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Summer is approaching–longer days and later nights are on the horizon, your winter coat can return to storage, and a future of daytime park hangs and outdoor drinks is within reach. As temperatures rise and social hibernations come to an end, resisting the urge to vape may feel more challenging. 

Don’t worry, it’s not just you. 

Going out with friends who vape, or simply being in an environment that you associate with vaping can be a major trigger. The physical experience of a craving is compounded by the feeling of, well, FOMO. Vaping likely had a presence in your social life not only as something to do while drinking or with friends, but also as a pattern that brought you a sense of familiarity. 

From waves of anxiety to the need to do something with your hands, we are here to help you enjoy your night out, sans vape. 

Make plans. 

First off, don’t cancel your plans. While going out can trigger the desire to smoke, radically changing your lifestyle will dramatize the feeling that you are denying yourself something in your efforts to quit. While going out with friends can prompt cravings, having fun with people you love can also serve as a useful distraction. Plus, the more you experience the feeling of being out without vaping, the more comfortable it will become. 

Think through why you vape on a night out. 

What are you seeking when you reach for your vape? The better you understand this motivation, the more effective any new behaviors can be. 

For instance, if you find yourself wanting more energy or focus, try reaching for a nicotine mint instead. If you are feeling anxious, text a friend that you feel comfortable with or take a lap around the block for some air. Structuring your new behavior around the why behind your craving will help you make adjustments that actually work for your needs. 

Tell your friends. 

If you haven’t already told your friends that you are quitting vaping, be sure to tell them! Don’t be afraid to be explicit–even ask them to hold you accountable. Knowing that you are not the sole person watching out for your goals will make you all the more likely to stick with them. 

If you are the only person in your friend group who is quitting, this step can feel intimidating. The discomfort will be short-lived, and your friends (yes, including your friends who vape) will come to understand and support your choice. 

Mix up your Friday night routine. 

While it’s important to get comfortable going out without your vape in your typical spaces, it can also be helpful to break up your routine. 

Try out hosting people for dinner–in your own space, you may be able to control more of your triggers. Something that physically brings you to a different space (going to a movie, bowling, playing pickleball) can also alleviate the feeling of familiarity that may make it tempting to fall back into old patterns. 

Don’t try to do this all the time. As mentioned above, too much change at once can make it hard to stick to your goals, but trying out small environmental changes in the early stages of quitting can be a meaningful form of support. 

Give yourself time to adapt. 

Give yourself a few weekends to get used to the change–your brain quite literally needs the time. This is because as you grow dependent on nicotine, your brain creates more nicotine receptors, and these receptors cause cravings. When these receptors do not access nicotine, withdrawal symptoms come about, including insomnia, anxiety, depression, difficulty concentrating, and irritability–this is not exactly anyone’s ideal going-out-self. 

Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is an over-the-counter smoking cessation product that comes in many forms and doses, like Jones Nicotine Mints. NRT can be a helpful tool here, as it delivers a slow, low dose of nicotine to fill some (but not all) of those nicotine receptors. This allows you to adjust without feeling such intense withdrawal symptoms. The FDA approved NRT for smoking cessation in 1984, and doctors now recommend it as a tool for quitting vaping–it can double your chances of quitting successfully. Nicotine mints are great to have out with you to help alleviate any cravings that may arise.  

Know that slip-ups are normal.

Assure yourself that slip-ups will happen along the way. This is a natural, even inevitable, part of your journey–the reality is that you can’t always control your environment, particularly when you’re going out. If you find yourself taking a hit of a friend’s vape, or buying a vape after a few drinks, go easy on yourself. This is part of a dynamic learning process, and it doesn’t mean you have to return to old habits or have been set back to square one. 

Text us!

No really, text us. Mobile behavioral support increases quit rates by nearly 40%. If you’re out and feeling like you really want to vape, try out some of our digital support tools, including daily texts with motivation, habit exercises, and craving support. Even ask our AI coach, Coach Jones, anything, including the questions you may not want to ask your friends on the dance floor.