CDC Health Advisory

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a health advisory on August 30, 2019 urging people to avoid using e-cigarettes and other vaping devices. An outbreak of acute lung disease related to vaping has caused severe illness, including death in several states. Get the latest outbreak information from the CDC here. If you are concerned about your health after using an e-cigarette or vaping product, contact your healthcare provider, or local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.

CDC Health Advisory (pdf)

Vaping Facts

  • “Vaping” or “JUULing” are terms used to describe the act of inhaling liquid nicotine using an electronic device (i.e., e-cigarettes, vape pens, vaporizers, mods).
  • E-cigarettes work by heating liquid nicotine, or e-juice that produces an aerosol—not vapor that is inhaled by the user. These products often contain nicotine, flavorings, and other additives.
  • Popular pod vapes, such as JUUL, Suorin, and other brands are sleek, tech-savvy and resemble USB sticks or everyday items that appeal to teens and young adults (18-24).
  • One JUULpod is equivalent to smoking 20 cigarettes–that’s one pack or 200 puffs!
  • 98% of electronic cigarettes, including JUUL flavors contain nicotine.

Electronic Cigarettes, What’s the Bottom Line? Infographic (CDC)

Electronic Cigarettes, National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

How Safe is ‘Safe Enough’?

Why underestimating the health effects of vaping is a bad idea

Nicotine Dependence

  • Nicotine used in any form (smoking or vaping) is a highly addictive substance that stimulates the brain’s reward system by flooding it with the neurotransmitter—dopamine.
  • Nicotine reaches the brain within 7-10 seconds of use.
  • The acute effects of nicotine dissipate within a few minutes, creating the need for repeated intakes throughout the day.

Managing Withdrawal

Withdrawal symptoms can be extremely uncomfortable and are usually the strongest during the first 1-2 days and peak within the first week. Symptoms from nicotine withdrawal might include:

  • Cravings to vape or smoke
  • Anger
  • Irritability
  • Frustration
  • Anxiety
  • Nervousness
  • Restlessness
  • Depressed mood
  • Sadness
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Increased appetite

Try to avoid the temptation of vaping again just to feel better. Withdrawal symptoms begin to subside within 2-4 weeks. Using these simple strategies may help you fight the urge to vape:

  1. Delay. Pause for a few minutes. Most cravings start to pass within a 3-5 minutes.
  2. Drink water. Sip slowly. Staying hydrated helps to flush nicotine out of the body and it gives you something to do with your mouth and hands.
  3. Deep breathe. Practice breathing deeply and slowly. Meditation apps can be useful and aid in relaxation.
  4. Do something else. Take a brisk 10-minute walk, call a friend for support, or munch on a healthy snack.

Steps to Quitting

1. Get Ready.

Being emotionally prepared boosts your chances of success. Think about all your reasons for quitting and write them down. How will you deal with cravings? Where can you find support when quitting gets tough? Quitting is hard, but with planning and preparation you can quit and stay quit. Pick up a complimentary “My Quit Kit” from the SPARKS Peer Education Office (Moseley 105G) full of items to help you jump start being vape free!

2. Pick a Quit Date.

Choose a date and mark it on your calendar. Put it in your phone and share your date with friends. Try to avoid holidays or other high stress times. As you get closer to your quit date, start reducing the frequency and amount you vape.

3. Get Rid of JUULs, E-liquid Pods, and Other Vaping Devices.

Start preparing yourself by getting rid of all vaping products and paraphernalia. Need an incentive? Exchange your JUUL or vaping device, and nicotine pods for complimentary fitness and personal training sessions, gift cards, t-shirts, and other cool swag. Stop by the SPARKS Peer Education office in Moseley 105G for more details.

4. Be Prepared for Cravings.

Learning how to cope with urges is the secret to long-term success. Most nicotine cravings start to pass within a few minutes and go away over time. When cravings hit, remember the 4 D’s (delay, drink water, deep breathe, do something else) to help you fight the urge to vape.

5.  Surviving Day One.

This may be your toughest challenge, so rely   on family, friends, quit groups, or an online program with a trained quit coach for support.

6.  Know Your Triggers.

Figure out what people, places, feelings, times, or actions may trigger your urge to vape. Try to avoid these situations especially during the first few weeks.

7.  Get Active.

Go for a walk, try yoga, meditation, or deep breathing as a way to relieve stress and to combat that edgy feeling when you first quit.

8.  Don’t Give Up.

If you slip and vape, don’t give up completely. Remember changing anything takes time. It may take several attempts to finally quit. Nicotine is a powerful substance—remind yourself of the reasons why you decided to quit.

9.  Reward yourself.

Quitting nicotine is not easy so give yourself lots of credit. Acknowledge every success, even the small ones.

10.  Consider a FDA approved nicotine replacement therapy (NRT).

There are several FDA approved therapies to assist you with quitting. Some may even double your chances of quitting for good. Talk to your physician or health care provider to find the best NRT or medication right for you. For more information on nicotine replacement therapy visit smokefree.gov.

FDA-Approved Medications (pdf) 

Web-based Quit Programs

Getting the right advice and support can help you quit vaping. Digital quit programs provide 24/7 support, text coaching, expert advice,  and tips on quitting. Text “QUIT” to (202) 804-9884 or enroll in This is Quitting by texting DITCHJUUL to 88709.

  • JUUL Exchange Program

  • Do you vape or use tobacco products? Are you interested in quitting? Start with getting rid of all of your JUULs and e-liquid pods. Exchange your JUUL or other vaping device, including nicotine pods for complimentary fitness and personal training sessions, gift cards, t-shirts, and other cool swag. Stop by the SPARKS Peer Education office in Moseley 105G for more details.