How to Deal With a Smoking Relapse: Getting Back on Track to Smokeless Bliss

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I have suffered several smoking relapses in the past few months after being entirely smoke free for a year and have learned a few things that will benefit you if a lit cigarette suddenly jumps into your mouth.

Taking Responsibility for Your Smoking Relapse

After working so hard to eradicate cigarettes from your life, finding yourself back to square one when a smoking relapse happens can be disappointing. Feelings of guilt are normal and you may feel powerless to stop the cycle. Whether it was two cigarettes or ten packs doesn’t really matter. The important thing is to recognize that you made a mistake and take responsibility for your actions.

Having a smoking relapse or smoking slip does not mean you can go back to being a smoker. Remember the reason you quit in the first place? Bring that reason to the forefront of your mind, and you’ll likely discover that it is still valid and strong enough to help you quit again.

Smoking Relapse Triggers

Identify what triggered your smoking relapse. Was it stress, boredom, a social situation where everyone else was smoking? Make an action plan outlining what steps you’ll take next time a similar situation occurs to avoid smoking. Ask an ex-smoker to act as a buddy you can call next time the urge to smoke arises.

Smoking Relapse Help

Join a smoking cessation online group and share your experience with other members. Most ex-smokers have been in the same boat and can share what they did to get back on track.

If your smoking relapse lasted an extended period of time, consult with your doctor regarding the possibility of starting a nicotine replacement program if needed. After my latest smoking relapse, I decided to go back to the nicotine patch to help me quit again.

Smoking Relapses Perspectives

You made a mistake by smoking, but don’t beat yourself up. Nicotine is a very powerful drug and even smokers that quit twenty years ago still have the urge to suck in all the cancerous goodies that cigarettes provide.

Each moment you don’t smoke is your chance to write a new beginning. You quit once, you can do it again. Remembering everything you learned from your smoking relapse will make you stronger and you’ll be less likely to give in to the urge to smoke next time a trigger presents itself.


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