1. Know Why You’re Quitting
There are many good reasons to stop vaping. Do you want to feel healthier? Save money? Knowing why you want to quit vaping can help you stay motivated and focused on your goal to become vape-free.
Think about the things in your life that are important to you. Does vaping get in the way of what’s important? If you’re not sure, try asking yourself these questions:
- Is vaping affecting my health?
- Is vaping controlling my life?
- How does vaping affect the way I think and feel?
- How does vaping affect my relationships with my friends, parents, boyfriend/girlfriend, or other people important to me?
- How does vaping or thinking about vaping interfere with my schoolwork or grades?
- Are there activities that I used to enjoy that I don’t enjoy anymore because of vaping?
- Am I spending a lot of money to keep vaping?
- What am I looking forward to the most after quitting?
2. Commit to Your Quit
The first step to giving up vaping is to choose a date to quit. Here are some tips to help you pick a quit date:
- Give yourself time to get ready. Getting ready can help you feel confident and give you the skills you’ll need to stay quit.
- Don’t put it off for too long. Picking a date too far away gives you time to change your mind or become less interested in quitting. Choose a date that is no more than a week or two away.
- Set yourself up for success. Try not to pick a quit date that will be stressful, like the day before a big test.
Have you picked your quit date? Circle it on your calendar or set an alert on your phone, and make sure you have a plan for what you will do on the big day.
3. Know What Challenges to Expect
The first few weeks of quitting vaping are usually the hardest. Take it one day at a time. You may face some challenges along the way, but knowing what to expect and being prepared can help.
Learn your triggers. Certain people, feelings, or situations can cause you to want to vape. It’s important to know your triggers. It may be best to avoid situations that can trigger you to vape when you’re in the early stages of your quit.
Prepare for cravings and withdrawal. Think about how you will fight cravings and deal with withdrawal symptoms. Knowing what to expect and having strategies for handling thoughts about vaping or uncomfortable feelings will help you succeed and stay with your quit in those tough moments.
Resist temptations. Avoid places and situations where others are vaping. If you can’t avoid being around vaping, plan for how you will handle these situations. Maybe that means you take a temporary break from friends you vape with and think about what you will say if somebody offers you a vape.
4. Imagine Your Vape-Free Self
It might be hard to imagine your life without e-cigarettes – especially if vaping is something you do a lot throughout the day. You might feel like a piece of yourself is missing when you first quit. It can take time to get used to the new vape-free you, but over time this will become your new normal. Here are some strategies that can help:
- Make the mental shift. Start thinking of yourself as someone who doesn’t vape. This will help separate you from vaping and give you the confidence to quit and stay quit.
- Focus on the positive. Make a list of all the positive things about yourself that don’t involve vaping and put it somewhere you can see often, like on your bedroom wall or phone. It will remind you that vaping does not define who you are.
Picture the future you. Think about who you want to be in the future. Compare that with who you are now. Ask yourself: How are they different? How does vaping get in the way of what you want for the future? The answer to this can help motivate you to stick to your decision to quit.
5. Build Your Team
Surrounding yourself with supportive people can make it easier to quit vaping. Friends, family, co-workers, and others can be there to listen, boost your mood, and distract you from using your vape.
Ask for help. You don’t have to do it alone. If you feel comfortable, tell your friends and family that you’re quitting vaping and that you will need their support. Here are some ways to ask for the support you need.
- Be specific. Whether you need tough love or something softer, tell your friends and family what type of support you want, and how often you want their help. For example, if you are feeling stressed or anxious after school, ask a friend to help keep you distracted.
- Say thank you. Tell your support team you appreciate them. A thank-you can go a long way – and it doesn’t take much time. Research also shows that being grateful can improve physical health, mental health, and self-esteem.
- Support others. Support is a two-way street. Check-in with your friends and ask them what you can do to help them. Or, do something to brighten someone’s day.
Talk to a doctor. Talk to your doctor or another health care professional about how to quit vaping. Ask how they might be able to help you. They can offer support and resources.
Talk to a tobacco cessation counselor. Get free, personalized support from an expert. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or 1-877-44U-QUIT to talk with a tobacco cessation counselor. You can also chat online using the National Cancer Institute’s LiveHelp service.
Dealing with people who don’t get it. Some important people in your life may not understand your decision to quit. It can be frustrating or discouraging when someone in your life is not as supportive as you’d like. Try one of these strategies:
- Distance yourself. You may need to take a break from unsupportive people when you first quit. Let them know that you need to make quitting vaping your priority right now.
- Recommit to quitting. Remind yourself why you are quitting and why being vape-free is important to you.
- Ask them to respect your decision. Not everyone will know how to be supportive, and that’s okay. Ask them not to vape around you or offer you to use their vape.
- Lean on positive people. Spend time with people who make you feel good about your decision and who want you to quit.
Set a date to quit vaping and make a plan that works for you. You’ll be healthier and happier in the long run.
At first, putting down the vape may seem impossible, but you CAN do it, and it will get easier with time.
Nicotine addiction can make you feel like you can’t go a minute without vaping. Quitting can help you feel more in control of your life.
Avoid reminders of vaping by changing your routine. Small changes—like taking a different route to school—can help.