Vaping Withdrawal – It’s Time to Quit

Navigate Hurdles & Mundane Responsibilities

teen girl vaping

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It’s quick and easy to become addicted to vaping. Most students don’t even realize they’re addicted until they experience vaping withdrawal. Quitting isn’t a one step process, it’s a battle, and you have to be ready to fight. But you have the strength, and here’s the tools: 

Give Yourself a Reason

Why are you quitting? It’s important to focus on a reason, or multiple reasons for why you’re deciding to quit. Sometimes experiencing vaping withdrawal is enough, sometimes it’s not and you need a deeper commitment or focus. Write that down in a place you can reference often. When you’re craving a hit or entering into a situation that might be tempting, it’s important to remind yourself of why you’re making this change in your life. 

Game Plan to Quit Vaping

Know what you’re going to do instead of vape. Make a list of go-to options on your phone, so when you’re in the moment and you’re experiencing vaping withdrawal you can look at your ideas and do one. The best ideas are ones that involve replacing a bad habit (vaping) with a good habit. The endorphins you receive from these good habits are much better than a buzz, plus they’ll have longer lasting effects. Here’s some ideas: 

  • Working out
  • Text or call a friend or family member who supports your decision to quit vaping
  • Eating a healthy food (like nuts, fruit or vegetables)
  • Indulge in some chocolate
  • Go on a hike or a walk around the neighborhood
  • Look back at my reasons to quit
  • Have a mint or chew some gum
  • Play a game or make a video on my phone
  • Drink a glass of water
  • Take some deep breaths (in through your nose, out through your mouth)
  • Call or text an online chat or support system (have this number programed into your phone)
  • Run up and down the stairs a few times 
  • Do something good (pick up trash, do an extra chore, make plans to support someone in need)
  • Be kind to someone (give someone a compliment, hold the door open for someone)

Sometimes just changing your routine helps you move beyond vaping withdrawal. Some of these might work, some may not. Some might not be options when you’re in certain locations (like school), so having a variety of options is important. And remember, your cravings will be temporary and will decrease over time. 

Side Note: Wow, spending time with God wasn’t on this list – what’s that about? Reading God’s Word, journaling and praying can actually be hard to use to combat cravings because our mind is strong and it’s not always easy to focus on God when our human weakness wants something different. Over time this will totally change, but to start, make your list full of activities for your body.  Something you can physically do to help you occupy your MIND. 

The key to quitting is taking care of yourself. Drink plenty of water, get enough sleep, exercise and eat healthy. 

There are some incredible resources that help you actually develop a plan for quitting. Our top three: 

Vaping Withdrawal Triggers 

Once you have an idea of what you’re going to do when you’re experiencing vaping withdrawal, it then becomes time to figure out your triggers. A trigger is something that makes you want to take a hit of your vape. Some triggers you’ll know right away, like maybe you always vape while playing video games with your friends. Some triggers will spring up on you unexpectedly. Lots of people have the same triggers. Certain feelings, people and situations can cause you to want to vape. 

If you can identify your triggers and know exactly what they are and when they’ll come, then you can plan an alternative. It may be best to avoid situations that can trigger you to vape when you’re in the early stages of quitting. This is hard, but it’s typically temporary.  Also avoid places and situations where others are vaping. If you can’t avoid being around vaping, then plan for how you’ll handle these situations. Practice what you’ll say when you’re offered a vape. 

Identifying your triggers is one thing, but being able to switch gears in the moment is hard. At first, quitting will make it hard for you to function. You may not feel like yourself for multiple hours of the day. You may crave the vape for more hours in the day than not, so find some tactics that work for you. 

Find Support for Quitting and Vaping Withdrawal

A lot of people have tried to quit, but haven’t been able to. It’s because they don’t have the right support system. Some of your friends who are vaping, probably won’t think you’ll be able to do it either, so they won’t be the best support. 

Surround yourself with friends, family, co-workers, coaches, teachers, youth group and church leaders who are supportive of your decision to quit vaping. Some of them might not even know that you vape, so you’ll have to tell them first. Express to them that you’ll need their help. You need a group of people who will listen, encourage you and help distract you from using your vape. 

Tell your support team what you need from them. Be specific, come up with a plan. Perhaps your youth leader can go to coffee every day or shoot some hoops with you when you’re typically vaping with a different group of friends. Maybe your coach can give you additional conditioning techniques to work on when the craving hits. Your friends and family can text, call and send you messages of encouragement throughout the day. If you’re feeling particularly stressed or anxious, go to one of these people to help distract you from your vape.

Not everyone will know how to be supportive, and that’s okay. If they’re users, ask them not to vape around you or offer you to use their vape. Let them be and give them their space until you’re ready to reconnect. Choose to be an encouragement toward them if you find it necessary to spend time with them. 

As ironic as it seems, your support team might need some support themselves. Being able to offer a helping hand, words of encouragement or simple acts of kindness actually boost your mood, which helps you turn from a trigger. So offer to help a friend in need rather than hitting your vape. 

One of the most important people to have on your support team is your doctor. They may actually have some great resources and tools to quit, plus it’s smart for them to mark on your chart that you were an e-cigarette user. 

If you can’t find someone to help you in a particularly difficult moment, then reach out to a phone or text support system. There are tons of great free options that provide personalized support from experts. (Our resources listed below include a few!)

Finally, let all these people know how much you appreciate them. Tell them Thank You (writing them a note, can actually be an awesome distraction). Having a mindset of gratitude can boost your mood, which can help you overcome the feelings of vaping withdrawal. 

Know Who You Are

This is where God comes in! Finally, right? Speak His truth into your life. His Word speaks about how wonderful and beautiful you are. Go to Him in prayer, learn His truth by writing it in a place you will see DAILY – your mirror, your desktop or phone wallpaper, a poster in the school bathroom or on a folder or notebook for class.  

Make a list of all the positive things about YOU and your life. Vaping doesn’t define you, in fact it has little influence on your overall identity. You’re a beloved child of God. Knowing who you are, as well as whose you are, will help you see how vaping actually gets in the way of your true identity in Christ. 

When you’re first quitting, it might feel like a piece of you is missing, but God made you complete. His Word says that when you’re weak, He’s strong. He’ll be your strength, so rely on Him. 

Reflect On and Celebrate Your Victories over Vaping Withdrawal

Your first celebration should come after you throw away all your vapes, e-liquid bottles, pods and chargers.

Once you’ve noted your triggers – reflect on or celebrate when you’ve hit a trigger and you refuse to vape. After a week of that, see if you can go an entire day without vaping. When you make that goal, celebrate. Then try to go two days without hitting the vape. Then move up to three, four and work your way up to a week, then two weeks, then a month.  It’s a lot of little victories, so make sure you have a lot of prizes or ways to celebrate. Celebrate by going out to dinner with your family, head to a coffee shop with your girlfriends, buy a sweater that you’ve been eyeing, enjoy your favorite candy or dessert.

Each victory will get easier, and it may take multiple tries, so don’t be discouraged. If you slip up, it’s not a failure. Don’t let that be a reason to give up on quitting. Get back on track and try again. Don’t start from square one, pick up where you left off. Focus on how far you’ve come, not on the slip up. Even if you slip up early in the process, the decision to quit is a huge victory – celebrate that, and use it as an opportunity to learn! Ask yourself why it happened, and come up with a plan to prevent it from happening again. 

Over time, you’ve built up patterns and routines around vaping. Now it’s time to change and alter all those life habits. It’s a huge shift, but the outcome will be amazing. You’re choosing to see yourself as someone above vaping. You’re strong and capable of managing life without the influence of addiction. It’s time to learn how to lean on God and not on your vape. 

Resources for Vaping Withdrawal and Quitting: 

Quitting is difficult, so it’s important to have the right knowledge and tools: 

Become a spokesperson to speak up about the youth e-cigarette epidemic:

So, you’re ready to quit and want your family to be a part of your support team. Here are some resources for your parents: 

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