4 Tips to Quit Smoking for Good after a Relapse

by Dr Antonio Howell, MD

in quit smoking

Dr. Howell

You were doing great avoiding cigarettes until one day you light up. Well, this happens to most smokers trying to quit. In fact, 6 out of 10 smokers fail to quit on their first try, and have to try several more times before they could successfully quit smoking.

When this happens to you, you have two choices – first, you can use it as your excuse to continue smoking, and second, you can use your experience to figure out why it happened and try a new approach to help you quit smoking for good. It young-woman-8735710will be easier to choose the former, but the latter will yield better results not only for you but for your loved ones as well. And to make it easier for you, below are 4 ways to help you quit after a relapse.

Accept your mistake, but don’t be too hard to yourself.


The way you see yourself after a relapse can affect the outcome of your journey towards a nicotine-free life. If you see yourself as a failure, or someone who is too weak, then most likely you’ll be back to your old self. But if you’ll accept that relapse is a normal part of your journey and you do something about it, you are more likely to succeed. There is nothing wrong if you feel disappointed or you feel bad about yourself. What is important is that you believe that you have learned something from it. If you can do this, you can easily go back on track.

Nicotine is very addictive. It produces physical and psychological addiction; this is the reason why it is very hard to quit. There are very few smokers who are successful on their first try to quit smoking. So don’t be too hard on yourself – accept it and move on.

Charge it to experience, turn it into an advantage.

Try to go back and think about your previous attempts to quit smoking. Ask yourself. What were the things that helped you? What made it more difficult? What triggered you to light up again? If you can identify them you have a greater chance to do better in your next attempt. You can make a plan how to handle your triggers, or what to do when you feel like lighting up again. Learn from your relapse, and start using it to your advantage.

Avoid anxiety and depression – they are among the major contributors of relapse. You can find a counselor, a

DID YOU KNOW?

Above all the benefits quitting smoking has kept your family and love ones safe from the dangers of secondhand smoke.

support group or a program to help you cope with negative feelings.

Don’t justify it.


In one way or another, you have told yourself – “I’ll just light one stick”. Admit it, it never stopped there. It may seem harmless to light one cigarette, but it can easily pile up and before you know it, you’re back to your old self even if you’ve worked so hard for a long time to avoid cigarettes.  In fact 9 out of 10 smokers return to smoking after they have lighted “just” one cigarette and this happen pretty quickly.

Think of the benefits of not smoking.

You may find no use for quitting smoking now if you’ve been smoking again for a long time. But before you completely lose your hope, you may want to remind yourself of the benefits of not smoking:


  • It is easier for you to breathe
  • You are be able to enjoy and appreciate food better
  • You are more energetic
  • You don’t cough every now and then
  • You have lowered your risks of cancers, heart disease, chronic bronchitis, and other diseases
  • You have longer life
  • You saved money from buying cigarettes.

Above all these benefits, quitting smoking has kept your family and love ones safe from the dangers of secondhand smoke.

Quitting smoking and overcoming different nicotine withdrawal symptoms is one of the hardest challenges you need to endure. Always keep a positive attitude, and take one step at a time. Lapses are but small setbacks, they are not failures. Keep your attention on the efforts and the time you spent avoiding smoking. Do not dwell on the fact that you had a relapse. Understand and accept that quitting smoking is hard, BUT do something about it.


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