This article is part of a running series with Rowan University’s Healthy Campus Initiatives. This collaboration aims to educate students about personal well-being options. For further updates, follow @RowanHCI on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.
Meet Mariana Cardenas, senior Psychology major, who wrote this article because of what she’s observed around her. She explains, “I have seen my friends go from saying that they vape because it is just water vapor (it’s not) to then being worried from seeing others in hospitals over vaping and wanting to quit so badly. But many struggle with quitting because they don’t know how to start or they have attempted many times but it being too difficult to deal with the nicotine withdrawals.”
Know it is time to quit vaping, but don’t know where to start?
At this point, we have all seen the social media posts of friends in hospitals vowing to quit vaping. It may have been unclear in the past of the effects that these devices could have on our bodies. Older people talking about the effects just seemed ridiculous. But the research is out now, and it has become apparent that the stuff coming out of vapes should not be going anywhere in our bodies.
Along with all too well known physical effects the chemicals in vapes have on our bodies, there are also several behavioral effects. This includes anxiety and permanently lowered impulse control (thetruth.com).
You may be in a mindset where you know you should ditch the vape, but not know how to start. For some, quitting can feel overwhelming. It may be difficult to imagine yourself without your vape (teen.smokefree.gov).
First, set up a plan and take on your quit journey one step at a time. Most importantly, establish a support system, which can be as simple as letting your friends know about your plans to quit.
Do not be discouraged by slip-ups; instead, celebrate the progress you have made.
Identify triggers and try to avoid them if possible — feelings, things, people or places that give you the urge to vape.
Get ready for withdrawals. Mood changes due to nicotine withdrawal are typically temporary while your body adjusts to being nicotine-free. Keep in mind that the longer you go without nicotine, the better you will feel. When you are having an especially tough day, think back to why you chose to quit in the first place.
Create a simple phrase of your reason for quitting. Write it down somewhere you will constantly see, like your phone’s lock screen, to remind you of your goals.
These are all suggestions. Some of these steps may work well for you and others may not. Do not compare your quit journey to others because all our bodies work differently.
Best of wishes to you in your future healthier life.
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Mariana Cardenas, senior psychology major
Alyssa Bauer, senior public relations major