You’ve given it a lot of thought and you’ve decided to quit vaping.
First of all, congratulations! This is a huge and important decision that will have huge impacts on your physical health for years to come.
Is quitting vaping easy?
Quitting vaping isn’t easy. E-cigarettes contain nicotine, and some e-cigarettes contain just as much nicotine as cigarettes.
The very first thing that will happen when you try to cut out e-cigarettes is that you’ll start to experience withdrawal - physical and psychological symptoms that arise when your body craves nicotine. This happens in the first few hours and usually is when you’d go to pick up another cigarette. Unfortunately, withdrawal symptoms are one of the things that make quitting smoking and vaping so hard.
The first week - especially the first three to five days - is when the nicotine is first leaving your body and often when you’ll experience the worst withdrawal symptoms. These can range from mood swings, irritability, and anxiety, to headaches, sweating, insomnia, abdominal cramps, and constipation.
After about a month, you should start noticing some mental withdrawal symptoms, like irritability, brain fog, and anxiety, begin to go away. From there, it’s about keeping a strong mental game and continuing to move forward.
6 new tips to know before you quit vaping
There’s no way around how hard it is to quit vaping. But there are some things you can do in the process to make it a little easier:
- Build up your support system: You’ll need these people on the most challenging days - from your parents and close friends to your boss and even your work wife. They’ll hold you accountable, and on the hard days, will remind you why you started down this journey.
- Go to therapy: a therapist - especially one with training in supporting smoking cessation - is another excellent resource to have in your corner as you work to cut back on smoking or vaping. Not only will they be another addition to your support system, but they’ll be able to help you identify things that might be triggering you to smoke and help you come up with strategies to beat cravings when they arise.
- Try nicotine replacement therapies: nicotine replacement therapies, including some types of nicotine gum, lozenges, or patches, provide you with a small amount of nicotine when the craving strikes - but none of the other chemicals found in cigarettes or e-cigarettes. When used properly, you slowly wean yourself to need fewer and fewer pieces of gum to get through the day. This makes them very effective in helping you cut back on cigarettes or vaping.
- Find something to do with your mouth and your hands: when my uncle quit smoking back in the early aughts, he missed the feeling of having something in his mouth as he went about his day. Enter Altoids. I haven’t seen him without them in about fifteen years. (And it makes up for the decades when he had bad breath from smoking.)
- Keep track of your small wins - and big ones: Apps like Quit Now, Quit Tracker, and Smoke Free will help you conceptualize the impact that every day without smoking has on your health. You can also track how much money you’re saving from not smoking - especially given that a single JUUL pod costs almost $5. That money can add up quickly if you’re planning to put it toward something else!
- Reward yourself: Especially during those first two weeks, find a small way to celebrate making it through the day. But as you continue to hit milestones in your smoke-free journey, you deserve to celebrate!
How long does it take to quit vaping?
As we explained above, quitting vaping isn’t easy. In fact, it’s really, really (really, really, really) hard. Less than half of people who try to quit smoking or vaping are successful on the first attempt, and for some people, it can take anywhere from six to twenty tries - or sometimes even more - before they completely kick the habit.
And that’s completely normal. In 2018, about 55 percent of adult smokers had attempted to quit in the past year, but only about 8 percent were successful in quitting for 6-12 months. If you try to quit smoking or vaping and then pick it back up, don’t beat yourself up over it. Any time off from smoking is good for your health.
“And you may find that the next time you try to quit, you can go longer without a cigarette than the last time; or you might discover exercise helps you stave off cravings,” the FDA advises. “Each time you make a quit attempt, you learn new techniques to implement and move one step closer to being able to call yourself a former smoker.”
So whether it’s your first try or your fifteenth, any step toward cutting out cigarettes or e-cigarettes is a reason for celebration. Any time off from smoking is good for your health.
Is quitting vaping worth it?
Quitting vaping will have TONS of positive impacts on your health and well-being, from reducing your risk of cancer and heart disease, to increasing your life expectancy (smokers who quit can expect to add 3-10 years to their life!).
By quitting vaping or smoking, you’ll experience many health benefits, including:
- Within just one day of quitting smoking, your heart rate begins to drop, and your carbon monoxide levels return to normal.
- Within three months, you’ll have reduced your risk of a heart attack, and improved your lung function and capacity. In addition, after three months without cigarettes, you’ll have much higher chances of having a healthy pregnancy.
- After a year, your added risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker’s.
- Within 5-10 years, you’ll have reduced your risk of stroke, as well as a whole host of cancers, including mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney, and pancreas.
- And after 15 years, your risk of coronary heart disease is the same as someone who has never smoked.
In addition, e-cigarettes are so new that we don’t know yet whether vaping will have other long-term impacts on your body and on your overall health, beyond what we know about smoking traditional cigarettes. But whatever they are, you probably don’t want to experience them, and we can guarantee that you’ll avoid them by cutting back or quitting.
If you’re ready to take the plunge, remember that nicotine replacement therapies can be a really helpful resource to help you slowly break your addiction to e-cigarettes and nicotine. LUCY makes a variety of nicotine products, including gum, lozenges, and pouches to give you an alternative to smoking cigarettes or vaping.
Your days of running to the store to buy vape cartridges may be over sooner than you think.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this website is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended as, nor should not be construed as a substitute for, professional medical or health advice on any subject matter. Please consult your physician regarding any medical treatment decisions.