3 Ways to Manage Stress Without Vaping

December 20, 2023  |  Stress, vaping
manage stress


Young people are vaping nicotine at an alarming rate, and many are using it to cope with tough feelings. According to a 2021 survey of vape users between ages 15 and 24, 81% said they started vaping to reduce stress, anxiety, or depression.

Nicotine and Stress: A Vicious Cycle

It’s true that using nicotine releases feel-good chemicals in the brain. However, the effects are short-lived. Over time, dependence on nicotine can actually increase anxiety and stress levels, leading to a cycle of withdrawal symptoms and “quick-fix” relief that makes it difficult to stop vaping.

If you’re looking for healthier alternatives for stress relief, take a look at these strategies:

#1: Practice Mindfulness

Many people find that meditation and breathing exercises help reduce stress and anxious thoughts. As a bonus, focusing on your breathing can also strengthen your lungs. If you’re feeling stressed and want to reach for your vape, pause and take a few deep breaths until you feel calmer.

#2: Get Outside

Fresh air and exercise are powerful natural stress relievers. Try exploring nearby parks or nature trails for a light walk, hike, or jog. It’s a great way to clear your mind and distract yourself from vaping. Better yet, bring a dog or friend!

#3: Journal or Talk it Out

Keeping your feelings pent up can lead to even more stress and anxiety. Journaling provides a healthy outlet to express yourself and work through tough feelings along your quit-vaping journey.

If you’re comfortable, consider sharing your feelings with a friend or family member. Sometimes, an open conversation is just what you need to lighten the emotional load.


When to Seek Help for Stress and Anxiety

Occasional stress and anxiety are a normal part of life, but these feelings can intensify when you’re first trying to quit vaping. If you’re struggling, don’t wait to ask for help. 

The Mental Health Recovery Board Serving Warren & Clinton Counties (MHRB) is your starting point for help. We can connect you to helpful mental health resources for stress and anxiety, as well as resources for vaping. When you turn to our network providers, you’ll find caring, helpful people ready to point you in the right direction for you.