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Your Healthy Family: Kick the vaping habit, especially during a pandemic

Posted at 9:43 AM, Aug 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-04 11:43:08-04

Electronic cigarette use may increase the risk of coronavirus infection, according to the World

Health Organization.

So now, is as good a time as any, to kick that vaping habit.

According to Humberto Choi, M.D., of Cleveland Clinic, many people started vaping because they thought it would be safer than smoking traditional cigarettes.

“Electronic cigarettes were really sold as something that could be safe, or safer, than regular cigarettes,” he said. “But now, with all of the cases of illnesses and lung injury that we are seeing associated with vaping it’s showing that vaping is really not as safe as people thought it would be.”

Dr. Choi said there is not much evidence to show that vaping can help people successfully stop smoking.

In fact, some studies have shown people who try to use electronic cigarettes to quit smoking, never really quit – they just continue to use a different nicotine product.

Much like regular cigarettes, e-cigarettes contain nicotine, which is the addictive chemical that keeps people coming back for more.

Dr. Choi said many times, people will try to quit on their own – but he recommends enlisting the help of a professional.

Quitting any type of smoking can involve nicotine withdrawal symptoms, and there are different methods that health care professionals can try to help people find success.

“A doctor can provide counseling, and a lot of education, as well as nicotine replacement, or perhaps medications, to help someone deal with the nicotine addiction,” said Dr. Choi.

Dr. Crystal Erickson, MD is a thoracic surgeon with UCHealth Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs who says here in Colorado we have a very valuable resource available, in addition to the others Dr. Choi mentioned.

Dr. Erickson says, “There are numerous resources available. The easiest one to access is the Colorado QuitLine line, which is 1 800 QUIT NOW. It's a free service that provides access to telephone-based counselors who can help you develop a quick plan and recent to Colorado. The eligibility criteria have changed so that now, anyone twelve years or older can use this free service.”

Because smoking is very habit-forming, Dr. Choi also recommends replacing a smoking habit with another, healthier, habit. He suggests starting a walking program and enlisting the help of a friend to help keep you on the right track.

To access the Colorado QuitLine click on the LINK to access their website. (https://www.coquitline.org/en-US/)

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