How to Stop Vaping Completely: 10 Expert Tips | ExpatWoman.com
 

How to Quit Vaping: 10 Expert Tips

Did you know? The health benefits of quitting vaping begin in as little as an hour after the last one and it's all improvement from there

Posted on

19 December 2019

Last updated on 8 January 2020
How to Quit Vaping: 10 Expert Tips

All Credits: PA

Quitting e-cigarettes might seem difficult or unnecessary, but research shows it's more beneficial than you think

The E-cigarette as we know it was invented in China in 2003. They’ve since become a popular "alternative" to smoking, yet more and more research into the potential effect on users’ health is emerging – and, mostly, it isn’t positive.

The latest comes from experts at Queens University Belfast, who found there is “little difference” in effect of tobacco smoke and e-cigarette vapour on bacteria often found in the lungs – and therefore, vaping may be as risky as smoking when it comes to the potential for infections.

SEE ALSO: 4 Myths About Asthma You Should Probably Stop Believing

The changes to bacteria could lead to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), an umbrella term which includes emphysema and bronchitis, and asthma, say the authors of the study, published in Respiratory Research. They’re calling for urgent further research into the long-term effects of vaping.

E-cigarette

While it’s long been considered less harmful than smoking, recent evidence has led to calls for countries to ban it.

In November, research from leading cardiologists suggested vaping could damage the brain, heart, blood vessels, and lungs, while the European Respiratory Society more recently said it cannot back vaping as a safe way to quit smoking.

Because the industry is largely unregulated, it can be hard to know exactly what’s in every vape, and what each puff is really doing to your body, long-term.

GP for MedExpress Dr. Clare Morrison says the findings of the latest study are “alarming”, adding, “I think the message that vaping is a 'healthier alternative' to smoking, is dangerous and misleading. The best option by far is to go nicotine-free.

“There’s no getting away from the fact our lungs are designed to inhale air and nothing else.

If you want to cut down or quit e-cigarettes, here’s some expert advice…

1. Get help from your GP

Consider joining a local smoking cessation program, which your GP could refer you to.

"They can check your carbon monoxide levels, give advice, and monitor your progress,” says Morrison.

2. Look for a drug called ‘Champix’

She says your GP may prescribe Champix: “It has been shown to double the chances of success. It reduces cravings and blocks the effect of nicotine.”

It’s also available to buy from several online pharmacies, where there’s also information on how to take it and online consultation to complete to ensure it’s safe and suitable for you to take.

3. Take up more exercise

Steve Clarke, a specialist in the psychology of addictive behaviours and hospital director of Priory’s Life Works Hospital in Woking, says: “If vaping is a way for you to help combat stress, think about other ways of tackling this, such as exercise. Studies have found that even a small amount of exercise, such as a five-minute walk or a stretch, can cut cravings.”

4. Set a date and stick to it

“No excuses,” says Clarke. “Whenever you find yourself in difficulty, tell yourself the craving will pass, and stick with it until the urge ceases.”

5. Have a relapse prevention plan

There may be specific situations, perhaps on a night out with friends, where your urge to vape is extra strong.

“Over time your cravings will recede, but you should initially make a ‘relapse prevention plan’ just in case,” says Clarke, “which means identifying potentially difficult events – like a party, for instance – and planning your escape route in advance, or not going.”

6. Break your daily routine

He says: “Vaping can easily become an automatic behaviour linked to daily routines, such as that afternoon tea break. Change your schedule so lighting up no longer becomes a ritual.”

7. Tell people

We all know making something public makes it much harder to back out of and helps keep you accountable.

“Ask close friends to engage in non-vaping activities while you’re kicking the habit and instruct them to stop you vaping at any social occasions,” Clarke says.

8. Have a strategy for when a craving hits

“A craving can last five minutes, so make a list of five-minute strategies that will help you manage this. You could do a crossword puzzle on your phone, go for a walk, or simply plug in to a podcast for five minutes.”

9. Keep your hands and mouth busy

It sounds weird, but if you’re used to having an e-cigarette in your hand, it’s a comfort you no longer have.

“Keep a pen or similar object handy for times when you’re tempted, ” suggests Clarke. “Or when you’re out, try putting your drink in the hand you usually use for vaping.”

10. Make a checklist of the reasons you’re quitting

Almost as if it’s ritualistic, repeat to yourself why you’re quitting vaping – even keep a list in your phone and look at it regularly.

“Remind yourself how good it would feel to have health and financial benefits. Removing nicotine supports cardiovascular improvements, so your risk of a heart attack falls. Within days of quitting, your senses will improve and nicotine will all but have left your body,” says Clarke.

 
 

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