How to reduce how much you vape

If you vape and want to stop, but don’t feel like you can to quit right now, you may have a desire to reduce how much you vape

Written by spunout

Last Updated: Feb-29-24


If you vape and want to stop, but don’t feel like you can to quit right now, you may have a desire to reduce vaping. These tips can help you reduce your habit, which may help you quit entirely long-term.

Vaping has become a popular way to consume nicotine, the addictive chemical that is in tobacco. Vaping does not expose users to the same toxins and cancer-causing chemicals as smoking tobacco does, but that does not mean vaping is harmless. Vaping can also cause negative health effects and expose users to substances harmful to the human body.

The long-term health effects of vaping are unknown. Find out more about the health effects of vaping.

How to reduce vaping over time

If you are worried about how often you vape, there are steps you can take to reduce your usage. This can be a useful strategy if you do not feel like you would be able to quit vaping entirely, for whatever reason.

A good place to start can be to track how much you vape in a given month. You could do this by keeping a list of how many disposable vapes you buy or how many cartridges, pods or bottles of vape e-juice you use in this time period.

Once you have an idea of how often you vape, you can set yourself targets to reduce your use. You could do this by limiting how much money you spend on vaping in a given period or even limiting how many times a day you allow yourself to pick up a vape.

Other controls rules, such as only vaping outdoors or only vaping on nights out, could also help reduce your usage. As vapes do not produce smoke, people are less likely to go outside when they use their vape, making it easier to passively use it during other activities, such as while sitting and watching TV. Making yourself go outside every time you want to vape may help discourage you from doing it so often.

How to deal with vape cravings

If you reduce how much you vape, you may experience nicotine withdrawal. Side effects of withdrawal from nicotine can include:

  • Feeling grumpy or irritable
  • Headaches
  • Feeling restless
  • Cravings 
  • Loss of concentration
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Increased hunger
  • Feeling sad or depressed

These symptoms can make staying away from vaping difficult. However, there are ways to cope with these symptoms.

It may be a good idea to avoid settings you associate with vaping, such as smoking areas. If your friends are going outside to vape or smoke on a night out, ask someone to stay indoors with you so you have company while avoiding the smoking area.

When nicotine cravings hit, some people find eating crunchy foods like apples, carrot sticks or pickles, or sucking on a lollipop, can help. These food items can keep your mouth and hands occupied, like vaping may have in the past. You can achieve a similar effect by drinking a cold glass of water or fruit juice, or by chewing gum.

You can also deal with cravings by using the ‘4 Ds’:

  • Distract yourself by focusing on something else
  • Delay doing anything about the craving until it passes
  • Take 20 deep breaths
  • Drink a cold glass of water or fruit juice

Support for if you want to quit vaping

If you are finding it hard to reduce how much you vape on your own, you can speak to your GP or pharmacist. 

Using Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) such as patches, inhalers or gum, may be helpful. NRT has not been developed or tested as a tool for quitting vaping. However, they may also be useful to people who want to stop vaping, as they help you withdraw from nicotine addiction gradually.

If you are thinking of using NRT to help stop vaping, speak to your GP who may prescribe certain medicines to deal with nicotine withdrawal.

You can speak to your GP or pharmacist about NRT or use the HSE’s quit smoking resource,, to find out more information, including how to access NRT free of charge.

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