What If You Slip? 5 Questions to Ask Yourself

by Dr Antonio Howell, MD

in quit smoking

Dr. Howell

Studies show that it takes 7 years for an average smoker to forever quit the habit. So if you slip during your first try, don’t feel bad. You still have 6 years – just kidding. Just like everyone else, you feel the strong desire to forget about smoking but for reasons you can’t figure out, you just can’t.

It’s normal to slip or relapse but that doesn’t mean you can no longer succeed in quitting. Here are 5 questions you can ask yourself to know why the relapse happened and how you can prevent another slip from taking place.

 1.  What happened?

First thing you want to find out is – what exactly happened? Where were you when you got tempted to light up? Were you at a restaurant? When? Did it happen after a meal? Did you light up because you see some people smoking? Were you having a bad day then? Were you in a depressing situation? Going back to the time and place where you experience a smoking cessation relapse is the first step towards determining why it happened. Just by asking this question, you can already obtain plenty of realizations. For instance, if you smoked because you were in a place where everybody else smokes, then next time you may want to avoid places such as that. Write down the places where smoking is very rampant and try your best to avoid them (even passing by at them).

 2.  Were you well-prepared to quit smoking?

Prior the relapse, how prepared have you been? What steps have you undertaken to help yourself quit? Did you see a doctor? Did you read some self-help books? Have you signed up for a smoking cessation program? Did you start taking medications or undergoing treatments? Let’s face it. Addition can be very hard to deal with because it starts to take control of your brain that when you don’t smoke; your brain creates sensations or feelings that you may not be able to manage. Maybe you are not well-prepared to handle the cravings and the withdrawal symptoms. Preparation is crucial to your smoking cessation quest.

 3.  What can you do when something tempts you to smoke again?




It is normal to experience intense cravings especially if you have been addicted to nicotine for a long, long time. But the cravings will go away after several days or weeks. But of course, such period is where relapses usually take place. Maybe this is the perfect time to think about ways on how you can deal with your nicotine cravings. But first, determine what triggers you to smoke. Is it a heavy meal? It is stress? Whatever it is, for sure, there are ways to deal with them.

 4.  Who were with you?

When you feel like smoking, were you with your friends or relatives? Were you with people who also smoke? Admit it, just seeing someone smoke makes you want to light up too. So as much as possible, avoid being with people who smoke. They will not help in any way.

5.  Do you need additional help?

You must know that there is always help available for people like you who are determine to quit. The government provides free health services that you can take advantage of. Or, you can see your doctor and talk about your desire to quit. You are not alone. Thousands of people out there also experience smoking relapse but don’t lose hope. As long as you do something about it, you will succeed.


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