I had just started high school, I was 14. I wasn’t doing a great job at managing my workload. I was trying to juggle schoolwork, teams and clubs, my social life, and I hadn’t expected to be so stressed.
I experienced anxiety all the time and was so overwhelmed with stress I could hardly sleep at night. I felt too embarrassed to try to get help, I didn’t know anything about mental health or anxiety disorders. I thought I was just bad at handling things. I told one of my friends, and she suggested vaping.
She told me that it would help me manage my stress, and make me feel more relaxed. Most of my friends vaped, and lots of girls offered me hits of their vape, I was constantly around it.
So I started to vape and it later progressed to smoking. It made me uncomfortable at first because I knew it was unhealthy. But after a while I started to feel like I couldn’t live without it.
It took me a while to realize that I wasn’t controlling my stress, nicotine was controlling me.
I realized that quitting is slightly different for every person. For me, I learned strategies that helped me channel my stress in different ways. I started taking up different hobbies like hiking which helped me feel more relaxed.
I also told all of my friends I was quitting so they knew not to offer me their vape, and they also helped keep me accountable. I tried to stay away from vaping and smoking areas, and keep myself distracted.
Some people are able to quit quickly. But for some of us, quitting takes a little longer. What’s most important is that even when you slip up, you remind yourself why you want to quit and keep working at it. Because it is so, so worth it. It sounds cheesy, but literally, life-changing. In the long run, vaping and smoking just made my mood worse and inconsistent.
Now that I’m smoke-free and vape-free, I don’t have to worry about getting cravings during work or class anymore. And, I don’t worry about getting irritable when I don’t smoke or vape. I feel like I have more energy, breathe better and feel happier overall.
Quitting also gave me the courage to realize I needed external help. I went to therapy now and learned healthy ways to handle my anxiety that are long-lasting and healthy.
After seeing how much happier I was after quitting, one of my friends quit vaping too.
Quitting made me feel like a whole new person, who had control over their life, instead of being controlled by substances.
We’re Here to Help!
If you’re a teen who’s ready to quit smoking or vaping, reach out to our Lung Health Line for free one-on-one guidance from a Certified Respiratory Educator. We’re available to answer any questions and provide smoking cessation counselling. Chat online or call toll-free 1-888-344-LUNG (5864).
You can also download our free quit smoking or vaping app, Quash. When you’re ready to quash your cravings and take back control of your life, the Quash app will help you progress through each stage of becoming smoke or vape-free. Download for free at quashapp.com.