Quitting smoking and e-cigs

By now, it’s widely known that tobacco use is bad for health. According to the National Cancer Institute, tobacco use is a leading cause of cancer and related deaths. That includes all forms of tobacco — cigarettes, e-cigs (“vaping”) and smokeless chew or dip.

According to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, almost 70% of adult smokers want to quit. Are you among them?

Benefits of quitting

If you or a loved one use tobacco, there are many reasons to quit — and many benefits to quitting. For example, people who quit smoking — no matter their ages — have longer life expectancies than those who keep smoking.

The health benefits kick in as soon as one quits smoking. According to the American Cancer Society1 and National Cancer Institute2 these include:

  • Within hours, heart rate and blood pressure drop and carbon monoxide levels return to normal.
  • Within weeks, circulation improves, and coughing and wheezing decrease.
  • Within months, lung function improves.
  • Within a few years, risk of cancer, heart disease and other chronic diseases decrease.

Can e-cigs help me quit smoking?

Electronic cigarettes — also known as e-cigs, vapes or mods — have recently become more popular. These devices are used to inhale an aerosol, which may contain nicotine, flavors and other chemicals.

Though e-cigs may be marketed as safer than cigarettes, or as a tool to reduce tobacco use, they’re not an FDA-approved quit aid, and there is no evidence that they actually help smokers quit.

While e-cig vapor may have fewer toxic substances than cigarette smoke, users (and nearby non-users) are still exposed to many harmful substances, such as nicotine and toxic metals.

Research suggests that e-cig use may actually increase cigarette use in teens. And among adults, one study reported that smokers who used e-cigs were 28% less likely3 to quit successfully. Another showed that while e-cig users intended to quit smoking cigarettes, they actually continued to use both products.

The bottom line: There is no such thing as a risk-free tobacco product, and no safe level of tobacco use.

Quit For Life

You may be eligible for Quit For Life®, a clinically-proven coaching program4 created in collaboration with the American Cancer Society®. The program combines physical, psychological and behavioral tools to help overcome tobacco addiction. Support includes a Quit Coach® with a personalized quit plan, plus tools, such as online coaching and text messages.

Other ways to quit

Start by talking to a doctor, such as your primary care physician. He or she knows the full picture of your health and may help you make a plan to quit. There are also many trusted online resources, such as smokefree.gov or betobaccofree.gov. Trained counselors, like those at 1-800-QUIT-NOW, also provide free support.


  1. American Cancer Society. Guide to quitting smoking. When smokers quit – what are the benefits over time? Accessed August 22, 2018.
  2. National Cancer Institute. Harms of Cigarette Smoking and Health Benefits of Quitting. Accessed February 13, 2019.
  3. American Heart Association. What You Need to Know About Vaping. Accessed February 13, 2019.
  4. The Quit For Life Program provides information regarding tobacco cessation methods and related well-being support. Any health information provided by you is kept confidential in accordance with the law. The Quit For Life Program does not provide clinical treatment or medical services and should not be considered a substitute for your doctor’s care. Please discuss with your doctor how the information provided is right for you. Participation in this program is voluntary. If you have specific health care needs or questions, consult an appropriate health care professional. This service should not be used for emergency or urgent care needs. In an emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. The American Cancer Society name and logo are trademarks of the American Cancer Society