Tips for slips and relapse

It usually takes many times before someone quits for good. A slip is having one or two cigarettes while trying to quit. A relapse is when you go back to regular smoking. Remember that both are temporary setbacks - but common parts of the quitting journey.

Try not to think of quitting as an all or nothing occurrence. It’s a gradual process that can take many quit attempts before you finally succeed.  

Strategies for preventing slips or relapse

Everyone has different signs right before they have a slip and they can be easily missed. Here are a few strategies for recognizing and dealing with situations that might trigger a slip:  

Recognize the warning signs 

  • Know your triggers and temptations that cause major cravings to smoke. 
  • Be aware of emotional states that can trigger your cravings, like negative moods (anger, anxiety, depression) or positive moods (celebrations).
  • Recognize that negative physical states, like pain, illness and fatigue can be triggers to smoke.
  • Feeling like you’ve got everything under control and can have a smoke every once in a while (which you can’t).
  • Still experiencing withdrawal or cravings long after quitting.
  • Socializing with others who smoke or living with someone who smokes.

Review your coping strategies

  • List how you will avoid or cope with triggers to smoke 
  • Plan for high risk situations and seek help from buddies to stick to your plan 

Plan for ongoing support