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Cedars-Sinai Magazine

How to Quit Vaping

Expert advice on giving up smoking for good

Vaping may be more lethal than cigarettes.

Vaping may be more lethal than cigarettes, say experts who recommend quitting both.

Many smokers picked up their first vape cartridge hoping it would help them put down cigarettes for good. Experts now caution that vaping is not a healthy alternative but is instead another dangerous habit to kick.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) linked vaping to at least 2,400 lung injuries and 50 deaths in 2019. A Smidt Heart Institute study showed that vaping could cause even more heart damage than traditional tobacco products, in large part because of the unknown cocktail of chemicals in vape fluids.

“We have safer methods to wean smokers off nicotine than swapping cigarettes for vape products,” says Ching Chow, RPH, PharmD, a pharmacist with Cedars-Sinai’s smoking-cessation program

Traditional smoking-cessation methods haven’t been widely studied for their effectiveness with vaping. However, the same techniques and medications that help quell cravings are being used for both vapers and smokers.

Some tips for putting down cigarettes, pipes and pens are universal:

COMMIT TO QUITTING

You have to feel ready to quit, Chow says. Otherwise, overcoming the normal setbacks can feel much harder.

WAIT ONE MINUTE

When cravings strike, the urge is strongest in the first minute. Waiting out that full minute is often enough to conquer the craving.

DISTRACT YOURSELF

Pop in a piece of gum, brush and floss, hum, drink a glass of water, slather on lotion—anything that will busy your hands and mind.

ENLIST HELP

Ask friends and family for support. Use free resources like the CDC’s hotline: 1-800-QUIT-NOW. Your doctor and professional smoking-cessation programs can also help. Chow works with smokers one on one to develop a plan to manage their cravings, such as using medications, if appropriate, or nicotine replacement aids like patches or gum.