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How to Quit Vaping

An Action Plan for Teens

By Etta Short, MS | June 9, 2020 | Rally Health

Here is a solid plan of action for teens who want to quit vaping or for parents who want to help their kids quit.

Getting Ready to Quit

Step 1: Know your “why”.

Making a commitment means knowing why you’re quitting. How does a vape-free life fit in with what matters most to you?

Is it …

  • The cost of vaping? You could have more spending money day-to-day or save up for big-ticket items, like a car.
  • Staying healthy for sports?
  • Focusing on your grades, and being a role model for younger siblings?
  • Realizing that you no longer want to buy into the marketing messages from the tobacco and vaping companies that are designed to lure you in?  

Committing to quit also means selecting a quit date — ideally in the next week or two to take advantage of your motivation. Set the date on your calendar as a reminder. 

Now, think of the new you! Imagine yourself vape-free and get ready for your quit day.

Step 2: Know when and where you are vaping.

Keep track of your vaping patterns and triggers — time of day, who you’re with, where you’re hanging and how you’re feeling. This will help you understand the adjustments you’ll need to make to quit.

Step 3: Plan and practice.

Once you know your patterns, think about things you can do instead of vaping.

  • Need a distraction? Send a text, or consider social media.
  • Try a substitute. Drink some water or chew some gum.
  • Practice relaxing. Try deep breathing, take a yoga pose, or listen to music.
  • Need some distance? You might need to take a break from friends who are still vaping.

Practice by trying out your coping strategies before your quit date. Keep track of the coping strategies that help you beat the urge. If a strategy doesn’t help, try another. Keep practicing and you will be better prepared on your quit day.    

Step 4: Get your team together.

Need a cheerleader? It’s easier to quit when you have support. Tell your friends you are quitting and let them know how they can help. Ask them not to vape around you — or if they’d be willing to quit with you. Would it help to have someone who will listen to you vent? 

Consider getting help from your parents –– they could be your best allies. You may also want to reach out to a counselor at school, a teacher or coach you can trust, your health care provider or spiritual leader. You can also call 1-833-LTS-TALK (1-833-587-8255) and speak to a coach who can support you.

Step 5: Avoid temptation.

Before your quit date get rid of your vapes and juice. Throw them out, roll over them with your car, whatever it takes. E-cigs may be expensive, but think of the money you will save by quitting. 

On Your Quit Day

It goes without saying: Don’t vape today! ☺

Make it easier to stay vape-free by keeping busy and putting your plan into action.

Stay positive! Remember you’re not giving something up, you're giving yourself a gift: more money, better health, and freedom. Stay positive today. Remember how you imagined yourself vape-free! 

Reward yourself. Ask friends and family to send you some love. Tell your story on social media. Do something special for yourself. You can find small and big ways to reward yourself with the money you’ll save by staying vape-free.

Use your coping strategies. You practiced how to stay away and manage your cravings. Now use the strategies that you know will work.

Avoid triggers. If you can, stay away from vaping friends, or walk away if you need to when you see others vaping. You may find you are ready to go in the morning but challenged when you get to school. Stay strong. 

Rally your support. Now is the time to remind your friends and family to do their part to help you stay vape-free.

Know your enemy. You are craving an e-cig because nicotine is highly addictive. It may take a few days to two weeks to get over the worst nicotine cravings, so work through it with your distractions or substitutes.  

You may feel withdrawal symptoms such as feeling distracted, irritable, sad, or have mood swings. To help you through it, try to drink lots of water, eat well, and get a good night’s sleep. If you become depressed or are having extreme sadness, do not ignore these feelings or keep them to yourself. Let someone who cares about you know how you are feeling, and talk to a doctor or another trusted health care professional.

If you find it hard to bear, or feel like you need more help, talk to your health care provider to learn more about other options.

Quit for Good

Take one day at a time. It may be hard at first, but it will get easier. Keep using your coping techniques. And if you need more help, reach out. Talk to your health care provider, counselor, or call 1-833-LTS-TALK (1-833-587-8255) and speak to a coach who can support you.

Remember your “why”. Whenever you need a boost, remember your reasons for quitting. Remind yourself what matters most to you.

Get back on track. What if you slip and take a puff or find yourself vaping again? Get back on track and pick a quit date –– how about tomorrow? Then, start from the top and put your new plan into action. 

Remember, if you slip you’re not alone. Sometimes it takes several tries to quit for good. But you can do it. 

Etta Short, MS
Rally Health