Kicking the Vaping Habit: Where to Begin

E-cigarette use may increase the risk of COVID-19 infection. Humberto Choi, MD, shares advice on how to kick a vaping habit.

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CLEVELAND – Electronic cigarette use may increase the risk of coronavirus infection, according to the World Health Organization.

So now, is as good a time as any, to kick that vaping habit.

According to Humberto Choi, MD, of Cleveland Clinic, many people started vaping because they thought it would be safer than smoking traditional cigarettes.

“Electronic cigarettes were really sold as something that could be safe, or safer, than regular cigarettes,” he said. “But now, with all of the cases of illnesses and lung injury that we are seeing associated with vaping it’s showing that vaping is really not as safe as people thought it would be.”

Dr. Choi said there is not much evidence to show that vaping can help people successfully stop smoking.

In fact, some studies have shown people who try to use electronic cigarettes to quit smoking, never really quit – they just continue to use a different nicotine product.

Much like regular cigarettes, e-cigarettes contain nicotine, which is the addictive chemical that keeps people coming back for more.

Dr. Choi said many times, people will try to quit on their own – but he recommends enlisting the help of a professional.

Quitting any type of smoking can involve nicotine withdrawal symptoms, and there are different methods that health care professionals can try to help people find success.

“A doctor can provide counseling, and a lot of education, as well as nicotine replacement, or perhaps medications, to help someone deal with the nicotine addiction,” said Dr. Choi.

Because smoking is very habit-forming, Dr. Choi recommends replacing a smoking habit with another, healthier, habit.  He suggests starting a walking program, and enlisting the help of a friend to help keep you on the right track.

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