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Why does quitting vaping feel like a breakup? 

Parting ways with anyone you spent your late nights and early mornings with is emotional–be it an ex, situationship, or, yes, your vape. Not only does quitting vaping feel like a breakup, but you may find yourself turning to breakup advice you’ve given (or received) to cope with your quit.

However, thinking about quitting vaping in the same way that you’d think about a breakup is a useful approach. Providing yourself with this framework may help you better understand the non-physical impact of quitting, and help you structure your coping methods. 

What is it about quitting that feels like a breakup?

First of all, quitting vaping may quite literally feel like a breakup. There are some obvious physical similarities–quitting vaping can prompt feelings of irritability, poor sleep, spiked stress levels, and can trigger anxiety and depression. So, if you find yourself wanting to crawl in bed after quitting vaping, know that your body is still acclimating. While (hopefully) quitting vaping won’t make you want to scroll your ex’s Instagram, you see the similarities. 

That said, it’s possible you are already feeling prepared for physical withdrawal symptoms. What you may find more surprising is an emotional similarity to a breakup. 

Start out by being gentle with yourself when these feelings come along–it’s normal to feel suddenly anxious, sad, and even lonely after quitting. Vaping when you need to focus or socialize can create a powerful association. Your vape becomes associated with security, and without it you may be more acutely aware of the grogginess, lack of focus, or anxiety you may have initially dismissed.

It’s also normal to mourn the absence of what was once a routine part of your day and social life–quitting can be a nostalgic time, and cravings can lead to plenty of walks down memory lane. Remind yourself that while your vape may have been in hand, you were at the center of all of those good times.


How to cope with these feelings. 

When you’re first quitting, make note of where in your day you are feeling physical or emotional discomfort the most to help you better plan for added support. 

Identifying the times of day or environments where you feel most prone to cravings can also help you identify what new behaviors you can exchange for vaping. Think about it like a breakup–if Friday nights were feeling especially hard, you’d make plans with friends to take your mind off of things. Similarly, if when you wake up you find yourself really craving your vape, make a plan to go outside, walk to get a coffee, or call a friend–these may even be things you’d been looking to do more regularly. 

With some more time on your hands (and funds in your pocket) post-quit, consider picking up a new hobby. Hobbies with a social element in particular, like local sports leagues or joining a friend for a yoga class, may help alleviate some of the stress of socializing in settings where you may have vaped in the past. You certainly don’t have to avoid those spaces (and if you’re looking to go out, we’ve got a guide for you) but if bars or parties are a big trigger for you, it may help to break up your weekend with something that feels totally new. 

Finally, as with any breakup, lean on your support network. Reach out to friends, family, whomever in your life allows you to fully have the floor when you need it most. In the case of quitting vaping, there is the added benefit of digital support systems. Mobile behavioral support increases quit rates by nearly 40%, and digital support tools, like daily texts with motivation, habit exercises, and craving support, will be your new best friend in this particular kind of breakup. The Jones App community is always there to support you. 


Be kind to yourself. 

In the end, as is true with leaving any relationship that no longer suits you, you will experience growing pains. 

It’s normal to miss vaping, and even if you find that you slip-up here and there, understand that this is all part of the process. Like sending a text to your ex, it doesn’t mean that you are back to old habits or that you’ve erased any progress. Instead, show yourself some compassion, remind yourself of why you quit in the first place, and keep going.