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Quitting Smoking: Preventing Slips or Relapses

Table of Contents


A slip is when a smoker who has quit smokes one or two cigarettes. A relapse is when a smoker who has quit returns to regular smoking. It is hard to quit smoking. The temptation can be very strong. Here you will find strategies to help you avoid slips as well as a relapse. You will also find tips for deciding how soon you will want to try again. This information also applies if you use smokeless tobacco products, such as chew or snuff.

How can you deal with and avoid slips and relapse?

Certain situations may tempt you to smoke. These are called triggers. Learn to recognize when you might slip, and plan ahead to cope with those situations. Think about when you slipped in the past. You may be more tempted to smoke when you:

Are there other situations that make you want to light up a cigarette?

Resisting triggers and avoiding relapse

Here are some things that may help:

Getting back on track

Avoiding a slip is best. But if you do slip, it's important to respond to it carefully so you don't start smoking regularly again. Here are some ideas that may help you get back on track:

If you are taking medicine or using nicotine replacement, keep doing so unless you go back to regular smoking. It can help you get back on track.

Credits for Quitting Smoking: Preventing Slips or Relapses

Current as of: March 22, 2023

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Christine R. Maldonado PhD - Behavioral Health

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