Tobacco Cessation Week 5

Handling Setbacks

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Week 5 of the Tobacco Cessation™ program discusses how you can get back on track if you slip up and relapse. It is common to slip or relapse as well as to feel disappointed if it happens. Remember, most tobacco users try to quit a number of times before quitting for good.

Watch video: CDC: Tips from Former Smokers

Ways to Get Going Again

(adapted from the American Lung Association Freedom from Smoking Guide):

Instead of blaming yourself if you slipped and used tobacco, think about what you learned and how you feel about yourself for slipping. Remember, it takes courage and persistence to quit.

Treat your slip like an emergency. This is not a new pattern, it is simply a setback. Here are a few immediate steps to take in order to get back on track:

  • Stop smoking/chewing immediately. Take action.
  • Get rid of all tobacco from your surroundings or leave the scene if necessary.
  • Think about what went wrong- who were you with, what were you doing, where were you? Identify the trigger that caused you to use tobacco.
  • Establish what you will do if this situation comes up again.
  • Go back to your index cards and review your quit plan.
  • Replenish your quit kit if necessary.
  • Review why you have committed to quitting.
  • Consider calling your doctor, a friend or relative supporting your quit plan, or call the Washington State Quit Line for free support: 1-800-784-8669.
  • Try again!

Millions of people who have quit tobacco have relapses, and many still end up quitting for good. If you’ve relapsed for more than one day, set a new quit day and remember to tell everyone that you are quitting for good.

Review your Personal Commitment and Quit Plan to remind yourself why this is so important for your life. When the urge hits, repeat to yourself, “I am quitting for good this time.” Remember to smile, breathe, and be proud of yourself for every time you refuse tobacco. Celebrate the small successes that become goals fulfilled.