveniently located in Houston, Texas, and is led by experienced master’s level counselors and medical professionals who specialize in personalized treatment for drug and alcohol abuse.