Maybe you started vaping in high school thinking it was a cool fad. Maybe you started in college or at a party after work with friends. Maybe you started vaping because you thought it would help you stop smoking.
However you started, and for whatever reason, now you are regularly craving the nicotine buzz from vaping; perhaps you have a nicotine addiction. Are you concerned about breathing troubles when playing sports or about the cost of vaping? Have heard about vaping-related lung illnesses around the country?
You want to quit vaping and you know you don’t want to start (or go back to) smoking. There is another way—you can quit vaping and free help is available.
Nicotine is highly addictive and hard to quit so preparing a quit plan in advance makes quitting easier. Here are some steps you can take to get ready to quit vaping.
- Think about all of the reasons you want to quit vaping and make a list. Put it on your phone or someplace where you will see it often. Look at the list when you feel the urge to vape.
- Set a quit date that’s a week or two away to give yourself time to get ready to quit.
- Get ready by thinking about your vaping triggers, how to avoid them and how to fight cravings.
- The good news is that most cravings last for only 15-20 minutes. Finding ways to get through that short period of time is key to dealing with cravings, like going on a short walk or playing a game on your phone.
- Plan to avoid places and situations where others are vaping when you start your quit attempt.
- Surround yourself with supportive people who will be there to listen, cheer you on and distract you from vaping.
When you’re ready to quit, start thinking of yourself as someone who doesn’t vape. Know that quitting is hard and you might have to try to quit a number of times before you quit for good. Each quit attempt is a learning experience—keep trying, you’ll get better with practice.
The most effective way to quit is to use FDA-approved medicines and coaching support together. Vapers can call 1-800-QUT NOW (1-800-784-8669) for free coaching from the Massachusetts Smokers’ Helpline through phone, web, and text 24 hours each day, seven days a week (except Thanksgiving and Christmas) or enroll online through KeepTryingMA.org. Adults who work with a coach can now receive up to eight weeks of free nicotine patches, gum or lozenges (with medical eligibility) through the Smokers’ Helpline. The combination of free coaching and quit medication can make someone three times as likely to quit for good as those who try to quit on their own.
The Southeast Tobacco-Free Community Partnership supports communities’ efforts to lower smoking prevalence and exposure to secondhand smoke; enhance state and local tobacco control efforts by exposing tobacco industry tactics, mobilizing the community to support and adopt evidence-based policies, and changing social norms. Funded by the Massachusetts Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Program, Community Partnerships serve as a resource for local coalitions, health and human service agencies, municipalities, and workplaces on tobacco intervention efforts.