Why vaping is dangerous and how to quit smoking

Why vaping is dangerous and how to quit smoking

E-cigarettes are marketed as a safer alternative than traditional cigarettes. This doesn’t make e-cigarette use (also known as vaping or JUULing, after a popular brand of e-cigarette) a healthy activity. E-cigs still contain nicotine and cancer-causing agents found in traditional smoking devices.

Although researchers are still determining the long-term effects of vaping, scientists have found that young vapers may be more likely to smoke traditional cigarettes in the future. The presence of nicotine, a highly addictive substance, can harm a developing adolescent brain and increase the risk for future addiction to other drugs

Quitting smoking - of any type - is the most important step you can take to protect your lungs and improve quality of life.

Some benefits of quitting smoking are:

  • Likely prolong your life
  • Reduce the risk of developing lung cancer, throat cancer, lung disease (emphysema or COPD), heart disease, high blood pressure, ulcers or gum disease
  • Feel healthier
  • Improved sense of taste and smell
  • Save money

How to quit smoking

There’s no single way to quit smoking that works for everyone. A smoking cessation program may be helpful. Ask your doctor about a program in your community.

Make a plan to help you quit.

  • Pick a date to stop smoking and prepare for it.
  • Tell your family and friends so they can support you.
  • Record when and why you smoke so you are aware of triggers.
  • Record what you do when you smoke.
  • List your reasons for quitting.
  • Find activities to replace smoking.
  • Ask your doctor about using nicotine replacement products.

Tips to help you succeed:

  • Think about what you are gaining instead of what you are missing.
  • Read your list of reasons for quitting.
  • When you get the urge to smoke, take a deep breath and hold it for 10 seconds, then release it slowly.
  • Keep your hands busy.
  • Don’t carry a lighter, matches or cigarettes.
  • Go to places that don’t allow smoking.
  • Eat low calorie, healthy foods, such as carrot or celery sticks, fresh fruit and fat-free snacks; avoid sugary or spicy foods.
  • Drink lots of fluids such as water, herbal teas and juices; avoid alcoholic drinks.
  • Exercise to help you relax.
  • Hang out with nonsmokers.
  • Talk to others for support.

Possible withdrawal symptoms:

  • Crave cigarettes
  • Feel very hungry
  • Cough
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Constipation
  • Feel very tired
  • Feel nervous or sad
  • Sore throat
  • Difficulty sleeping

Although withdrawal symptoms will be the strongest when you first quit, they will quickly improve and should go away within a few weeks. Don’t give up!