How Hard Is It to Quit Vaping?

E-cigarettes were meant to help people quit smoking, but now Americans are having a hard time putting down the vapes

Allie Volpe
Elemental
Published in
5 min readOct 16, 2019

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Photo: Vitalij Sova/Getty Images

CClose to 1,300 people in the United States have recently experienced lung injuries from vaping, and 26 people have died from these injuries. This string of illnesses and deaths is prompting bans on e-cigarette sales in cities like San Francisco and states like Massachusetts. The number of injuries is raising questions about the long-term implications of vaping, and over two-thirds of vapers say they plan to quit — an ironic turn of events, considering e-cigs were positioned as a tool to help people quit smoking. But how hard is it to stop?

Cigarette use reached its lowest rate ever recorded in 2017, but throughout the past decade, e-cigs have amassed a usership of nearly 11 million U.S. adults, over half of whom are under 35. And with flavors like strawberry cheesecake and pina colada, vaping has found a foothold with teenagers.

Though vaping was initially billed as a lesser evil compared to cigarettes, due to the fact that e-cigs contain less toxic chemicals, recent research has shown that vaping comes with unique dangers. People using e-cigs as a means to quit smoking traditional cigarettes tend to vape for longer durations than the time they…

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Allie Volpe
Elemental

Writes about lifestyle, trends, and pop psychology for The Atlantic, New York Times, Rolling Stone, Playboy, Washington Post, and more.