Understanding Relapses and Slips When Quitting Smoking

Understanding Slips and Relapses

It’s possible that you will smoke after you quit.  Slips are common.  It’s important to know the difference between a slip and a relapse and be ready to deal with it.  Here’s one way to look at it.

Relapse – going back to smoking in some regular way. 

It looks something like this:

  • You take a puff or smoke a cigarette.
  • You feel bad about it and blame yourself.
  • You say to yourself something like, “I smoked because I can’t quit.”
  • You give up.

Slip – having a puff or more, but getting back on track.

It looks something like this:You take a puff or smoke a cigarette.

  • You feel bad about it and look at what went wrong in your plan to quit
  • You say to yourself something like, “Being around smokers is really hard.  I better think of a new way to deal with this.”
  • You keep going.

Slips do not have to turn into relapses.  Instead, say to yourself, “It was just a slip and I learned something from it.  Now I’m closer to my goal.”

Just keep trying!

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