People often transition to vaping when they want to quit smoking cigarettes, but what if you’re ready to quit to vaping?
Quitting smoking and transitioning to vaping is a really positive step. Vaping is not completely risk free, but it poses a small fraction of the risk compared to smoking cigarettes. It is estimated to be around 95% less harmful than tobacco (1). E-cigarettes do not produce tar or carbon monoxide, two of the most harmful elements in tobacco smoke, making them a good alternative to cigarettes.
However, e-cigarettes may have drawbacks regarding addiction (2), and many people wish to stop vaping once they realise their vape has replaced smoking. If you’re not sure how to stop, here are a few suggestions (3).
- Reduce the nicotine percentage: Reduce the percentage you’re currently using gradually over the course of several weeks. This will gradually reduce your dependence on nicotine, making nicotine withdrawal easier to manage, and your cravings should be reduced as well.
- Be disciplined: Set a limit on how frequently you use your e-cigarette and follow the same rules you would with a real cigarette. This includes not using it at home, in the car, or in public places. If you find yourself holding it all the time, put it down and only pick it up and use it at set intervals, such as every 5 minutes. Then, try increasing the interval every 10 minutes, 15 minutes, and so on. Whatever frequency of use, trying this method can be extremely beneficial.
- Try nicotine replacement therapy: This could help with reducing how often you use your e-cigarette, as well as preventing nicotine withdrawal symptoms. Gum or lozenges, which are widely available in pharmacies and supermarkets, can help. There are many different types of nicotine replacement therapy, but using an inhalator is not recommended because it may take the place of your e-cigarette.
- Replace your e-cigarette: Aside from an inhalator, finding something to replace your e-cigarette with could be beneficial. When you quit smoking, you replaced your cigarette with a vape, so it makes sense that finding something to replace it with might be helpful. Some people find that doing something with their hands helps to replace the sensation of using an e-cigarette. Hold a pencil, a stress ball, or a fidget toy, or take up a hand-based hobby such as knitting or crocheting, doodling, or reading.
- Set a quit date: Setting a quit date for when you’ll stop vaping can help, just like quitting smoking. This will help you differentiate between your time as a vaper and your time as a non-vaper. It will also provide you with something to work towards and a strong sense of control.
For more support, please check out the Better Health page on quitting vaping: https://www.nhs.uk/better-health/quit-smoking/vaping-to-quit-smoking/
Adapted from One You Surrey.