Vaping seems to be the vice of choice these days, with teen vaping statistics rising rapidly in 2018. Though it’s considered less harmful than smoking traditional cigarettes, it still delivers dangerous chemicals to the lungs and body. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been investigating a multitude of lung injuries associated with the use of e-cigarettes, or vaping, products. According to the CDC’s website, as of Oct. 22, 2019, there have been 1,604* cases of e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated with lung injury have been reported to the CDC from 49 different states, the District of Columbia, and one U.S. territory. And on top of that, vaping products can be powerfully addictive.
“Addiction is based on meeting DSM-5 criteria for Tobacco Use Disorder, and many people who vape meet these criteria,” explains Dr. Chris Johnston, MD, an addiction specialist and chief medical officer at Pinnacle Treatment Centers.
If you’re looking for strategies to help you stop vaping, there are a few things that might help you regain your sense of control.
Breaking the Habit of Vaping
1. Develop Stress Management Practices
Have you been turning to vaping in times of high stress, or when you’re trying to relax? The key here is to get to the root of your issue — not the vaporizing but the stress. “Learn natural ways to deal with stress, like through meditation or yoga,” says Dr. Johnston.
Schedule a daily walk first thing when you wake up; no phone, no email, just fresh air and quiet time. You can make appointments with a therapist to work through problems and emotions that you may have bottled up, or download meditation apps that allow you to close your eyes and breathe deep instead of reaching for the pen.
2. Focus on Friend and Family Time
Loved ones can help you cut down on stress, too. Surround yourself with people who you can turn to during stressful seasons, because as Dr. Johnston noted, “Many people consider isolation and stress as triggers for addiction.”
Counter that isolation and stress all at once with people you trust. As Dr. Johnston explained, “having people in your life that you can comfortably discuss your problems with can help you to cut back.”
*The increase in lung injury cases from last week represents both new patients and recent reporting of previously identified patients to CDC.