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10 Tips to Help You Quit Vaping

10 Tips to Help You Quit Vaping

By now, the dangers of vaping (using e-cigarettes) are widely-known. From nicotine to fine particles to heavy metals, vape pens contain all kinds of substances that are very bad for your health—and can even cause cancer or lung disease.

If you’re thinking about quitting or have tried to quit before and want to try again, you need support and strategies to help you reach the other side. Like with cigarettes, quitting vaping means you’re dealing with two issues at once. There’s the nicotine withdrawal, which can have a number of difficult side effects, and there’s the habit you’ve formed—maybe it’s what you do to relax on a break from work, or something you do with friends.

Here are ten tips to help get you started and to succeed long-term as you quit vaping:

  1. Imagine what success looks like. What do you hope will happen when you’ve successfully quit? Will you save money or have time to do something else on breaks? Will you breathe easier? Will you feel more confident about building other healthy habits? Be specific—and write it down so you can read it when you need to remember why you’re doing this.
  2. Phone a friend. Have two or three people who are willing to be available anytime for a text or chat. When you feel an urge to vape, check in with one of them and let them give you some cheerleading or tough love until it passes.
  3. Make a withdrawal plan. Figure out how you want to handle the nicotine addiction part of quitting—will you go cold turkey, or will you use products like nicotine patches to gradually ease off? Whichever one you choose, read what to expect so that you can plan how to handle it.
  4. Change your routine. Habits tend to have “triggers”—things that nudge you toward taking that action. If your vaping habit’s triggers are part of your daily routine (for example, you do it to unwind when you get home), then try shaking up your day a bit. You might, for instance, relax in a different room when you get home, or go for a walk on your breaks at work.
  5. Make yourself accountable. Join forces with other people who are trying to quit vaping too (or make a healthy habit change) or tell several people that you’re doing it and that you’ll tell them each day how you’re doing. Just make sure they’re truly supportive and won’t tempt you to cheat nor get mad if you slip.
  6. Make it worth your while. Rewards are a powerful way to get past your cravings—but only if they matter. Pick something you really want that you could buy with the money you’re saving by not vaping and put that cash into a container. Or pick milestones—maybe for each day you don’t vape, let yourself watch an episode of a show you want to binge, for each week, pick a new place for take-out, and for each month, get tickets to a show you want to see.
  7. Lock it up. Give your vape supplies to someone you don’t live with or get a timed lockbox (they’re impossible to open until the time and date you’ve set them for). If you order supplies online, delete your account and any saved info. The harder it is for you to get to your stash, the more time you have to talk yourself down from your craving.
  8. Be ready for round two. It’s rare to quit a habit on the first try. Promise yourself that if you can’t do it this time, you won’t give up—you’ll just figure out why it was too hard and how you can make a better plan next time.
  9. Make it visual. Keep track of your winning streak at a glance. Mark off every day that you don’t vape on a calendar or poster. Use fancy pens or stickers if those make it feel more like an achievement.
  10. Take it one day at a time. This is a journey, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed by thinking about how long or hard it might be. Instead, every morning, tell yourself that you won’t vape today. Stay focused on each day and celebrate that success when you’re going to bed vape-free again.

If you or a loved one needs help kicking the vaping habit, talk to your doctor about options like behavioral therapy or nicotine replacement therapy, or check out our Freedom from Smoking program for professional help and advice. We want you healthy, Frederick.