Avoid turning a slip-up into a relapse. Get back on track with your quit smoking attempt.
While you should do all that you can to stay 100% smokefree after you quit smoking, there may come a time when the temptation to smoke is so overwhelming that you give in to a cigarette. A slip-up can happen and, while it’s a small step-back, you shouldn’t beat yourself up over it. Most importantly, you shouldn’t let your slip-up derail your quit attempt. Instead, immediately get back on track with quitting smoking.
Here’s what you should do after a slip-up:
- Understand that you haven’t failed at quitting. Some people may use a slip-up as an excuse to smoke another cigarette or even a pack. The next thing you know it, they’ve started smoking again. Don’t fall into this trap. Instead, acknowledge that your slip-up is just a mistake and it doesn’t mean you’re a smoker again. You can still reach your smokefree goals!
- Learn from your mistakes. Think about what caused you to light up. Was it because of alcohol, peer pressure, stress, or some other trigger? Come up with strategies on how to avoid that type of situation again and figure out ways to distract yourself better from your cravings or find better support to get your through.
- Try some new strategies. Even if you have a solid quit plan in place, perhaps some of the strategies you identified to overcome triggers and cravings may not be helpful for you. Use a slip-up as a time for you to revisit your quit plan to see what is working and what isn’t working. Make adjustments as needed.
- Recommit to your quit. Make a promise to yourself that your slip-up was a one-time thing and that you won’t smoke another cigarette again. If you give in to the once-in-awhile mentality, then you enter a slippery slope that can lead to a fail quit attempt.
- Appreciate how long you were able to successfully quit. Were you able to make it a week without smoking? A month? Be thankful for the time you stayed quit and try to at least quit for a longer period of time on your next attempt (if not quit forever!). Remember that it often takes people several quit attempts before they quit for good.
Remember, if you slip up, do not give up. You can quit smoking for good!
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