4 Strategies to Quit Vaping

E-cigarettes—such as Juul, Vuse Alto, or similar products—may seem like a better alternative to smoking regular cigarettes, but they’re not harmless. As the body of research continues to grow around vaping, it’s becoming more clear that using e-cigarettes and other vaping products is unsafe for kids, teens, and adults. 

 

Is Vaping Addictive?

Many e-cigarette brands, including Juul, use nicotine in their products. Nicotine is a highly addictive chemical that rewards your brain, causing you to crave it. In addition to the potential of becoming addicted, continued nicotine vaping may make other drugs, such as cocaine, more desirable for users, particularly teens whose brains are still developing.1 Vaping may also serve as a gateway for marijuana use, according to a study that followed nearly 12,000 adolescents, ages 12 through 17.6 

 

Is Vaping Bad for Teens?

Though there is still a lot to learn about the health effects of vaping, the current data shows no benefits for youth and young adults. Additionally, the Food and Drug Administration warns that e-cigarettes are not safe for youth and young adults, among other populations.2 Nicotine can affect parts of the brain that help with attention, learning, and impulse control.1 This is especially true for teens and young adults, as their brains are still developing. E-cigarette vapor contains many substances, some of which have been linked to an increased risk of cancer.3 While it can sometimes be difficult to tell if someone is hiding that they vape, some signs to look out for are: jittery behavior, decrease in normal activities, and excessive spending. 

 

Below are 4 strategies to help kids, teens, and adults quit vaping. 

Strategies to Quit Vaping

  • Use a smartphone app. Quitting vaping isn’t easy, especially if you’re trying to do it on your own. Apps, such as quitSTART, are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.4 The app includes ways to monitor your progress, read helpful tips, and share your progress through social media, among other features. If that app isn’t the right fit for you, there are many alternatives available. 
  • Enroll in a texting program. Texting programs help hold you accountable on your journey to quit. With Nicotine 101, an online course offered by 3rd Millennium Classrooms, there is a text follow-up feature for participants. There is research that shows text message programs for e-cigarette cessation may help users quit vaping.5
  • Attend individual or group counseling sessions. With the support of a tobacco cessation counselor, you can quit with guidance from a qualified individual who is available to answer your questions and offer you advice. Many participants who take our Nicotine 101 course find it helpful to enroll in in-person sessions upon completion of the course. They often bring their personalized feedback report from Nicotine 101 to help  the counselor better understand their personal situation. 
  • Ask for support from family and friends. Everyone can play a part to help prevent teens from vaping. Reaching out to your loved ones for support and perhaps encouraging them to quit with you if they vape, is important. They’re the ones who know you best and can help guide, encourage, and cheer you on as you quit. 

 

In our Nicotine 101 course, we implement evidence-based strategies and tools to help students make informed decisions and healthy choices involving nicotine use. The course includes information about adverse health effects and the general dangers of vaping. It empowers students to take an honest look at their personal nicotine use and associated behaviors. Each student receives individualized feedback to help them develop a plan to quit using nicotine. Both student groups and individuals can enroll in the course. 



References 
  1. U.S. Department of Health, and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease, Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health. E-Cigarette Use Among Youth And Young Adults: A Report of the Surgeon General — Executive Summary.; 2016. https://e-cigarettes.surgeongeneral.gov/documents/2016_SGR_Exec_Summ_508.pdf.
  2. About Electronic Cigarettes (E-Cigarettes). (2020, November 16). https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/basic_information/e-cigarettes/about-e-cigarettes.html
  3. Robert H. Shmerling, M. (2019, December 10). Can vaping damage your lungs? What we do (and don't) know. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/can-vaping-damage-your-lungs-what-we-do-and-dont-know-2019090417734
  4. QuitSTART App. (2021, February 12). https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/campaign/tips/quit-smoking/quitstart-app/index.html
  5. Graham, A. L., Jacobs, M. A., & Amato, M. S. (2019, June 14). Engagement and 3-Month Outcomes From a Digital E-Cigarette Cessation Program in a Cohort of 27 000 Teens and Young Adults. https://academic.oup.com/ntr/article/22/5/859/5518550
  6. Dai H;Catley D;Richter KP;Goggin K;Ellerbeck EF; “Electronic Cigarettes and Future Marijuana Use: A Longitudinal Study.” Pediatrics, U.S. National Library of Medicine, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29686146/

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