E-cigarettes

Kicking the Habit

Because nicotine is so addictive, the best way to avoid the trouble of trying to quit smoking or stop using e cigs is never to start.

If you smoke and want to quit, e cigarettes probably aren’t your best option. Using an e cigarette mimics the experience of smoking tobacco cigarettes more closely than other quitting options, like nicotine gum or patches. You don’t want to successfully give up smoking only to find you’re now hooked on e cigarettes.

If you’ve already tried using e cigs and think you might be getting dependent on nicotine, you’ll need to follow the same steps for quitting as you would with tobacco

  • Make a specific plan. Set a date to begin the quitting process. If you smoke cigarettes, try going cold turkey before relying on e cigarettes to help. If that doesn’t work, it’s time for a plan to wean yourself off nicotine. Make a specific goal, like using one less e cigarette each day for a week. Keep cutting back until you no longer smoke or vape.
  • Stay busy. Take your mind off cigarettes by exercising or doing something that involves your hands, like art, music, knitting, or woodworking. Stay aware of specific times and situations that make you want cigarettes (like at a party or after a meal), and come up with a plan to handle those times.
  • Delay giving in to a craving. When you crave a cigarette or e cig, put off giving in to the urge. It can be easier to tell yourself to «wait» than to tell yourself ‘»no.» Do something else to take your mind off the craving. Chances are, the urge will pass, and congratulations that means one less cigarette!
  • Keep focused on why you want to quit. Write down all the reasons you want to stop using cigarettes or e cigarettes, like the money you’ll save or the extra energy you’ll have. Keep the list where you can see it. Read it every day, even though you already know the reasons. Doing this helps your brain automatically remind you of a reason when you feel a strong craving.
  • Get support. Turn to your family or a trusted adult for moral support when you really want a cigarette. It also helps strengthen your resolve to tell other people that you are quitting. If you don’t want friends and family to know you smoke or use e cigs, join an online or in person support group. See if friends will join you in quitting. If not, ask them not to smoke or use e cigarettes in front of you.
  • Be good to yourself. Some people use e cigs to avoid harming friends and family with secondhand smoke. But you’re still hurting them by harming someone they love you. Be your own best friend and give yourself praise each time you avoid reaching for the e cigs.

Nicotine is an addictive drug. It’s almost never easy to quit using it once you’ve started. The best strategy is to never start in the first place. If it’s too late for that, remind yourself that it is possible to quit. Other people succeed, and so can you!

Reviewed by Elana Pearl Ben Joseph, MD
Date reviewed October 2013

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The UK Electronic Cigarette Industry Association (ECITA) was established in June 2010 to tackle the regulatory discrepancies and uncertainties surrounding the sale of electronic cigarette products in the UK and Europe. By researching the various legal regulatory requirements for these types of products, ECITA has been able to develop the Industry Standard of Excellence Programme (ISE). The ISE offers support and assistance to ECITA members to ensure that they achieve compliance not only with the law, but with the best possible business practices. The ECITA name offers reassurance to consumers that the products sold by ECITA members are properly compliant with the law, and are regulated by means of regular internal auditing, as well as external oversight from Trading Standards and other government regulators. Trading Standards described the ISE as » a Code any industry would be proud to have.»

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