Do you ever vape to deal with your emotions? Maybe when you’re feeling sad, anxious, or lonely?

Turns out it’s not just you: research from Truth Initiative found that over 80% of youth aged 15-24 started vaping to deal with stress, anxiety, and/or depression. The tobacco industry has long positioned smoking and vaping as stress relievers. But nicotine makes you feel more stressed and worsens your mental health. 

How does nicotine impact mental health?

When you vape with nicotine, your brain releases dopamine, the feel-good chemical. This might temporarily make you feel better, but it doesn’t alleviate your stress in the long term. Instead, vaping traps you in a cycle of nicotine addiction. That addiction wreaks havoc on your nervous system and your stress response. You might experience irritability, anxiety, and low mood when you haven’t vaped for a while. Vaping gives you relief from these symptoms. 

The cycle of symptoms followed by relief from vaping makes it seem like vaping benefits your mental health. It has the opposite effect.



Illustrated graphic of your brain on nicotine

The good news? Quitting vaping can improve your mental health!

Truth Initiative surveyed young people who had used their This is Quitting text program, and 90% of those who had quit vaping said they felt less anxious, stressed, and depressed after quitting.  

Quitting or cutting back on vaping lets you build new healthy habits that support your mental health. We can help you learn to deal with stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental health challenges without vaping. 

Take a look at these coping strategies for dealing with your emotions without vaping. 

Take a look

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Mental health support

While ditching your vape can do wonders for your mental health, it isn’t a substitute for getting proper mental health support. If you’re dealing with persistent sadness, low mood, anxiety, or stress, please reach out for support.



Foundry offers free and confidential supports for young people ages 12 to 24 — mental health care, substance use services, physical & sexual healthcare, youth and family peer supports, and social services — both online and in-person in communities across BC.


If you need immediate support, the BC Crisis Centre is available 24/7 by calling 1-800-784-2433 or visiting


You can also find support at Kids Help Phone by texting CONNECT to 686868 or calling 1-800-668-6868. 


Help Starts Here is British Columbia’s pathway for navigating mental health and substance use supports across the province. Visit