Quitting E-cigarettes

E-cigarettes do not contain tobacco, but many of them contain nicotine, which comes from tobacco. Because of this, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies e-cigarettes as "tobacco products." (Learn more in What Do We Know About E-cigarettes?)

In many ways, quitting one tobacco product that contains nicotine is a lot like quitting another tobacco product that contains nicotine. This is because the physical, mental, and emotional parts of quitting are mostly caused by nicotine addiction. Many of the ways to handle the mental hurdles of quitting are the same. But most experts agree that more research is needed about the best ways to quit e-cigarettes.

While some people may be able to quit e-cigarette use on their own, others, such as daily users, are likely to find this to be very difficult.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends following one of the ways known to help people quit other tobacco products, as they can be helpful. Read more about quitting tobacco products in Making a Plan to Quit and Planning a Quit Dayand in Quitting Smoking or Smokeless Tobacco.

If you’re having trouble quitting e-cigarettes on your own, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. You can get hlep from other support services, too, such as your state quitline (1-800-QUIT-NOW) or the American Cancer Society (1-800-ACS-2345).

Can e-cigarettes be used to help quit smoking?

Some people who smoke choose to try e-cigarettes to help them stop smoking. The American Cancer Society does not recommend the use of e-cigarettes as a cessation method. No e-cigarette has been approved by the FDA as a safe and effective cessation product. It's important to know that people who switch to e-cigarettes when trying to quit other tobacco products still expose themselves to potentially serious ongoing health risks. It’s best to stop using all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, as soon as possible both to reduce health risks and to avoid staying addicted to nicotine.

The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team

Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.

American Cancer Society. American Cancer Society Position Statement on Electronic Cigarettes. 2019. Available at https://www.cancer.org/healthy/stay-away-from-tobacco/e-cigarette-position-statement.html. Accessed October 10, 2020.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Protecting young people from e-cigarettes. Available at https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/features/back-to-school/protecting-young-people-from-e-cigarettes/index.html. Accessed October 10, 2020. 

Jankowski et al. Smoking cessation and vaping cessation attempts among cigarette smokers and e-cigarette users in central and eastern Europe. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019;17(1):28. 

Klein MD, Sokol NA, Stroud LR. Electronic cigarettes: Common questions and answers. Am Fam Physician. 2019;100(4).227-235.

Rehan HS, Maini J, Singh Hungin AP. Vaping versus smoking: A quest for efficacy and safety of e-cigarette. Current Drug Safety. 2018;13(2):92-101.

Surgeongeneral.gov. Surgeon General's advisotry on e-cigarette use among youth. Available at https://e-cigarettes.surgeongeneral.gov/documents/surgeon-generals-advisory-on-e-cigarette-use-among-youth-2018.pdf. Access October 10, 2020. 

References

American Cancer Society. American Cancer Society Position Statement on Electronic Cigarettes. 2019. Available at https://www.cancer.org/healthy/stay-away-from-tobacco/e-cigarette-position-statement.html. Accessed October 10, 2020.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Protecting young people from e-cigarettes. Available at https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/features/back-to-school/protecting-young-people-from-e-cigarettes/index.html. Accessed October 10, 2020. 

Jankowski et al. Smoking cessation and vaping cessation attempts among cigarette smokers and e-cigarette users in central and eastern Europe. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019;17(1):28. 

Klein MD, Sokol NA, Stroud LR. Electronic cigarettes: Common questions and answers. Am Fam Physician. 2019;100(4).227-235.

Rehan HS, Maini J, Singh Hungin AP. Vaping versus smoking: A quest for efficacy and safety of e-cigarette. Current Drug Safety. 2018;13(2):92-101.

Surgeongeneral.gov. Surgeon General's advisotry on e-cigarette use among youth. Available at https://e-cigarettes.surgeongeneral.gov/documents/surgeon-generals-advisory-on-e-cigarette-use-among-youth-2018.pdf. Access October 10, 2020. 

Last Revised: October 10, 2020

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