Vaping Cessation

Vaping cessation : how to quit the electronic cigarette?


Thanks to the e cigarettes, hundreds of thousands of French people have managed to turn the page on tobacco. Less harmful than traditional cigarettes and more effective than nicotine substitutes, the e-cigarette has become an essential tool in just a few years.

Although vaping is now officially recognised as a means of quitting smoking, it can still contribute to maintaining addiction over time. Once tobacco has been eliminated from your life, it may be legitimate to want to quit everything.

To help you achieve this, Le Petit Vapoteur offers you a complete guide.

Who is vaping withdrawal for ?

Vaping withdrawal should be considered as the last step in a long process. Before embarking on it, make sure you haven't skipped any steps.

The first step is of course to quit smoking. If you are tempted to smoke a traditional cigarette from time to time, or if you sometimes give in to cravings, the e cigarette should remain a lifesaver. By abandoning it, you would risk finding yourself in an even more uncomfortable situation, more often which is not the desired outcome, you will agree.

The second step is nicotine withdrawal. This way, you will avoid tackling two addictions simultaneously: the e cigarette and nicotine. Before attempting to quit vaping, we recommend that you successfully maintain 0 mg/ml nicotine level for a while. If you need support to achieve this, we recommend consulting our dedicated guide.

Have you successfully completed these two steps? Congratulations, you are now ready to start your vaping withdrawal! If not, keep in mind that the time needed to achieve your goal is of little importance. Only the final result matters.

How does e cigarette dependency work ?

Before tackling  vaping withdrawal, it is essential to understand  addiction that can be caused by the use of an electronic cigarette. Or rather, the addictions, there are three types.

Physical addiction

Physical addiction is probably the most well-known. It can be defined as a physiological need that will be triggered by regular consumption of a substance. When you stop consuming this substance, the brain develops a feeling of lack to push you to start again.

In the case of vaping, the substance in question is called nicotine. That is why it is also important to successfully quit nicotine beforehand to eliminate this addiction from the equation.

Psychological addicition

Psychological addiction is created due to the "benefits" felt when consuming a product. They can take several forms: feeling of pleasure, anti-stress effect, intellectual stimulation... You then consume the product to feel these effects whenever you need them.

Once again, nicotine plays a major role, but this time it is not alone on stage. The taste of e liquid flavors, for example, will also be important. Therefore, this addiction will need to be taken into account in the context of a vaping withdrawal.

Behavioral addiction

Finally, we come to behavioral addiction, which will create associations between consumption and certain everyday actions. In the case of electronic cigarettes, social events with friends, morning coffee, driving... As soon as you are confronted with them, you will want to vape.

Behavioral addiction also manifests as a habitual gesture. Holding an e cigarette in your mouth, and doing so many times a day, inevitably creates unconscious reflexes that can be difficult to restrain.

In both cases, this addiction is not caused by nicotine. Therefore, it will also be necessary to work on this point to successfully quit vaping.

Addicitions inherited by smoking

The three addictions that we have just defined should be considered as an inheritance from your past as a smoker. Vaping did not create them. It merely maintained them. Therefore, it is important to take into account that the factors that pushed you to smoke are often the same ones that push you to vape today.

We are talking here about habits and sensations that your brain assimilated almost as soon as you lit your first cigarette. It is, of course, possible to get rid of them, but keep in mind that you are not only attacking your addiction to vaping; otherwise, you risk finding yourself in a position that could make you resume smoking.

A retenir :
  • Vaping dependency can be of three types: physical, psychological and behavioral. 
  • Succeeding with nicotine withdrawal before tackling vaping withdrawal allows you to eliminate physical dependency from the equation;
  • You can then overcome the psychological and behavioral dependency in order to succed in quitting vaping. 

How to be prepared when stopping the electronic cigarette ?

To successfully quit in vaping, it is better to start with a meticulous preparation where nothing is left to chance. Once started, it would be a shame if you were hindered by situations that you had not anticipated.

Anticipate problematic solutions

This begins by taking in account the daily or more occasional moments where you know that not vaping will be difficult. This can be in many forms: waking up, with friends, to cope with stress or to help you concentrate.

By making a list of all these situations, you can find a better way to deal with them. We will come back to this a little later in this guide.

Keep only the essentials

If you want to quit vaping, there's no need to keep your collection of e cigarettes or a huge stock of e liquids within reach at home. This is the perfect time to clean up and keep only the essentials: an e cigarette and a little e liquid that will serve you until the chosen date to start your withdrawal.

What to do with the rest? To avoid throwing everything away, we recommend that you store them with a trusted person if you do not want to get rid of them. You can also take this opportunity to help a smoking friend who wants to start vaping, or donate them to an association like Vape du Cœur. This will add a supportive touch to your approach, which will be even more motivating for the future.

Set a date

Setting the date when you want to quit in advance will strengthen your motivation and allow you to get used to the idea. You are free to choose the date completely on your own. Nevertheless, here are some tips to help you schedule it best.

For example, we recommend that you choose a period when you will be at maximum stress-free: holidays, a long weekend, or a trip. You can also choose a date for its symbolism: a birthday, New Year's Eve, or the birth of a child.

In any case, stay flexible, but keep in mind that there will always be a good reason to postpone. At some point, you will have to take the plunge!

Inform your loved ones

Once the date is set, we recommend that you inform your loved ones because you will undoubtedly need support. They will be perfectly aware of your approach and may even help you overcome certain difficult stages. Who knows, some of them may have already had to face withdrawal and could give you valuable advice.

Conversely, what could be better than quitting together? For example, it could be a couple project or a challenge between friends. There's nothing better to stay motivated and share your difficulties.

A retenir :
  • Preparing to quit vaping allows you to increase your chances of success;
  • Anticipate problematic situations, keep only the necessary equipment and e liquids, and set a quit date;
  • Finally, do not hesitate to mobilize your loved ones to receive all the support you will need.

How to stop vaping ?

Let's be clear, there is no universal method to quit vaping, just as there is none to quit smoking. Your addiction and the factors that maintain it are unique to you. That's why it is so important to understand its mechanisms.

Starting withdrawal is therefore often introspection. You need to analyze what makes you want to vape so that you don't suffer from quitting vaping. This can take time, and that's why it's not useless to start by gradually reducing your use of the e cigarette.

Gradually reduce the use of the e cigarette

This transitional stage before quitting can indeed be beneficial for you in the future. Here, everything will depend on your vaper profile.

If you are still in the habit of consuming a significant amount of e liquid (more than 5 ml per day), the first step may be to set goals to reduce your consumption. This can be done by setting a limit not to exceed daily on a regular basis. Use the simplest possible calculation method for this. It can be, for example, to impose a maximum number of tank refills per day.

Once you have mastered your e liquid consumption, you can move on to the second step. This time, we will no longer talk about quantity, but rather about recurrence. The goal then becomes to test the list of "problematic" situations that you previously established in practice (see previous chapter).

In concrete terms, you will have to start by imposing on yourself to vape only when these situations arise. This will allow you to check that you have not missed any of them. Then, define those that are potentially the least problematic and try not to vape when you encounter them. Continue like this until you discover those for which it is very difficult for you to do without your e cigarette.

You will then have a better understanding of your addiction, which will allow you to find the best weapons to effectively counter it.

Countering your vaping cravings

You are now ready to take the plunge. On the date you have chosen, you should try not to vape at all. As we have seen previously, it will not always be easy. Here are some tips to counter your vaping cravings.

Overcoming your psychological dependency

As mentioned in the chapter on types of dependence, the one qualified as "psychological" could push you to vape. Generally, if you have previously stopped using nicotine e liquids, your vaping cessation should not have a major impact on your mood, sleep, or concentration.

On the other hand, you may miss the pleasure that your e cigarette brought you. Perhaps you were vaping a particular e liquid for several months, or on the contrary, you like to regularly change the flavours.

Whatever the case may be, we advise you in this case, before quitting, to opt for a recipe that is clearly not to your taste. A bit radical, certainly, but you will gradually break the unconscious link between vaping and pleasure. You could then regularly hesitate to vape, which would be ideal when you decide to quit altogether.

The e cigarette can also help relax you. Fortunately, this is not the only way to do so. Practice breathing exercises, exercise, read a good book... The examples are plentiful. It is up to you to find the one that suits you which also allows you to forget your desire to vape.

Overcoming your behavioral dependency

Behavioral dependence is undoubtedly the most difficult to overcome, especially if you have been smoking/vaping for many years.

The first objective will be to occupy your hand and mouth after quitting, to avoid unconsciously searching for your e cigarette on your desk or in your pocket. In this regard, anything goes.

 For your hands an anti-stress ball or a tubular object of a small size will perfectly help you. Keep this substitute with  yourself and handle it as soon as you feel the urge to vape. As for the mouth, there are also many ways to cope. You can chew sugar-free gum, use a toothpick, drink a glass of water... In any case, the principle remains the same: associate your desire to vape with one or more new actions.

This principle also applies to situations that we have identified as "problematic". If you are used to vaping with your morning coffee, while watching TV in the evening, or on a terrace with friends on weekends, you will need to find a way to approach these moments without fear of relapse.

The first idea could be to temporarily avoid them, but that will only delay the problem. On the contrary, take the bet to slightly change your habits to create new rituals. Change rooms to drink your coffee, have it after your shower instead of before, drink it while flipping through a magazine... Once again, it is up to you to define what will work best for you.

It is also always good to remember that a desire to vape, even if it is particularly strong, never lasts more than a few minutes. Therefore, occupy your mind as much as possible with other thoughts or remember all the times you successfully resisted.

Be mindful of your diet and alcohol consumption

Not all the weapons you can find to fight your urge to vape are always good for your health. While the ones we listed previously are relatively healthy, there is a compensation mechanism that can be much less so: your diet.

Let's be clear, there is nothing wrong with indulging in a few treats from time to time, as withdrawal is hard enough without imposing a strict diet on yourself. However, be mindful of what you eat if you do not want to end up with a few extra pounds and bad eating habits that will be hard to break. Or, take action in advance and engage in more physical activities.

A word of caution on alcohol as well. Even though there's no reason for you to drink more after you quit, be aware that excessive consumption can jeopardize your withdrawal. It is often during a particularly boozy evening that our good intentions go up in smoke. Therefore, if possible, avoid confronting it at first because, even with all the best will in the world, it will often be very difficult to resist.

Getting support from a heathcare professional

Have none of the previously mentioned tips worked for you? Is your desire to vape too difficult to control? Then seek support from a healthcare professional. You can consult your general practitioner to be directed to an addiction specialist or a specialized center for these issues.

You will likely be offered to undergo Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which will help you change your habits and overcome your addiction.

A retenir :
  • Preparing to quit vaping properly increases your chances of success;
  • Anticipate difficult situations, keep only the necessary equipment and e liquids, and set a quit date;
  • Finally, do not hesitate to inform your loved ones to receive all the support you need.

What do to incase of a relapse ?

If quitting, whatever the method, was a smooth ride, everyone would know it! In case of relapse, do not be too hard on yourself, and above all, do not question your plan. You are not the first person to experience this, so it is best to handle this situation as best as possible.

According to a survey conducted by the Viavoice Institute among customers of the Le Petit Vapoteur website, about 1/3 of those who successfully quit vaping needed several attempts. This clearly demonstrates that it is sometimes a necessary step, not proof that you can't do it.

Instead, use the situation to assess your quit journey. What caused you to start vaping again, and why? Review your quitting strategy, putting on one side what worked well and on the other side what made you relapse. You can then use all these elements to find new solutions.

Above all, do not risk going back to tobacco. If the idea crosses your mind or you're tempted, it is a critical sign. In that case, it is better to use your e cigarette for a few more days rather than starting over from scratch.

Remember, only the end result matters, and you can be proud of the progress you've already made.

Life without vaping

We hope this guide has helped you better understand vaping cessation and that you now have all the keys to successfully quit e cigarettes.

In any case, we wish you the best in beginning this life without vaping and tobacco. The entire team at Le Petit Vapoteur thanks you for your trust and is very happy to have counted you among its customers. Congratulations on your magnificent journey.