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The Great American Smokeout: Why You Should Stop Vaping

Cardinal Innovations Healthcare — November 4, 2019 — 3 min read
Each year, the American Cancer Society (ASC) asks people to quit smoking for The Great American Smokeout. To join, try to quit smoking for at least 24 hours on November 21.

Some people turn to vaping, or electronic cigarettes, to quit. Other names for this are:
  • Vapes
  • E-hookahs
  • Vape pens
  • Tank systems
  • Mods
  • Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS)
E-cigarettes have fewer chemicals than regular cigarettes, but they are not the answer.

The FDA does says not to use e-cigarettes as a quit smoking aid. With recent news of over 1,000 lung injuries and 18 deaths from vaping, the CDC says you should not vape either.

Some electronic cigarettes may look like cigarettes, cigars, or pipes. Others look like pens, USB flash drives or other items. They heat a liquid to produce an aerosol. This is inhaled into the lungs, and can affect those near the person who is vaping.

Who vapes:
  • Over 3.6 million U.S. middle school (4.9%) and high school students (20.8%) used e-cigarettes in the last 30 days, according to one CDC report
  • 2.8% of U.S. adults vape as of 2017
  • 40% of e-cigarette users aged 18-24 were not smokers first
Whether you smoke or vape, quitting means going through nicotine withdrawal. Here are some tips from the Truth Initiative to help:
  • Exercise: Take a walk, try yoga, ride a bike – any physical activity can help
  • Take your mind off of smoking or vaping: Cravings pass in a minute or two. Distractions can help.
  • Prepare for success: Remove cigarettes or vaping items from your home, pockets and bags
  • Look for ways to cope with stress – deep breathing, drinking water, talking to a friend
  • Celebrate the wins  
 The ACS offers these tips:
  • When you first quit, spend time in smoke-free places: libraries, malls, museums, theaters, restaurants, and churches.
  • Take care of yourself: drink water, eat well, and get enough sleep.
  • Avoid alcohol, coffee, or other drinks that make you want to smoke. Try water, sports drinks, or 100% fruit juices instead.
  • If you miss having a cigarette in your hand, grab a pencil, a paper clip or a coin.
  • If you miss the cigarette or vape in your mouth, try toothpicks, sugarless gum or lollipops.
  • Avoid activities, people, and places you link with smoking.
  • Create new habits and a non-smoking environment.
  • Prepare for tough times that make you want to smoke; think about why you quit.
  • Take deep breaths to relax. Picture your lungs filling with fresh, clean air.
  • It gets better: the urge to smoke lessens over time.
  • Quitting is a learning process. Be patient with yourself.
  • Brush your teeth and enjoy that fresh taste.
  • Eat four to six small meals. Balanced energy and blood sugar helps stop the urge to smoke. Avoid sugary or spicy foods.
  • Give yourself rewards to keep going. Plan to do something fun.
For more information on how to quit smoking or using smokeless tobacco visit QuitelineNC or our Tobacco dependency resource page.
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