if E-cigarettes, vaping nicotine, and Juul pods are all the rage. You can buy them in all shapes, sizes, and flavors. While most teens know they contain nicotine – that’s the reason they use them – some think they’re harmless, fruity flavored fun.
That’s not quite the case.
E-cigarettes contain nicotine, and one Juul pod – the most popular form of e-cig right now – contains as much nicotine as an entire pack of traditional cigarettes.
Which means they’re just as addictive as traditional cigarettes, since it’s possible to ingest more nicotine, more easily, and more efficiently.
If you use e-cigs, vaping, or Juuling, and worry you might be hooked, there’s an easy way to find out if you are: take the HONC, a.k.a. the Hooked on Nicotine Checklist. We’ll tell you how to score your results below.
Take The HONC Test
HONC: The Hooked On Nicotine Checklist
Answer yes or no to each of the following questions.
Insert vape, use e-cig, or juul in the place of “smoke” “cigarette” “tobacco” or “nicotine”
- Have you ever tried to quit, but couldn’t?
- Do you smoke because it’s really hard to quit?
- Have you ever felt like you were addicted to tobacco?
- Do you ever have strong cravings to smoke?
- Have you ever felt like you really needed a cigarette?
- Is it hard to keep from smoking in places you’re not supposed to?
- Is it hard to concentrate when you can’t smoke?
- Are you irritable when you can’t smoke?
- Do you get a strong urge or need to smoke when you haven’t for a while?
- Are you feel restless, nervous, or anxious when you can’t smoke?
Score the Test
Prepare yourself for the news: since every question on this short checklist indicates a level of diminished autonomy over tobacco use, if you answer yes to just one question, that means you’ve lost full autonomy over your tobacco use. The more yeses, the more autonomy you’ve lost.
You know what that means, don’t you?
It means you’re not the one in control of your behavior any more. In this case, it means tobacco – or e-cigs, vaping, or juuling – is in control of your behavior. It means you’ve lost your independence, and we’re fairly certain independence and autonomy are a big deal to you. They’re important to most people, but to teenagers they’re huge.
If you want to regain your autonomy, you can.
People quit – i.e. regain autonomy – every day, and they do better when they have support.
Check out the website Smoke Free Teen to get help and support designed specifically for teenagers. This government-maintained site offers live chat, advice on planning to quit, a quitting phone app called quitSTART and a quitting text service called SmokefreeTXT.
It’s all free and it’s all there just for you.
Your chances of experiencing the long-term negative health consequences of nicotine addiction decrease the sooner you recognize the fact you may be addicted. And the sooner you start the process of quitting, you increase your chances of quitting successfully.
Angus is a writer from Atlanta, GA who writes about behavioral health, adolescent development, education, and mindfulness practices like yoga, tai chi, and meditation.