Vaping has seen its popularity rise in recent years, especially for student populations. As those rates of use have increased, so has the number of studies looking at the negative impacts of vaping on personal health. One important finding has shown that vaping at a young age can affect the developing brain, making it more likely for that person to develop a life-long addiction. Some other physical impacts are increased risk of cardiovascular disease and cancers. As such, the Office of Health Advancement is looking to provide students interested in quitting with healthy methods to do so. Some possible ideas include:
- Figure out why you want to quit: Whether it be money, health, etc., having a reason to motivate yourself is a very effective factor in your ability to reduce or eliminate your vaping habit.
- Identify things that might make you want to vape: By identifying these factors, you can plan for and plan to avoid situations that may make you want to vape. These situations can be things such as house parties, gatherings, or other similar situations where vaping may be more common.
- Form a withdrawal strategy/plan: A withdrawal strategy is an idea of what you will do when possibly withdrawal symptoms or cravings kick in. Some possible options could be going out for a walk, calling a friend, doing 10 push-ups even, whatever you need to help distract yourself from the unhealthy cravings.
- Set a date to quit: Deadlines are important in decisions, and quitting a bad habit is no different. Setting a quit deadline can help you mentally prepare for how quitting may affect you and that preparation is very helpful in staying motivated through the process. Make sure to tell someone the date too, that makes it real!
- Let family and friends know of your plan: Social support can be super helpful when you are trying to quit. This can be a friend, family member, or another individual you are close with. That person would be then able to know what you are going through and could suggest outings to reduce cravings, things such as dinner or others.
- Consider quitting “cold turkey”: Many people, and some studies, have found that quitting cold turkey works best for them. Others find that nicotine replacements/FDA-approved cessation methods work better because they slowly decrease your dependence on nicotine overtime as opposed to all of a sudden. Either way will work, all that matters is what works for you.
- Try a quit app or connect with a quitline: Modern times sometimes require modern tactics. Several companies have designed apps that can provide steps and advice in one’s quitting process. There are also helpful quitlines in many, if not all, states ready to provide assistance. In Montana, specifically, the Montana Tobacco Quit Line provides help for users of both tobacco products and electronic cigarettes (information found in the resources section at the end of the blog).
- Consider talking to someone who “gets it”: People with experience dealing with addiction, especially people who formerly had issues with vaping, are usually a great resource. They can provide you with first-hand expectations and tricks that are sure to help you in your journey.
- Recognize there may be “slip-ups and that’s OK: Nobody’s perfect and you don’t have to be. Quitting is a tough process, and you may not always be successful on your first try. However, that is very important to acknowledge because we do not want you to stop trying to quit just because of a “slip-up”.
These tips may not help you in every way that you need to stop vaping, and there may be more that you need in your recovery process. All we are hoping to do is bring it to your attention and provide you with some tools if quitting is your goal. Good luck!
Resources Available (for MSU students):
INSIGHT – Alcohol & Drug Assistance Center @ 1-(406)-994-5937 or INSIGHT@montana.edu
Montana State Office of Health Advancement @ 1-(406)-994-4380
Montana State Counseling and Psychological Services @ 1-(406)-994-4531
Alcohol and Drug Services of Gallatin County @ 1-(406)-586-5493
Montana Tobacco Quit Line @ 1-(800)-784-8669
quitStart app @ Apple Store and Google Play Store