Vaping Awareness Month: Week 3

Week Three (Overcoming the Addiction):

As vaping increases in popularity, especially among middle and high school students, young teens often feel peer pressured and say “I’ll just try it once” when vaping for the very first time.

From that point, vaping becomes an activity that students can rely on for recreational purposes, a stress-relieving activity, and eventually, a daily activity. More than half of teens who vape don’t know it contains nicotine. With people unknowingly building a dependence on e-cigarettes at a very young age, it becomes troublesome when trying to quit, since the more someone vapes, the more addicted they get to vaping.

The main problem with being addicted to e-cigarettes is that the users don’t actually realize they’re addicted to e-cigarettes. They often have trouble coming to terms with the fact that they’re addicted and dependent on nicotine. A way to track how much nicotine is entering their body daily, keep a tally of how much they vape/smoke by using their notes app or taking a picture when they do. Once they have an idea of how much nicotine their body is exposed to, users should find a reason to quit their nicotine addiction. These could range from saving money on the products, preventing losing friends / family bonds, or protecting their health. Finally, identify any triggers that could cause someone to vape or use other nicotine products, such as specific groups or people who vape, stores that sell nicotine products, and websites that sell/advertise nicotine products.

Users who are trying to quit vaping often carry materials on them at all times to help with nicotine cravings. Common strategies include chewing gum, eating lollipops, and chewing on toothpicks. It is crucial for people to find new ways to keep themselves occupied when they feel the need to vape, but not feeling discriminated against due to these new ‘weird’ habits.

Other ways to keep busy while quitting vaping are taking walks, meditating, exercising, yoga, and doing relaxing activities.

Over time when vaping, your brain and body will get used to having the nicotine intake, so a sudden stop in a nicotine intake may cause nicotine withdrawal symptoms when quitting vaping.. These can include headaches, fatigue, hunger, trouble sleeping, and feeling restless. To keep these symptoms in control, people who decide to quit should ensure that they stay hydrated, get lots of sleep, and eat healthy snacks.

Attempting to overcome a nicotine addiction is a tough challenge that will take patience and perseverance to accomplish. It is important to realize that some days are going to go smoother than others, and talking to a parent, trusted friend, counselor, or doctor is always a good option to assist in this process.