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Quitting Smoking - Planning Your Strategy to Quit

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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 safer.

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.

nancy.jpg

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.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 12, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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