E-cigarette makers have long claimed that vaping is a safe alternative to smoking. But, the CDC’s recent discovery of a rash of symptoms of vape-related lung diseases doesn’t bode well for vapers. Both the CDC and the New England Journal of Medicine say you should think twice about using vape pens and e-cigarettes. There have already been at least 18 vape pen deaths and over 1,000 affected. It’s not going to be easy, but here’s how to stop vaping.
If you want to quit vaping look to the same tools people use to stop smoking regular cigarettes. Since people use e-cigarettes as a replacement for traditional cigarettes, this makes sense. But that doesn’t mean you should rely on outdated ideas of quitting cold turkey. Instead, the National Institutes of Health says making a plan and sticking to it is your best bet. And there’s good reasons to do it with many vape pen diseases linked to these products.
Creating Your Quit Plan
There are five main components to a quit plan. You’re going to want to start by setting your self a quit date. The day you choose to stop vaping should be within the next couple of weeks. Try to avoid quitting on a day that is already going to be stressful. Quitting the day before your big job interview probably isn’t a good idea.
Next, you should create a list of reasons why you want to quit vaping. Your reasons might be that you want to be healthier, or you want to spend less money. Or maybe you’ve noticed that vaping gets in the way of some of your favorite activities. Once you have your list put it some place where you’ll see it often. Any time you need a reminder of why you want to quit vaping look at your list.
You also need to figure out what your vaping triggers are. Triggers are going to be different for everyone, and sometimes they can be hard to identify. Maybe you vape more around certain people, or when you feel stressed. If possible, you should avoid your triggers for at least a little while when trying to quit vaping.
Once you’ve got your triggers figured out, you’ll need a way to fight cravings. Find ways to keep your mouth and hands busy when the cravings come on. Eating a snack like sunflower seeds is perfect for this. Or you can chew gum while entertaining yourself with a hobby. The best way to fight cravings will be different for everyone, so don’t be afraid to try different things.
Finally, you need to create a support network. Make sure your friends and family know you’re going to quit vaping and tell them how they can help. These people can help distract you when you get cravings or encourage you when you need it.
How to Stop Vaping: Getting Help
You may also want to talk to your doctor about quitting options. As Deborah Buckles—program director of the Tobacco Treatment Program at the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center—explains, sometimes medical treatment is the best option.
“The most effective means of tobacco treatment is medication combined with counseling,” Buckles told Vice.
Medication helps fight the cravings, while counseling aids with the more psychological aspects of breaking your addiction.
There are also some digital and online resources you can use. Both SmokeFree.Gov and BecomeAnEX offer templates to help you develop your quit plan. They also both have text message programs that can help keep your quit goals on track.
Kicking an addiction is hard, but these tools can help you get there.