Is Quitting Vaping Hard?
Vaping, or inhaling vaporized liquid, typically containing nicotine and some kind of flavoring, has become increasingly popular in recent years. For many, it’s something of a lifestyle, while for many others, it’s supposed to be a way to step down from smoking and eventually quit entirely. However, this may be more problematic than it initially appears.
There are many good reasons to quit smoking. Smoking increases your risk of lung, mouth, and throat cancer, emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, heart disease, stroke, and respiratory infections. Cigarettes smell bad, they stain your fingers and teeth, and they get more expensive every year.
What’s more, if you’re recovering from addiction, smoking may increase your risk of relapse. One large study found that smokers were about twice as likely as non-smokers to relapse by the end of three years. People who began their recovery as smokers but then quit were able to significantly reduce their risk of relapse. So while quitting smoking is a good idea in general, there is even more at stake for people recovering from addiction.
Many people have used devices such as vaping to try to quit smoking. While these are certainly better than smoking cigarettes, they are not without risk.
The risks associated with vaping can include the following:
- Increased heart rate
- Increased blood pressure
- Increased risk of bronchitis and lung disease
- Increased insulin resistance
There is also no regulation regarding what goes into vaping oil, so you never really know what you’re getting. Studies have found chemicals such as formaldehyde and antifreeze in vaping oil. And some of the byproducts of vaping have been found to be carcinogenic.
Why Vaping is such a Hard Habit to Kick
Although vaping is often touted as a way to quit smoking, and is certainly a better alternative, quitting vaping may be harder than you think. Some studies have found that delivering nicotine in the form of concentrated vapor makes it more potent and therefore more addictive than getting nicotine through smoking cigarettes.
Many people claim quitting vaping is even harder than quitting cigarettes. Withdrawal symptoms include anxiety, irritability, fatigue, intense cravings, inability to concentrate, inability to feel pleasure, and headaches.
This is because most vapes, including JUUL, contain nicotine, and the more you vape, the more your brain and body become accustomed to nicotine. Going without vaping means the level of nicotine in your bloodstream drops, leading to these unpleasant feelings.
What’s more, people are often not as motivated to quit vaping. Although it’s not exactly good for you, it’s not as undeniably bad for you as smoking. It doesn’t massively increase your risk of cancer and heart disease. It doesn’t taste like toxic ash, but rather something nice, like strawberries. It’s not restricted in most buildings as smoking is, so it’s easier to use habitually and there’s less social pressure to abstain.
How to Manage Nicotine Withdrawal
An addiction to nicotine from vaping will affect each person differently. The first thing to know is that the symptoms of withdrawal from vaping will eventually diminish and go away with time. Soon, your body will be used to being free from vaping.
In the meantime, the following are some ways to overcome your nicotine withdrawal symptoms:
- Stay hydrated: drink plenty of water during the day which can help relieve withdrawal symptoms like headaches, hunger, and fatigue. It may also reduce cravings.
- Eat healthy: quitting vaping may increase your appetite, so keep a healthy snack nearby. This can help psychologically as well by having a snack in your hands rather than your vape.
- Get enough sleep: quitting vaping can make you feel tired or groggy during the day, so make sleep a priority. Keep a regular sleep schedule and make time to exercise during the day to help you sleep better.
- Get support from your family and friends: quitting is hard to do on your own. Tell those closest to you that you’re trying to quit vaping and ask for their support.
- Get help from a health professional: a doctor may be able to help you anticipate specific withdrawal symptoms and give you insight on managing them.
There hasn’t yet been any research into whether vaping, like smoking, increases your risk of relapse, but it’s possible since the essential features are the same. Even so, if you’re considering quitting smoking, vaping might turn out to be more of a trap than a way out.
Hanley Center is a well-known care provider offering a range of treatment programs targeting the recovery from substance use, mental health issues, and beyond. Our primary mission is to provide a clear path to a life of healing and restoration. We offer renowned clinical care for mental illnesses and have the compassion and professional expertise to guide you toward lasting wellness. For information on our programs, call us today: 561-841-1033.