The quit-smoking techniques available for traditional cigarettes also work for people treating Juul addiction. A Juul e-cig is unique, but not so special that it needs separate therapies to treat Juul addiction. Nicotine addiction is the same, regardless of the delivery mechanism. Quitting Juul is hard but not impossible.
Read the first post in this series to learn all about Juul e-cig and what makes it different from other e-cigarettes.
Come up with a plan that makes sense for you and pick a date to quit your Juul e-cig. It is more effective to choose a specific date rather than a general goal of quitting in the future. Once you pick a date let other people know your plans. This will help you stay accountable.
Part of the preparation involves getting rid of your Juul device and pods. You don’t want it to be effortless to restart Juul in a moment of significant craving.
The CDC has great resources on quitting nicotine. Here is a link to their page on building a quit plan.
The physical withdrawal from nicotine lasts for approximately 1 week but breaking the psychological addiction can take longer.
Nicotine withdrawal symptoms include:
- feeling irritable, angry, anxious, restless
- trouble thinking clearly
- increased hunger
- cravings for nicotine
Managing nicotine cravings to treat Juul addiction:
Nicotine cravings generally last 5-10 minutes and then pass. The key to management is what you do when the craving is happening. As part of your plan to quit smoking, I recommend having a pre-planned list of options to choose from instead of trying to think of how to manage it during a craving.
Create your list! Here are a few options:
- Chew gum, suck on hard candy, drink water
- Distract yourself by doing something other than what you were doing when the craving started. Walk away from the area you were in.
- Get up and move. Do a short burst of physical exercise to give yourself an energy boost and reduce the anxiety that accompanies cravings. Do some jumping jacks, go for a quick vigorous walk or jog around the block, walk up and down stairs.
- Call a friend and talk to them about what they are up to. Try to take the focus off yourself and the way you currently feel.
- Deep breathing and relaxation techniques can help, especially if you are unable to step away from the task at hand.
- Keep a card in your pocket with the reasons you want to quit nicotine written on it. Pull this out and read it during a craving.
Options for treating Juul addiction:
Some people can successfully treat Juul or nicotine addiction on their own without support but many people benefit from help. There are several different options people use when trying to stop Juul.
- Get advice, support, and/or counseling including information on withdrawal, coping strategies to deal with nicotine withdrawal, and a personalized plan for quitting
- Use over the counter nicotine replacement products such as the nicotine patch, gum, and lozenges
- Start prescription medication like bupropion SR (Zyban) and varenicline tartrate (Chantix). Ask your doctor if this is appropriate for you.
Counseling and medication are both effective for treating nicotine dependence, but using them together is more effective than using either alone.
Free resources to help with quitting Juul:
The CDC includes many free resources to help people stop using nicotine. Keep in mind, the language the CDC uses in many of their resources refers to “stop smoking” but you can substitute this language with “stop using nicotine”. Remember, the underlying addiction is the same.
- Each state has a quit-line that can be accessed by calling 1 (800) QUIT-NOW. This resource provides all types of information and services to help people stop using nicotine.
- There is an app called QuitGuide that helps you track cravings and build skills to needed to remain nicotine free. It even sends inspirational messages to you each time you log a craving.
- Sign up for SmokeFreeTxt a free resource that will send messages to you each day to help support quitting nicotine. If you text a keyword such as “Crave” a text response will be sent to you with messages to help you get through the urge. There are specific texting apps for adults, vets, teens, women, and age 60+ so the messages sent are targeted to the population using it.
If you are struggling to stop using Juul and are wondering what treatment is right for you, reach out to your physician for advice and support.
To learn more about addiction read these posts:
Dr. Deborah Burton and Dr. Kristen Stuppy are both physicians dedicated to educating the public about health issues. They each wrote educational pieces about the dangers of using Juul, especially for children. Find these posts here and here.
Share your additional pointers for quitting nicotine. What helped you or others you know?
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