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.
Don’t panic! Get right back on track
Remember - quitting takes practice and having a slip is part of the quitting process. A slip should not be considered a failure, so don’t use it as an excuse to go back to regular smoking. The trick is to get back on track right away and learn from the slip:
- Identify what triggered the urge to smoke.
- Think about how you will handle it differently in the future – either by avoiding the trigger, or coming up with new strategies for beating the cravings.
- Don’t be hard on yourself and try to stay positive. This is a small bump in the road.
If you need extra help:
- Call or live chat with our Quit Coaches
- Text QUITNOW to 654321
- Visit the Forum to share experiences with others who get it
- Consider using or adjusting your quit aids like nicotine gum or patches
If you go back to regular smoking don’t panic or get down on yourself. Quitting smoking is hard and it can take numerous tries before you quit for good, so don’t get discouraged. Cravings can show up when you least expect it, no matter how long you’ve been quit. The key is to figure out the triggers that cause your cravings so you can be prepared to fight them off.
Acknowledge. Use this time to acknowledge you’ve had a setback but that this is part of the quitting journey. Recognize that yes, quitting is hard and that it may take time to make it stick. But like all things worthwhile, don’t let a little setback stop you from reaching your ultimate goal of being smoke-free.
Reflect. Think critically about what caused your relapse and what you might do differently next time. Is there a particular trigger (a situation, place, or person) that made you want to smoke? Is there another strategy you could use to avoid these triggers in the future?
Plan. Set a new quit date and give yourself time to prepare. Learn what tripped you up last time and make a plan for how you will handle your tricky triggers, deal with the cravings and manage high-risk situations.
Get your support lined up. Let your friends and family know you are re-setting your quit date and ask for support. Be specific with what they can do to help you deal with your triggers and stay on course. And check out our Forum to connect with others quitters who’ve been there.
Talk to a pro. If you need extra support or advice to stay on track, our Quit Coaches are always available by phone or Live chat. You can also access our Quit Coaches by registering with the text program for personalized support tailored to your quit date.
Try, try again. Remember that quitting is a process – not an event. Get back on the non-smoking track immediately – and no matter what – try, try again. You’ve got this!
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
- Use NRT to reduce withdrawal and cravings. Adjust medication if you are still experiencing cravings.
- Call or live chat with our Quit Coaches for motivation or to stay connected with and be accountable to someone.
- Register with our text program for interactive support and motivation. Text QUITNOW to 654321.
- Visit our Forum for support from other quitters.
- Line up friends and family to help you stay on track.