Most people use vaping as a method to quit smoking. Research shows that it is much less harmful than smoking cigarettes and that it is a much more effective method of smoking cessation than other nicotine replacement therapies, such as nicotine gum and patches.
But there may come a time when you finally decide to move on from vaping. A lot of people started vaping with the eventual goal of weaning themselves off of nicotine for good. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s a normal step in the smoking cessation process and you should be proud of yourself for getting to this point!
The good news is that quitting vaping is much easier than quitting smoking. While most vape juice does contain nicotine; it lacks most of the harmful, addictive substances that traditional cigarettes contain. Although the emergence of nicotine salts in the e-cigarette market (the same type of e-liquid that Juul uses) makes nicotine a little bit more potent, it still shouldn’t be too difficult to finally quit vaping.
If you’re ready to quit, here are some of the best ways to do it.
Taper down your nicotine levels
Gradually weaning yourself off of nicotine is the slowest, but also the best, method of quitting e-cigarettes. You’ll minimize the nicotine withdrawal symptoms, which as anyone who has ever quit smoking can tell you, are very unpleasant.
If you recently quit smoking, you most likely started with a high nicotine e-juice. If you want to quit, you should gradually lower the nicotine level over time. So if you’re vaping at 18mg, switch over to 12mg for a month. Then reduce it to 6mg, then 3mg, working your way down to 0mg e-juice. At that point you are no longer addicted to nicotine and you can stop at any time (obviously the behavioral component of addiction is something you’ll have to overcome, but it’s way easier than overcoming nicotine addiction cold turkey).
When tapering down your nicotine levels, there are a few key things to remember:
- Inhale the same way every time – You’ll be tempted to take bigger inhales, especially when switching from Mouth to Lung (MTL) to Direct to Lung (DTL) inhalation methods. This means that you’ll still be consuming more nicotine, even though you switched to a lower nicotine juice. Keep everything consistent, it’ll make the weaning off process so much easier.
- Don’t consume too much e-liquid – Keep an eye on your juice consumption. When you switch to a lower nicotine juice, you’ll be tempted to vape more often to keep your nicotine cravings at bay. Watch out for this sneaky habit. Once again, consistency is the key. It’s better to deal with mild cravings now than it is to deal with the big cravings you’ll get from quitting cold turkey.
- Consider using DIY e-juice – DIY, short for Do-It-Yourself, refers to e-juice that you mix at home. Why would this help you quit vaping? It’s simple. Rather than relying on industry-standard nicotine levels, you can create your own. What if you don’t want to cut your nicotine consumption in half? You can DIY your own 4mg e-juice instead of going straight from 6mg to 3mg. Tapering down in smaller increments can make the nicotine reduction seem almost unnoticeable.
Once you get to the point where you’re vaping a zero nicotine juice, quitting will be significantly easier. Of course, you’ll have to overcome the physical addiction, aka the “ritual” involved with vaping. But it’s arguable that the ritual surrounding smoking is much more addictive, and you’ve already overcome that one!
Lower the amount of e-juice that you use
This is similar to tapering down your nicotine levels, but a little more complicated. If you already have a lot of e-juice laying around, there’s no need to throw it away just because it contains a high amount of nicotine. You can simply taper down the amount of juice that you vape, and it’ll have a similar effect. This method requires the greatest amount of self-control. After all, the e-juice is right there. But if you’re disciplined enough, this can be an extremely effective quitting method.
The cool thing is that most modern vape mods include a “puff counter”. This allows you to keep track of how often you’ve been vaping throughout the day. Simply monitor the amount of puffs you’ve been taking for the first couple days. Once you know what your baseline puff count is, set a goal to reduce it. Here’s the method I like to use:
- Set your initial puff count goal at 85% of your baseline – This is an easy number to achieve. You’re vaping almost as much as normal, but not quite. You’ll notice some slight cravings, but nothing too crazy.
- Set your second puff count goal at 75% of your new number – Take the new, reduced 85% number and take 25% off the top. Your new number will be 75% of your “new normal”.
- Keep cutting your puff count in half – Now that you’re used to the tapering down process, you can keep cutting your puff count in half. Whenever your nicotine cravings start to subside, that’s the indication that it’s time to taper down again.
If you’re disciplined enough to follow this method, you’ll be able to quit fairly quickly.
Quitting cold turkey is the most efficient, but also most difficult, method of vaping cessation. Just stop vaping all at once. No tapering your nicotine. Don’t wean yourself off of e-juice. Just stop.
You can make the transition from vaper to non-vaper in an instant. As soon as you make the decision, you’re done. Of course, it’s not quite that simple. You’ll be dealing with some ridiculous withdrawal symptoms. The cravings will be intense. But once you get past the initial misery of nicotine withdrawal, you’ll be good to go.
It definitely takes a certain personality type to quit cold turkey. You most likely know if you’re this type or not. If you are, then go for it. Get over the initial unpleasantness and move on with your life. But if you aren’t, then following the methods listed above should be a huge help. As long as you quit vaping (if that’s your goal), then it doesn’t matter how you do it.
How to quit Juuling
The Juul provides some unique challenges when it comes to quitting. Juul uses nicotine salt pods, a more potent form of the freebase nicotine that is common in most vape juices. Each Juulpod is designed to replicate a pack of cigarettes. If you want to quit the Juul, there are a couple unique steps that you’ll need to take.
- Use lower-strength Juulpods – Juul resisted created low-strength pods for a long time. But they recently released a line of lower-strength pods that contain much less nicotine compared to the standard ones. Regular Juulpods are available in a 5% nicotine strength, but a lot of their flavors are also sold in a 3% strength. If your favorite flavor is available in 3%, go ahead and make the switch. It’s important to avoid the pitfall of simply vaping more to make up for the difference in nicotine. Stick to your normal vaping habits and you’ll get used to this new, lower nicotine level soon enough.
- Switch to an “open pod” system – Did you know that Juul has tons of competitors? There are many companies out there created pod vapes that look and feel similar to the wildly popular Juul. Some of them utilize proprietary pods (like the Juul). But others use a so-called “open pod” system. This means that, just like the tanks on a box mod, you can refill your pods with the juice of your choice. This will allow you to actually taper down your nicotine levels at a variety of different strengths, including 0mg. You can also attempt to refill your Juulpods if you want to stick with the Juul, although they aren’t designed for that purpose.
Quitting vaping can feel overwhelming and helpless. It doesn’t have to be. A lot of people’s fears surrounding the vaping cessation process revolve around the idea that it is similar to quitting cigarettes. But it isn’t.
The amount of addictive chemicals in vape juice are significantly lower than what you’ll find in a pack of smokes. You can buy e-juice in different nicotine levels. And it’s easier to see how much you’re consuming, so you can self-monitor and stay aware of any changes in your consumption habits.
Stick with the process and you’ll be vape-free in no time at all!