Is Vaping Addictive?
Right now, in America, vaping is a huge problem. People may see use as safe, harmless, and even a preferable option compared to cigarette smoking, but vaping is anything but safe. Vaping produces many of the same unwanted effects as smoking, and in certain situations, can even trigger more serious consequences. One fact that experts know for sure – vaping is addictive.
Understanding the Basic Elements of Vaping
Vaping can seem confusing because it looks and behaves so unlike a typical cigarette. On the other hand, cigarettes, which have been around for hundreds of years, are simple and obvious. A user takes it out of the pack, lights, and puffs.
To some, a vape can look like a futuristic device full of technology that challenges a person’s view of smoking. Rather than burning shredded tobacco leaves in a paper wrapper, most vapes use a rechargeable battery to heat up a metal coil that vaporizes a liquid into gas form for a user to inhale.
People are drawn to vaping because there is no fire, no tobacco, no tar, and no chemicals usually connected to smoking. After some time, though, people began to realize that many of the same issues linked to smoking, like addiction, remained.
Nicotine, the addictive chemical found in cigarettes, is present in most forms of vaping products. Some vapes will not have nicotine and will not be addictive, but these products may carry other risks.
The Dangers of Nicotine Addiction
Just because something is legal does not mean it is safe. There are plenty of dangers surrounding vapes and vaping.
Most vapes contain nicotine, and nicotine is very addictive. When a person is addicted to nicotine, they will begin to prioritize vaping over other important people and things in life.
A person may show signs of nicotine addiction or a nicotine use disorder if they:
- Continue to vape even though they want to stop or have made attempts to stop
- Feel odd, uncomfortable, irritable, or anxious when they want to vape but cannot
- Struggle to pay attention to and think about other activities because they are thinking about vaping instead
- Continue to vape even though it is causing problems at home, work, or school
- Have relationship conflicts with family, friends, or love interests because of vaping
- Feel unable to control their vaping
- Need to vape more or more often to achieve the desired effect
Nicotine Dependence and Withdrawal
Addiction is a serious concern affecting a person’s psychological health, but it is only one part of the issue. Physical dependence and withdrawal are problematic outcomes of nicotine use with the power to influence a person’s physical health and well-being.
After a person has been vaping for some time, their brain and body become to depend on the substance to feel well and function normally. If they decide to take away or drastically reduce the nicotine intake, they will experience withdrawal symptoms like:
- Feeling irritable or restless
- Feel sad or nervous
- Feeling extra tired
- Poor attention and concentration
- Poor sleep with trouble falling asleep
- Having an increased appetite
- Experiencing strong cravings for more vaping
Dealing with Nicotine Withdrawal and Addiction
Managing addiction is key, but to have success overcoming vaping, a person must first overcome withdrawal. The effects of nicotine withdrawal can present just hours after the last vape and will intensify before it ultimately decreases in intensity. If a person can last through the surge, they will have a better chance of being vape-free.
People hoping to battle back against nicotine withdrawal and addiction should:
- Prepare for the effects. The signs and symptoms of nicotine withdrawal are fairly predictable so taking the time to research the consequences can be helpful as a way to plan for the symptoms.
- Build a network. Letting people know your plans and giving them tasks along the way can help your progress. People may be compelled to make their efforts to quit vaping a private affair due to the fear of failure, but getting more people involved is the best path.
- Focus on food and rest. When use ends, the body will need extra sleep and crave extra snacks. Let yourself take naps and stock up on healthy meals and food that are quick and convenient.
- Ride out the cravings. Cravings are a guaranteed part of nicotine withdrawal. These intense sensations can trigger strong urges to use, so each person will need a craving defense plan to counter the effects. Call a friend, listen to a favorite song, watching a relaxation video online, or anything else that will help keep symptoms contained.
The addiction to vaping is real and so is the aftermath. Confronting the issues with vaping and nicotine addiction will be a challenging move, but the result is worth the struggle.