Vaping involves inhaling and exhaling the aerosol produced by a battery-powered smoking device, known as an e-cigarette. These devices heat liquid ingredients into vapor, containing nicotine, flavorings, and other chemicals, some of which are toxic. Some vaping products also contain marijuana or other drugs.
Vapes are small and often disguised as USB flash drives, cell phones, pens, erasers, or lipstick. Some are disposable, while others can be reused by charging the device and replacing the e-liquid. Vapes come in sweet flavors that disguise the harsh taste of nicotine and other chemicals contained in the e-liquid.
Why do I need to quit?
- Health risks: People who use e-cigarettes are up to four times more likely to start smoking cigarettes. Vapes contain a high level of extremely addictive nicotine, some with an amount equal to about 20 cigarettes. The vapor made from e-cigarettes is not made of water; it contains harmful chemicals and very fine particles that are inhaled into the lungs. Nicotine is harmful to the developing brain, which continues to develop until about age 25. Vaping negatively affects attention, learning, and impulse control, especially in young people.
- Legal reasons: It is illegal for anyone under 21 to purchase, possess, or use e-cigarettes.
- Expense: Vaping can be expensive, especially for those who use it frequently.
How do I quit?
Quitting vaping can be challenging due to intense withdrawal symptoms such as strong cravings, irritability, fatigue, headache, sleeplessness, and difficulty concentrating. However, there are many support resources available to help you quit:
- This is Quitting: A mobile program designed to help teens and young adults quit vaping. Join for free by texting DITCHVAPE to 88709. Users receive age-appropriate messages tailored to their enrollment date or quit date. Throughout the program, users can text COPE, STRESS, SLIP, or MORE to receive instant support.
- Parent support: Parents can text QUIT to (202) 899-7550 to sign up for text messages designed specifically for parents of vapers.
- BecomeAnEX: A free, digital quit-smoking plan and community created by Truth Initiative in collaboration with Mayo Clinic. It provides support for adults looking to quit vaping or stop using any tobacco product.
Breaking up with vaping is a challenging yet essential step towards a healthier lifestyle. By understanding the risks associated with vaping and utilizing the available support resources, you can successfully quit the habit and protect your overall well-being.
- What is the difference between vaping and smoking cigarettes?
Vaping involves inhaling and exhaling vapor produced by an e-cigarette, while smoking cigarettes involves burning tobacco and inhaling the smoke.
- Are e-cigarettes less harmful than traditional cigarettes?
While e-cigarettes are often marketed as a safer alternative to smoking, they still contain harmful chemicals and can lead to addiction, making them far from harmless.
- Can vaping help me quit smoking cigarettes?
Some people use e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation tool, but there is limited evidence to support their effectiveness. It is essential to consult a healthcare professional for guidance on quitting smoking.
- What are the long-term effects of vaping?
The long-term effects of vaping are not yet fully understood, but studies have shown that it can lead to negative health effects such as coughing, wheezing, behavioral and mood changes, headaches, seizures, vomiting, and potential severe lung injury.
- Are there any medications that can help me quit vaping?
There are no specific medications approved for quitting vaping, but some medications used for smoking cessation may also be helpful. It is important to consult a healthcare professional for personalized advice and guidance on quitting vaping.