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Quitting Smoking: Preventing Slips or Relapses

Table of Contents


What are tobacco slips and relapses?

A slip means that someone who has quit tobacco uses it again a time or two. A relapse means that a person who has quit returns to regular tobacco use. Most people quit and restart many times before they quit for good.

What can you do if you have a slip or relapse?

Most people who quit tobacco try many times before they succeed. So if you slip and use a little tobacco, don't give up. Talk to someone who has quit or to a counselor. Ask them for ideas on what to do. A slip could turn into regular use (relapse), so it's important to do something different soon.

A relapse is just a sign that you need to try a different approach. If you tried to quit without medicines or a program, think about trying them next time. Medicines and nicotine replacement (such as gum, patches, or lozenges) can greatly increase your chances of quitting for good. And using both medicines and counseling is even more effective.

How to prevent or deal with slips and relapse

Taking steps to avoid a relapse

Most people aren't successful the first few times they try to quit using tobacco. If you start again, don't feel bad about yourself. A slip or relapse is just a sign that you need to change your approach to quitting. Here are a few things you can do to help prevent a relapse.

Getting back on track after a slip-up

It's common for people to use tobacco once in a while after quitting. Here are some ideas for getting back on track.

Credits for Quitting Smoking: Preventing Slips or Relapses

Current as of: November 15, 2023

Author: Healthwise Staff (
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