If you’re ready to stop smoking, but not ready to give up the feeling of inhaling something, the good news is that you don’t have to. It turns out there are many oral fixation smoking alternatives, or products you can inhale or use orally, that are fun to use without the harmful effects of nicotine — or any harmful effects at all.
In this article, we’ll share our picks for the top 3 alternative vapes to help you stop smoking cigarettes and look at some non-vape alternatives.
At a glance:
Best Oral Fixation Smoking Alternatives
Here, we’re going to include smoking alternatives in four categories:
- Drug-free vaporizers
- Caffeine vaporizers
- CBD vaporizers
- Non-vape options, such as food and gum
Note that we’re not including e-cigarettes, because there’s little evidence they can help people quit smoking. In fact, a 2016 systematic review and meta analysis from The Lancet Respiratory Medicine found e-cigarette users were less likely to quit smoking than those who didn’t use e-cigarettes. What’s more, they certainly won’t help curb your nicotine habit.
That said, they may still be helpful in some structured smoking cessation programs, especially among heavy smokers. If you do think an e-cigarette would help you quit smoking, feel free to see our nicotine vape recommendation in our article about the best vapes to quit smoking. But for now, we’re focusing on healthier, alternative vapes that don’t contain nicotine.
Best Drug-free Vape: ZERO
Zero – Plant Powered Aromatherapy Device (Magic Mint) · $19.99
For those who would really like to vape but prefer to stay away from drugs, the founders of MELO Labs have designed something just for you: ZERO. These plant-powered puffs contain nothing but organic vegetable glycerin and natural flavors. They’re a great option both for those looking to quit cigarettes as well as those looking to quit e-cigarettes.
Can Help You Quit Nicotine
As you’ll see from checking out their smoking cessation products, a total of six flavors are currently available. Not only do customers love the flavors, but they claim these products actually help them quit nicotine. One customer says, “Amazing flavor profile that has helped me quit nicotine. I would recommend to anyone looking to quit smoking as well.”
These vapes were carefully designed without any ingredients known to harm the lungs. Not only are they free of nicotine and other drugs, but they also contain no propylene glycol (a petroleum byproduct included in many vaping devices) and no vitamin E acetate (which is associated with acute vaping-related illness, according to a study from Cureus).
So, if you’re looking for something you can inhale that tastes great, has no drugs, and contains minimal ingredients, ZERO is the way to go.
Best Caffeine Vape: HELO Air
HELO Air Caffeine Diffuser (Gush) · $14.99
At MELO Labs, we make a variety of other vaporizers with the same ingredients as those in ZERO, but with the addition of caffeine or other supplements. For those of you who are trying to quit smoking and also have a caffeine habit, HELO Air is a great option that can address both at once.
Our HELO Air vaporizers provide a hit of caffeine that’s effective, smooth, and significantly cheaper than a latte or energy drink. And like ZERO, they are free of ingredients known to cause lung damage. HELO Air contains just three ingredients: caffeine, organic vegetable glycerin, and natural flavors.
With eight flavors to choose from, Helo Air offers something for everyone. Some of the most popular flavors include Gush, Watermelon Lime, and Pink Lemonade. As you’ll see from the reviews, customers love the flavors and the energized feeling they get from the vapes, which they describe as less jittery than the feeling often associated with caffeinated beverages.
Can Help You Quit Nicotine
And yes, they can help you quit nicotine. One customer says, “It fills the desire to vape without the nicotine!” Others comment that they’ve successfully quit smoking or vaping nicotine while using HELO Air. Some have given HELO Air to friends or family members who wanted to quit smoking and have now done so successfully thanks to these vaporizers.
Can Help You Quit Energy Drinks, Too
Many other customers have also said they’ve managed to quit energy drinks with HELO Air. One customer says, “This product gives me an amazing amount of energy WITHOUT giving me anxiety! I'm a professional skateboarder and I got addicted to energy drinks and thought this would wean me off of them and it did! I highly recommend and the flavor is so good!”
So, if you want to quit nicotine and energy drinks all at once, or if you’d just like a boost of energy from your vaporizer that doesn’t give you jitters or anxiety, look no further than HELO Air.
Best CBD Vape: Avida CBD Vape Pen
Avida CBD Vape Pen (Mint) · $14.99
The Avida CBD vape pen is another great oral fixation option if you’re interested in trying CBD. These vape pens contain pharmaceutical-grade CBD isolate, food-grade vegetable glycerin, food-grade propylene glycol, and natural and artificial flavors. They are free of vitamin E acetate and no nicotine.
Unique Flavor Options
The Avida CBD vape pen has a wide variety of flavor options: You have a total of 12 options to choose from, including a flavorless option with no artificial flavoring. Customers approve of the flavor options, which are frequently described as mellow and refreshing, and not overpowering.
May Help You Quit Smoking
Like the other vapes we’ve looked at, these may help you quit a nicotine habit. Some reviewers comment that these vape pens can help curb cravings for nicotine. This is in part due to a placebo effect of inhaling something pleasant, but it also may have to do with the CBD itself.
Specifically, studies show CBD may have additional benefits for those trying to quit smoking. According to a randomized, controlled trial from the journal Addiction, oral CBD is more effective than a placebo at reducing the appeal of cigarette images and cues. As such, it can be part of an effective smoking cessation program.
These vapes are also described as being smooth, much more so than cigarettes or nicotine vapes. Customers generally say there’s no harshness that comes from vaping these.
Provides Pleasant, Relaxing Feeling
Customers love the feeling they get from these CBD vapes, which is described as relaxing and calming. But they won’t get you “high,” as long as you stick with the pure CBD vapes. Note that the company also sells CBD vapes with delta-9 THC, a compound with very similar effects to THC, so make sure to avoid any product with this compound if you don’t want to get high.
Avoid if Taking a Drug Test
While the Avida CBD vapes don’t contain THC as an added ingredient, the company explains that the pure CBD vapes do contain trace amounts of THC. It’s not enough to get you high, but it may be enough to show up on some drug tests. So if you have a drug test coming up, you may want to avoid these to be safe.
If you’re interested in experiencing the benefits of CBD and don’t have any drug tests on your horizon, the Avida CBD vape pen is a good option to help you quit smoking.
Other Oral Fixation Alternatives
While alternative vapes can be a very effective way to help you quit smoking, we realize not everyone wants to vape. If you’ve developed any lung irritation from smoking (or anything else), or if you just prefer to avoid vaping until there are more scientific studies on its long-term effects, you do have some alternative options to soothe your oral fixation habit.
Chewing Gum or Candy
Gum, breath mints, and hard candies are a popular choice among those who are trying to quit smoking. When you have the urge to smoke, reaching for something small and sweet can help satisfy your oral fixation habit, and it has the added benefit of freshening your breath. Nicotine gum is also an option if you’re concerned you can’t quit nicotine cold turkey.
Of course, you’ll want to be careful not to have too much sugar, so choose sugar-free or low-sugar options when you can. Choosing gum or mints sweetened with xylitol (a sugar alcohol) can actually help prevent cavities, according to a 2017 systematic review and meta-analysis from the Journal of Natural Science, Biology, and Medicine.
If you typically smoke cigarettes after a meal, using a toothpick instead is a great idea to satisfy your oral fixation — and clean your teeth. What’s more, toothpicks come in a variety of flavors nowadays, including cinnamon and mint. Reach for one of these when you have something stuck in your teeth, or if you just feel like chewing on something.
Vegetable Sticks or Other Snacks
Celery and carrot sticks are a very healthy snack that can keep your mouth busy whenever you’d otherwise reach for a cigarette. You can cut them up or just buy a bag of baby carrots, which are already about the right size.
If you really don’t like carrots or celery, you could reach for other stick-shaped snacks, like pretzel sticks or potato sticks. Of course, these options aren’t as healthy, but they’re still healthier than cigarettes. Just be careful to keep track of how many chips you’re eating in one sitting so you don’t end up consuming too much sodium or refined oil.
What's the best candy for quitting smoking?
The best candy for quitting smoking will both taste good and offer something extra beyond just a sugar boost to help calm cravings. It makes sense that someone trying to quit smoking would want to try candy to take care of the oral fixation component that comes with lighting up. If that’s what you’re looking for, we mentioned a few general options for you above. But here are some other options that are more specifically geared toward a soon-to-be ex-smoker.
Rogue offers quick-dissolving tablets that are somewhat similar to lifesavers, but with one big difference — they contain nicotine. They’re available in two strengths — a 2 mg tablet and a 4 mg tablet.
Rogue nicotine tablets are available in three flavors — Wintergreen, Peppermint and Berry — and are fast-acting. That means you'll get a quick hit of nicotine to calm those cravings, while simultaneously giving your mouth something to do besides take a drag from a cigarette.
Rogue also offers pouches, gum, and lozenges, but the tablets are most similar to what you'd get with a traditional candy. We particularly like the tin packaging option, which reminds us of Altoids.
Drop the Craving Gummies
Developed by doctors and billed as "The World's First Gummies to Help Stop Craving," Drop the Craving gummies are available in a number of different formulations, including ones designed to help with cravings related to vaping, marijuana, alcohol and, of course, smoking and tobacco.
The gummies contain three main ingredients that are supposed to help with cravings — ashwagandha, ginger and vitamins A, C, E and D3 — along with L-theanine, an amino acid found in green tea, that's a popular and widely used anxiety remedy.
Flintts Mints are billed as a cure for dry mouth. How's that different from any other mint? Flintts' claim to fame is that they're built on a foundation of spilanthes flower.
Spilanthes, also called "the toothache plant," is, among other things, an analgesic (which means it contains some numbing qualities), which is supposed to spur saliva production. According to the Flintts Mints website, this is important because things like smoking, medication and anxiety lower your body's ability to produce saliva, which leads to dry mouth and a host of other problems, like tooth decay. Each mint is also vegan and sugar-free.
The mints come in 15 flavors, including Sour Tangerine, Snowy Pine, Strawberry Magic, Cinnamon Ginger, Luxury Grape, Cool Watermelon and, of course, Mint.
Are there any 100% harmless alternatives to smoking?
Yes! Quitting cold turkey is a 100% harmless alternative to smoking where you replace cigarettes with absolutely nothing — no supplements, no vapes, no lozenges, no candies … you get the point. The only activity proven to be a completely safe alternative is simply no activity at all. But quitting cold turkey also increases the risk of failure.
We mentioned three products above — HELO Air, MELO Air and, in particular, ZERO — that are as safe as you can get if doing absolutely nothing is not in your game plan.
How do you replace smoking rituals?
You can replace smoking rituals with almost any other less harmful habit. But the answer to this really depends on what your particular rituals are. Does smoking involve getting up from your desk and taking a walk outside? Does drinking coffee make you want to light up? Do you smoke when you drink alcohol? When you're under stress? As an escape?
Creating another habit to take the place of smoking could be something as simple as taking a few drags of a ZERO or MELO Air vape. Or maybe that action combined with popping a nicotine lozenge or one of the candies mentioned above.
Do some research on habit formation and you'll find "hacks" that will help you anchor new habits to take the place of smoking. It won't happen overnight, but you should be able to make significant progress in a few weeks. And after a few months, smoking will probably feel completely gross.
Final Word: Trust MELO Labs to Provide the Best Oral Fixation Smoking Alternatives
There are many different ways to satisfy your oral fixation needs when quitting smoking. If you prefer not to vape, go with xylitol-based gum or mints, flavored toothpicks, or vegetable sticks. If you’re interested in experiencing the benefits of CBD (and don’t have a drug test in the near future), try the Avida CBD vape pen.
But if you want to try the safest and tastiest vapes on the market, there’s no better choice than the products from MELO Labs. Our HELO Air caffeine vaporizers give you a burst of energy and can help you quit energy drinks and nicotine all at once. We also offer melatonin vaporizers to help you sleep, which are completely drug-free.
And if you just want to enjoy the vaping experience without any drugs or supplements at all, try ZERO plant-powered puffs. These devices have nothing but organic vegetable glycerin and natural flavors, designed specifically for people who are trying to quit smoking. If you want something tasty to inhale without any drugs or side effects, ZERO is the way to go.