An estimated 5.6 million Americans vape regularly, and many people see vaping as a healthier alternative to smoking. However, there’s increasing concern about the risks of vaping, and the habit can significantly impact family finances. Knowing how to help someone quit vaping can be challenging, but the right knowledge can make it easier to provide effective support.
Evidence suggests that social support can significantly increase the likelihood of quitting successfully by helping people who vape recognize the benefits of stopping and take positive action. Let’s explore how friends and family members can help people recover from nicotine addictions, including tips to quit vaping and information on how Sunlight Recovery can support you and your loved one.
How to Help Someone Quit Vaping
How to quit vaping depends on the person and their individual circumstances. However, there are a few things friends and family can do to help someone who wants to quit get motivated, navigate setbacks and find the right tools and support.
Understand Their Motivations
Everyone has their own unique reasons for reaching out for help to quit vaping. Understanding your friend or family member’s motivation to stop can help you provide encouragement and understand the quitting process from their perspective. Perhaps they want to set a healthy example for their children, or maybe they’re hoping to save some of the money they usually spend on vaping for a family vacation. Whatever their reasons, having a cheerleader in their corner to remind them of their goal can help them stay focused during more challenging moments.
Offer Nonjudgmental Support
Research shows it takes many people around 30 attempts to quit smoking. Therefore, it’s hardly surprising that many people who vape relapse at least once before giving up for good. While it can be frustrating to see someone you’re supporting go back to vaping, it’s important to avoid shaming them for their choices. Quitting vaping can be challenging, and a relapse doesn’t have to mean the end of the road.
You can help by providing a positive, nonjudgmental safe space for your loved one to discuss their journey. What helps to quit vaping varies from person to person. Therefore, it’s worth asking the person what they find helpful so you can offer the right support.
Educate on Risks and Benefits
Vaping is considerably safer than smoking, but that doesn’t mean it’s risk-free. Evidence shows vaping products contain numerous toxins, which could increase the risk of lung and heart damage. Potentially harmful substances in vaping products may include:
- Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
- Heavy metals
- Diacetyl (a flavorant that can cause lung disease)
- Ultrafine particles
Scientists don’t know whether vaping causes lung cancer because e-cigarettes are a relatively new phenomenon. Therefore, there isn’t sufficient data to determine whether the substances in vaping products are carcinogenic. However, some physicians believe vaping could deposit ultrafine particles deep inside the lungs, potentially increasing a person’s risk of developing cancer.
It’s thought that vaping can reduce indoor air quality, potentially posing a risk to family members through secondhand exposure. Research also shows that teens and young adults are more likely to try vaping if a friend or relative vapes. Nicotine can harm developing brains and may increase the risk of other addictions in the future, so there are several compelling reasons for parents to quit.
Ensuring your loved one understands the risks of vaping can help them make the best choices for their health. However, it’s essential to ensure you understand the potential impacts before educating others — providing balanced, factual information is the best way to help people who vape make informed decisions.
It can also be motivating to balance risk information with the benefits of quitting. Focusing on the positive aspects of stopping vaping makes it easier for people to visualize how quitting can change their lives for the better. Potential benefits of stopping vaping may include:
- Reduced risk of lung and heart problems
- No more reliance on nicotine products
- Financial savings
- Easier socialization, as there’s no need to step outside venues to vape
- Setting a healthy example to teens and children
Knowing some tips to quit vaping can increase the likelihood of giving up successfully. Many people start vaping as a way of giving up cigarettes, but it isn’t recommended by the FDA because of the associated health risks. Your loved one may find it helpful to explore FDA-approved nicotine replacement therapies (NRT) if they’re struggling with withdrawal symptoms. There are multiple options available, including NRT gum, patches and nasal sprays.
Another option is to gradually taper nicotine intake by reducing the strength of vaping products or juices. A recent study discovered that tapering is the preferred method for many people who vape, but it won’t suit everyone. The same study reported that distraction techniques can also help reduce cravings. Therefore, encouraging your loved one to participate in hobbies, interests and mindfulness techniques can also increase their chances of quitting successfully.
Seek Professional Help
The best quitting technique is deeply personal, and what works for one person may not work for another. If you’re unsure how to help or the person is struggling to quit, it could be worth contacting a cessation service for support. Cessation counselors have extensive experience supporting people in giving up nicotine and can provide additional resources and support. You can access advice via a quitline or speak to the experts at Sunlight Recovery for tailored advice.
Many people find support groups helpful for increasing motivation and staying on track throughout the quitting process. Support groups are an excellent resource because other members can provide empathy and advice using their own lived experiences. You can find a nicotine cessation group near you by searching online or asking at your nearest health care clinic.
Talk to the Experts at Sunlight Recovery
At Sunlight Recovery, we have extensive experience helping people recover from addiction and enjoy healthier, more vibrant lifestyles. Our team of experts can help your loved one find the right techniques to quit vaping successfully and provide family education to give relatives the tools they need to support recovery. Contact us today to explore treatment and support options.