Help Your Child Create a Plan To Quit Vaping
If your child wants to quit vaping, they’re going to need support. Nicotine addiction can be tough to beat. And the messages they’re getting from social media and peers can make it harder.
Below are 7 science-backed strategies to increase their chances of quitting successfully. With these 7 steps, you’ll help put your child on the road to success. Good luck!
Encourage signing up for This is Quitting.
Encourage your child to enroll in This is Quitting, a proven quit vaping program for teens and young adults. It’s anonymous, confidential, and free. They simply text DITCHVAPE to 88709 to join. Let them know they are not alone in trying to quit vaping. Hundreds of thousands of young people have already joined This is Quitting to get help with quitting. Many of the messages from This is Quitting were written by other young vapers just like them. You may also want to talk with their doctor about the pros/cons of medication to help make quitting more comfortable.
Help your child choose a quit date.
Research shows the best way to get off of an addictive substance like nicotine is to quit for good. That means no more vaping, ever. While some kids might want to just cut back, that can be a slippery slope when it comes to nicotine addiction. Setting a quit date and sticking to it is best.
Encourage your child to tell other people they’re quitting. They can share with other family members, trusted adults, and friends. This is important so they can stay accountable and get encouragement. Telling their friends they’re quitting will also reduce the chances they get offered an e-cig. Be sure to tell their doctor at the next visit.
Help them learn new skills and behaviors.
Breaking an addiction involves trying different strategies to find what helps. If your child has tried to quit in the past, help them think through what helped with cravings and withdrawal and what didn’t. Problem-solve together the things that tripped them up before. And encourage them to repeat the things that helped. You can also help them change up their daily routine. It’s hard to quit something without replacing the behavior. Distraction can be helpful in the beginning when dealing with strong cravings. Heads up! Your child may end up using their phone more than usual to distract themselves from cravings.
Manage stress in healthy ways.
Many people vape and use other drugs to deal with stress. Help your teen identify other healthy strategies they can build into their day. It could be exercise, deep breathing, or other relaxation exercises. It may also help for you both to talk to their school counselor, doctor, or other trusted professional to find a plan that works.
Get prepared for difficult situations.
Your child probably knows that quitting vaping won’t be easy. Knowing their vaping triggers and planning ahead will help your child get through the hardest moments of quitting. Help them make that plan as specific as possible. How will they say no to a friend when offered a hit? What will they do when they’re having trouble sleeping, feeling stressed or angry, or when cravings get very intense? Encourage them to list all the situations when they expect to have cravings and brainstorm a plan for each one. It may feel awkward but it can help to practice out loud (with you or in front of a mirror) what they’d say in specific situations.
Have a plan for relapse.
Most people don’t quit on the first try. It’s common for people to feel really discouraged or think “trying to quit is pointless, I can’t do it.” Make a plan with your child for how you’ll learn together from slip-ups. Remember, this is all part of experimenting.