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How to support someone on their quit-vaping journey

If someone you care about is quitting vaping, they will need extra support and encouragement from those around them. Quitting tobacco products of any kind is extremely difficult and nicotine withdrawal can make people feel heightened stress and irritability, so be patient and remember that helping someone stay positive, focused, and distracted can make a huge difference.

Stay patient, positive, and encouraging

What happens when you quit vaping

Quitting nicotine can cause a wide range of withdrawal symptoms such as irritability and increased feelings of anxiety and depression. During the early days of quitting, it may be helpful to remind someone why they wanted to quit vaping, and talk about the positive outcomes that come with living nicotine-free. Don’t be afraid to ask them what they’d find helpful, too!

Keep in mind that being supportive is equally important when someone experiences setbacks in their journey to quit. Research shows that quitting nicotine “cold turkey” is rarely effective, and it’s normal for quitters to need a few tries to figure out what quitting approaches will work for them during their process to quit nicotine. If someone relapses and uses nicotine while trying to quit, avoid punishing or shaming them. Responding with compassion and understanding can go a long way and can help quitters get back on track.

If you’re not sure what to say, try to put yourself in the shoes of someone trying to quit nicotine. For inspiration, check out what young people using a text-based quit vaping program wrote to themselves as they said goodbye to their vapes.

“Your quality of life is going to change so fast. It’s worth it to do this. Your future self is rooting for you and will be so grateful” – Sydney, 18-24, This is Quitting user

“It will get easier, and it is so worth it. You will feel so much physically and mentally better after you ditch the nicotine.” – @mar.zzyy, 18-24, This is Quitting user

The more distractions, the better

Many quitters report that distractions are an important part of managing nicotine cravings. Hobbies and activities can help quitters take their mind off cravings, especially during times of stress or when cravings are strongest. In her first week of quitting nicotine, Christina, 23, said in her “Quitters” episode that she would do a chore or make music to keep her hands busy and her mind off nicotine. Many quitters also report that exercise, an activity which sends endorphins to the brain, also helps take their mind off vaping.

Find something that distracts you, I found new friends and went longboarding a lot because it’s so soothing. – Baily, 13-17, This is Quitting user

Celebrate every milestone, no matter how small

Quitting nicotine requires drive, determination, and focus. To support someone on their journey to quit vaping, it's important to recognize the hard work involved and celebrate each success, no matter how small. Whether it's one year, one month, one day, or one hour without vaping, focusing on the small victories can make a huge difference. 

In a video series from truth about young people who have quit vaping, McCall Mirabella recommends using an app to track streaks of nicotine-free days, see how much money she’s saved since quitting, set up daily rewards, and celebrate each day without vaping.  

Share tools and resources

Quitting vaping is one of the best things someone can do for their health, and there are tools to help. For many people, daily encouragement and reminders can go a long way.

Hearing from people who have successfully quit nicotine can also be inspiring and motivating - there’s a whole community of people learning how to quit vaping, and many are willing to offer support and advice.

A first-of-its-kind texting program from truth to help young people quit vaping has also become a resource for nearly 750,000 young people. A randomized clinical trial found that young adults aged 18-24 who used the progra, had nearly 40% higher odds of quitting compared to a control group.

For free access and to receive immediate help, teens and young adults can text “DITCHVAPE” to 88709.

Parents of young people who vape can receive support at


This article was originally published on March 2, 2023.