How to Deal with Smoking Relapse

How to Deal with Smoking Relapse 

Quitting smoking can be very difficult. Every year nearly 70 percent of all adult smokers report wanting to quit smoking completely. Millions of people try to quit smoking at least once during the year. 

Most slipups occur within the first week of trying to quit smoking since physical withdrawals make this period particularly tough to get through. However, people who relapse after 6 weeks of not smoking usually don’t do it because of nicotine withdrawal. Instead, they relapse because they find themselves in situations that make them want a cigarette. 

Here are some tips on how to avoid sliding back into old habits and what to do if you slip up… 

Avoiding Slipups

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure so it’s best to avoid smoking again in the first place. Here are some tips on how to keep yourself cigarette free: 

It’s crucial to avoid relapse triggers such as: 

  1. Associating with other smokers, especially in a leisure environment
  2. Consuming alcohol
  3. Feeling overconfident
  4. Becoming isolated from your support system 
  5. Not getting enough sleep
  6. Putting yourself in stressful situations

Taking proactive steps to reduce stress can help you less and avoid relapse triggers. Some examples of how to do this are: 

  1. Exercise
  2. Getting enough rest 
  3. Eating healthy 
  4. Yoga/meditation 
  5. Going for walks outside

Keeping your mind, mouth, and hands busy can help you avoid cravings. If you feel the need to smoke you can: 

  1. Take deep breaths
  2. Count to 10 
  3. Call a friend 
  4. Reach for candy, gum, a straw, etc 
  5. Watch TV, listen to music, read a book

Support groups are also extremely important. Keep in close contact with those who support your efforts to quit, be it your friends, family, doctor, etc. 

In addition, positive reinforcement is key in breaking a habit so remember to reward yourself for milestones or small successes. This can mean celebrating even an hour, a day, or a week without smoking.

I Slipped Up, Now What? – Quitting Smoking After Relapse

Slipups can happen but here are some ways to cope and move forward emotionally:

  1. First off, stop smoking again immediately.  
  2. Know that beating yourself for relapsing will just make the situation worse so it is better to treat yourself with kindness. 
  3. Know that you’re still in control and can push ahead in your goals to quit.
  4. Remember that you’re not alone and you can always start the road to quitting again, don’t give up! 
  5. You can treat this incident as something to learn from and help you reach success. 

Understanding what caused the slipup can help you avoid future slipups. To start, identify what caused you to slip up. Then write down all of your triggers. Make a plan for your two or three main triggers. Put your plan into action by finding a way to cope with your triggers or avoiding them for a period of time. 

You can also seek out other resources to help you quit such as nicotine replacement therapy medicines or talking to a support-hotline counselor on the phone.

Another helpful method to quit smoking is vaping as a harm reduction alternative. E cigs offer a tar and ash free alternative to smoking. They provide nicotine to help stave off cravings. Over time you can ramp down your nicotine level rather than going cold-turkey, increasing your likelihood of success. South Beach Smoke has a variety of options to aid in quitting smoking. All and all quitting smoking is possible, you can do it, start your plan today! 

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