If you want to know how to quit vaping cold turkey - you need to read this.
You may be thinking that cold turkey is the best route to take when you’re quitting. Social media and quitting culture steer you to the cold turkey route from the Redditers in r/QuitVaping to the countless TikTokers on their nicotine free day counts. While cold turkey has its fame on social media it doesn’t have the support of scientific and medical communities. There’s a lot of evidence and data that point to why you shouldn’t quit vaping, smoking, or nicotine cold turkey.
To quit vaping cold turkey means to quit on willpower alone - without any support. Willpower can be a strong incentive but when faced with nicotine addiction, nicotine wins almost every time. This is the case because as you grow dependent on nicotine, your brain creates more nicotine receptors. These new receptors are what cause cravings when you stop consuming nicotine because they’re expecting a “key” to unlock them. When that nicotine “key” doesn’t come because you quit cold turkey, you feel withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms can include insomnia, anxiety, depression, nicotine cravings, difficulty concentrating, irritability, and anger. Think about a time when you lost your vape - how bad did you really feel? Can you imagine feeling that way on repeat for weeks at a time with no respite? Willpower is an important component to quit but it shouldn’t be your sole support system.
25 years of research has shown that 95% of people can’t successfully quit cold turkey. The odds are most certainly not in the quitter's favor. This is why you’ll often hear of multiple demoralizing quit attempts or even a rebound back to vaping or other tobacco products a few months later. It took time for your brain to adapt to your nicotine dependency and it will take time for your brain to adjust to receiving lower nicotine levels.
To quit successfully, the first time around, skip over the cold turkey attempts and instead use a combination of NRT and behavioral support to nix nicotine dependency for good.
The best support combination to quit successfully consists of two key components: the first is nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) and the second is habit-building tools & coaching.
Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is an over-the-counter smoking cessation product that comes in many forms (like Jones Nicotine Lozenges) and doses (most commonly 2mg & 4mg). NRT is a clean form of nicotine - void of the harmful chemicals and carcinogens present in vapes, dip, and cigs. The FDA approved NRT for smoking cessation in 1984 and doctors are now recommending it as the #1 quit vaping tool. When using NRT you can double your chances of quitting successfully. Thinking back to the brain and receptors discussion above - NRT is so critical because it delivers a slow, low dose of nicotine. This dose fills some of the extra nicotine receptors but not all of them. NRT allows your brain to start adjusting back to normal without feeling such severe withdrawal symptoms. By managing your cravings with NRT, the impact of your willpower in moments of stress or weakness is much greater to overcome your vape cravings. The key to NRT is to take it as long as needed to quit, to take enough to curb your cravings (frequency & dose), and to use NRT correctly. For example, Jones nicotine lozenges must be dissolved under your tongue. The best way to know how much NRT to take, the frequency you should take it, and the best dosage is through the Jones Dependency Quiz - you can take the quiz here.
To quit vaping, it is essential to support your efforts with habit-building exercises and motivational support. Behavioral support and text-based motivation alone can increase quit rates by nearly 40%. Meanwhile, behavioral support like advice, counseling, and peer groups have shown increased quit rates in those using NRT by an additional 20%. There are support programs out there like the Jones App or Text With Jones to help you throughout your quit journey.
When combining NRT and behavioral support to quit, you’re able to successfully address both the physiological and psychological needs of your body for a smoother and more sustainable transition away from vapes. This combination is recommended by doctors and supported by science.
If you still believe that quitting vaping cold turkey is the best option for you, our advice to you is:
- Avoid Zero Nicotine Vapes. Even the organic vapes contain small particles that can harm your lungs. This also reinforces the exact habit you’re trying so hard to rid yourself of.
- Have your support group on speed dial. Tell your closest friends and family that you plan to quit vaping and will be calling on them for their support to get through cravings and other hard moments. Then actually call on them to help you. The Jones App has a community just for this type of support too.
- Drink loads of water. Straw-top water bottles are also great tools to help tackle your oral fixations.
- Exercise. Activities like yoga, walking, or other forms of exercise can help you manage your cravings.
- Box breathing exercises.
- Play Quittle. Cravings can pass in as little as 60 seconds. Quittle is a game designed specifically to distract you through cravings and is available in the Jones App.
**NRT is not recommended for everyone and is only for adults over the age of 18. Consult your doctor before taking NRT if you are pregnant or have other pre-existing health conditions.