Quitting Smoking - Planning Your Strategy to Quit
5. Be prepared for relapse
Most people are not
successful the first few times they try to quit smoking. If you start smoking
again, don't feel bad about yourself. A slip or relapse is just a sign that you
need to change your approach to quitting. Make a list of things you learned. And think about when you want to try again, such as next week, next month, or
next spring. Or you don't have to wait. If you're still motivated to quit, you
can try again as soon as you want.
You might get some ideas for
things you can do differently by looking at "Prepare for roadblocks"
in the section
Thinking About Quitting? Maybe you can try something
new next time, such as a new medicine or program. You might try combining
tools, such as counseling and medicine. Keep trying, and don't be fooled into
thinking that smoking "light" cigarettes will help. They do not make smoking
If you slip
If you slip or smoke a little, don't give up. Talk to someone who has quit smoking, or to a counselor, to get ideas of what to do. If you are taking medicine or using nicotine replacement, keep doing so unless you go back to regular smoking.
Quitting smoking is hard, but it
can be done. To stay motivated, keep reminding yourself why you want to quit
smoking. Make a list of your reasons to quit and the benefits you expect from
quitting. Put your list of reasons on your bedroom dresser, in your wallet, or
on the refrigerator. Review it whenever you are struggling with the quitting
process. Add to your list whenever another reason or benefit occurs to you.
See the topic
Quick Tips: What to Do When You Crave Nicotine.
If you have tried to quit smoking before, remember that most people try
to quit many times before they are successful. Don't give up.
One Woman's Story:
Nancy hit upon a key that
helped her quit for good. "Finally what woke me up—after 3 years of failure—was
the realization of what happened when I relapsed. ... I quit drinking not
because alcohol scares me, but because when I drink, I want to smoke."-Nancy, 54
Read more about Nancy and how she quit smoking.