People vape because they think it’s a safer alternative to conventional cigarettes. And they’re right, to a degree. Electronic cigarettes contain far fewer hazardous chemicals than their combustible counterpart, but their main ingredient, nicotine, can still lead to a life-disrupting addiction.
Nicotine releases a pleasurable surge of endorphins that target the reward circuits of the brain, leading to a brief euphoria. Repeated exposure to nicotine alters the brain’s sensitivity to dopamine and may lead to a reorganization in other brain circuits involved in learning, stress, and self-control.
That’s why it’s important for non-smokers to understand the risk of addiction and should avoid adopting any type of electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS). Joanna Cohen, director of the Institute for Global Tobacco Control at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health says, “no one other than cigarette smokers trying to quit smoking should be using e-cigarettes.”
Ditching the vape isn’t easy, but it is possible if the right cessation strategy is put into place. By using Monday as your day to recommit to your quit, you’ll greatly increase your chances of kicking the habit.
Treat Vaping like Smoking
As noted above, when it comes to quitting, vaping is similar to smoking cigarettes. Many people see Monday as a day for a “fresh start” and use it as a day to do something good for their health. You can use each Monday as the day to either start your quit journey or recommit to it.
More Tries are Better than One
“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again” was a maxim originally used to encourage colonial-American schoolchildren to do their homework, but it’s a perfectly applicable mantra for people looking to break their vaping habit. Research shows that it takes, on average, 30 attempts to quit smoking cigarettes for more than a year, so don’t consider a relapse a failure, look at it as one step-forward in a long journey.
Once a Week, Not Once a Year.
The problem with trying to quit during an annual milestone (New Years, your birthday, etc.) is that if you fall off the proverbial wagon, you may not be thinking about your quit goals until either next year or the next major milestone. With the Quit and Stay Quit Monday (QSQM) method, you’ve got 52 opportunities to recommit to your quit.
Reflect and Recruit
Use Monday as a day to reflect upon your progress from the previous week and plan for the upcoming one. Use the Quit and Stay Quit Monday checklist to identify potential triggers and understand how to overcome them. A great idea is to enlist a family member or friend to be your quit buddy. This way you’re never alone on your journey.