Quitting vaping is easier when you prepare in advance and have a plan. These steps will get you ready to quit.
Find Your Reasons to Quit
There are many good reasons to quit vaping. Maybe you want to feel healthier, save money, or finally quit tobacco for good. Knowing why you want to quit vaping can help you stay motivated and focused on your goal of becoming vape-free.
Think about what is important in your life. Does vaping get in the way? If you’re not sure, ask 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 family, friends, colleagues, partner, and others important to me?
- How does vaping or thinking about vaping interfere with my work and other responsibilities?
- Are there activities I used to enjoy, but don’t anymore, because of vaping?
- Am I spending a lot of money to keep vaping?
- What am I looking forward to the most after quitting?
Your answers to these questions can make you aware of how vaping is affecting your life, maybe in ways you hadn’t considered before. Make a list of all the reasons that you want to quit vaping and put it somewhere you’ll see it regularly, like on your phone. Review your list often to remind yourself why you want to quit to stay focused and motivated.
Quit All Tobacco
Some people who vape also use cigarettes or other tobacco products. It’s important to know that there is no safe level of tobacco use. If you smoke cigarettes or use other tobacco products besides vapes, now is a good time to quit those too.
It might seem challenging to quit cigarettes or other tobacco products while you are quitting vaping, but quitting all tobacco products is one of the best things you can do for your health.
Set Your Quit Date
The first step to quitting vaping is to pick a date to quit. Here are some tips to help you choose your quit date:
- Give yourself time to prepare. Getting ready can give you the skills you’ll need to stay quit and help you feel more confident.
- Don’t wait too long. Choosing a date too far away gives you time to change your mind or become less motivated to quit. Pick a date that is no more than a week or two away.
- Set yourself up to succeed.Try not to pick a quit date during a time that will be stressful, like the day before a holiday, a big meeting, or event.
Once you’ve picked your quit date, mark it on your calendar or set an alert on your phone, and make sure you have a plan for getting through your first day.
Anticipate the Challenges of Quitting
The first few weeks of quitting vaping are usually the hardest. Take it one day at a time. Knowing what to expect and being prepared can help you face challenges along the way.
Identify your triggers. Certain people, places, feelings, or situations may cause you to want to vape. It’s important to learn your triggers. During the early stages of your quit journey, it may be best to avoid these triggers. Make a plan for handling cravings when you can’t avoid a trigger.
Get ready for cravings and withdrawal. Think about how you will get through cravings and manage withdrawal symptoms without turning to your vape. Know what to expect and have strategies ready for handling thoughts about vaping or uncomfortable feelings. This will help you succeed and stick with quitting in those tough moments.
Resist temptations. Do your best to avoid places and situations where others are vaping. If you can’t avoid being around vaping, plan for how you will handle these situations. That might mean taking a temporary break from friends you vape with and practicing what you will say if somebody offers you a vape.
Picture Yourself Vape-Free
It might be hard to imagine your life without vaping – particularly if you vape often throughout the day. You might feel like part of yourself is missing when you first quit, but those feelings will fade over time. The new vape-free you will become your new normal. Here are some strategies that can help:
- Change your mindset. Start thinking of yourself as someone who doesn’t vape. This will help separate who you are from the activity of vaping and give you the confidence to quit for good.
- Focus on the positive. Make a list of all the positive things about yourself that don’t involve vaping. Put that list somewhere you can see it often, like on your refrigerator or phone. Look at this list and remind yourself that vaping does not define who you are.
- Imagine the future you. Think about who you want to be. Compare that with who you are now. How are these two versions of you different? How does vaping interfere with what you want for your future? Your answers can help motivate you to stick to your decision to quit vaping.
Building a team of supportive people can make it easier to quit vaping. Surround yourself with friends, family, co-workers, and others who can be there to listen, boost your mood, and distract you from vaping. Quit with a friend or ask for advice from someone who has successfully quit.
Tell your team that you’re quitting vaping and ask for their support. Here are some ways to get help when you need it.
- Be clear. Whether you need tough love or something softer, be specific about what type of support you want, and how often you want help. For example, if you are feeling stressed or anxious at work, ask a coworker to help keep you distracted.
- Express gratitude. Tell your supporters that 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.
- Pay it forward. Support is a two-way street. Check in with your friends and family to see what you can do to help them out or do something to brighten someone’s day.
Ask for help from a doctor or health care professional. Discuss your plans to quit and ask how they can help you manage your nicotine withdrawal symptoms or other quitting concerns.
Medications like nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), varenicline, and bupropion are used to help people quit smoking cigarettes. These medications can help reduce cravings and other nicotine withdrawal symptoms. The Food and Drug Administration has not approved these medications to help people quit vaping, but if you are struggling with quitting, talk with your doctor or another health care professional about your challenges and whether medication might be right for you.
Connect with a tobacco cessation counselor. Get free, personalized support from an expert. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (800-784-8669) or 1-877-44U-QUIT (877-448-7848) to talk with a tobacco cessation counselor. You can also chat online using the National Cancer Institute’s LiveHelp service.
Managing people who don’t support you. Some people important to you may not understand or agree with your decision to quit. You may feel frustrated or discouraged when someone in your life is not as supportive as you’d like. Try one of these strategies to deal with them:
- Create distance. You may need to distance yourself from unsupportive people when you first quit. Let them know that quitting vaping is your priority right now.
- Recommit to your quit. Remind yourself and reflect on why you are quitting and why being vape-free is important to you.
- Ask for respect. Not everyone will know how to be supportive, and that’s okay. Ask them to respect your decision to quit and to not to vape around you or offer you their vape.
- Lean on your supporters. Spend time with positive people who make you feel good about your decision and who want you to quit.