Jun 23, 2022 - Health

Americans can't stop searching "How to stop vaping"

A man smokes an electronic cigarette. On Thursday, June 02, 2022, in Krakow, Poland.
A man smokes an electronic cigarette. Photo: Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Online search interest in "How to stop vaping" is up amid news that impacts people who use vaping products nationwide, Google Trends data indicates.

Driving the news: The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday announced it will order Juul to remove its e-cigarettes out of the U.S. market, taking away an e-cigarette option for millions of smokers.

  • The FDA has been working to cap nicotine in cigarettes, while the Biden administration has been working to limit tobacco in the U.S.
Vaping stats

The big picture: About 3.7% of American adults used e-cigarettes in 2020, according to recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  • E-cigarettes are commonly used by America's youth, too. About 2 million middle and high school students used e-cigarettes in a 30-day period, according to 2021 data from the CDC.

What they're saying: “Vaping in the U.S. has gone up tremendously in the past few years,” said Suchitra Krishnan-Sarin, co-director of the Yale Tobacco Center for Regulatory Science, in a statement.

  • “A big part of the problem is that kids are using e-cigarettes on a regular basis throughout the day, and they don’t know what nicotine concentration they are using. So, they develop an addiction, and they find it hard to quit.” 
Risks of vaping

Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine, which is an addictive and toxic substance that can harm brain development among young people, per the CDC.

  • E-cigarettes can also contain harmful ingredients such as diacetyl, which is a chemical linked to serious lung disease, per the U.S. surgeon general's website.
  • Heavy metals — including nickel, tin and lead — can be found in e-cigarettes, too.

Yes, but: E-cigarettes have the potential to benefit adults who smoke if used as a substitution for smoking regular cigarettes, the CDC said.

  • Researchers are still discovering more about the risks of e-cigarettes, per the CDC.
Why it's hard to stop vaping

Quitting vaping isn't exactly easy since people will face immense challenges along the way, according to SmokeFreeTeen, a government resource on smoking for teens.

  • Challenges to quitting include cravings and constant temptations to smoke again.
  • People will most likely experience nicotine withdrawal, which includes symptoms such as irritation. frustration, trouble sleeping and the urge to consume nicotine, per the Cleveland Clinic.

Tips: Dr. J. Taylor Hays, a professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, told Truth Initiative that there are ways to steel yourself against withdrawal symptoms, including exercise and finding distractions.

  • “Find the activities that will keep your mind engaged for those few minutes,” Hays said.

Go deeper: The big picture on vaping

Go deeper