Millions of Americans use e-cigarettes. There’s little research into how to help them stop.

By his junior year of college, Zach Arledge had already tried to quit vaping about half a dozen times. But with each attempt, he found himself reflexively reaching for his Juul within a day.

So when he decided to try again, Mr. Arledge wanted to be prepared. He waited until winter break, when he’d have more free time, and took a week off work. He bought sugary cereals to help kick his cravings, and melatonin in case he had trouble sleeping.

He drew 72 squares onto paper, each one representing an hour of his first three days without nicotine. He marked them off as the hours ticked by, checking off a chunk when he woke up. Those first days, Mr. Arledge felt detached from his body, unable to focus on anything. He chewed on chopsticks and stayed in front of the TV, trying to distract himself.

The nicotine in vapes can be highly addictive, and can raise blood sugar, heart rate and blood pressure, among other health risks. And while some people turn to vaping to stop smoking cigarettes, e-cigarettes can contain substances that also pose health risks.

Despite the popularity of vapes — more than 8 million Americans were current e-cigarette users in 2018, according to federal health data — there is little established guidance to help people like Mr. Arledge quit. Many of the recommendations that do exist come from tobacco cessation efforts, not research into vaping specifically.

“The health care system hasn’t caught up completely,” said Suchitra Krishnan-Sarin, a psychiatry professor at the Yale University School of Medicine who studies adolescent tobacco use.

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