Vaping is a thing that we, as a culture, have to deal with now. While the Food and Drug Administration is still scratching their heads over how to regulate vaping, a whole subculture of entrepreneurs and enthusiasts have grown up around these devices that turn oil into steam. Is vaping a liability in recovery? Well, it depends. Vaping is still new and its risks and advantages are not not well understood. Studies have shown that cigarette smoking significantly increases your risk of relapsing. A study of more than 35,000 people found that about 6.5 percent of non-smoker relapsed within three years compared to about 11 percent of smokers. Smokers who quit fell somewhere in the middle at around eight percent, indicating that quitting can actually decrease your chance of relapse significantly. Typically, vaping is a vehicle for nicotine, which is addictive, but vaping is almost certainly safer than cigarettes. The question is whether vaping threatens recovery the same way cigarettes do, and that doesn’t appear to have been studied yet. There are, however, some relevant factors that might form a basis for speculation. First, and perhaps most importantly, many people start vaping in order to quit smoking. They essentially use it as nicotine replacement therapy. Vaping has the particular advantage of being similar to smoking. Whereas the patch or gum involve completely different behaviors, you can essentially take the cigarette out of someone’s hand and replace it with a vaporizer and they would hardly notice the difference. In terms of harm reduction, this is an obvious improvement, since you eliminate most of the known carcinogens found in cigarettes. If vaping really is a step on the way to quitting completely, it could help you get into the category of people with reduced relapse risk. On the other hand, vaping might be a liability in some ways. It could be a replacement addiction, for example. It may not be as dangerous to your life and health as drugs or alcohol, but it might become a preoccupation and a means of coping. It may also allow you to continue behavior from when you were in active addiction. For example, if smoking put you around certain people either at work or in your neighborhood, vaping might put you around those same people. Typically, people who smoke also drink and use other substances, so being in that company might put you at risk for relapse. Finally, whether vaping is a relapse risk depends on its association with drinking and drug use. Vaping, like smoking, has a distinctive smell, taste, and ritual associated with it. If vaping reminds you of drinking and using, it might cause cravings just as cigarettes do. The advantage of vaping is that you can change the smell much more easily than you can change the smell of a cigarette, so that might mitigate the effect somewhat. The important thing is to be aware of your triggers. If vaping turns out to be a trigger, it’s better to leave it behind.
If you or a loved one struggles with addiction, we can help. Recovery Ways is a leading addiction treatment provider with an excellent recovery rate. Our expert staff includes masters and PhD level therapists and board certified addiction psychiatrists. Our comfortable facilities will help to make your treatment as enjoyable as possible and our therapists use proven techniques like sensory integration and recreation therapy to help to engage the world without the assistance of drugs or alcohol. Call us today at 1-888-986-7848 or email us through our contact page to learn more.