Many smokers slip and smoke a few times while they’re quitting. If that happens to you, just know you’re not alone. And don’t use a slip as an excuse to start smoking again.
Quitting smoking is a process. Slips often happen in the first three months after quitting, but they can happen any time. Many people need several tries before they quit for good.
The good news is, it is possible to get back on track! Think about all you have accomplished. Try to stay positive and remind yourself that a slip is just a bump in the road on your journey to being smoke-free.
Knowing your triggers can help you understand what led to the slip. Find ways to avoid them along the way, and have a plan to deal with cravings.
Use the QuitGuide app to track your progress, cravings, triggers, and smoking slips. The app will give you extra support when you need it most.
If you do slip, try these ways to get back on track:
- Don’t be too hard on yourself. A slip doesn’t make you a failure or mean you’re relapsing. You can still quit for good.
- Feel proud of the time you’ve gone without smoking! Think about how you avoided your triggers and beat cravings. Try to use those ways to cope again.
- Restart quitting right away─today or tomorrow at the latest. Don’t give up on your goal.
- If quitting forever seems too hard right now, try a text message Practice Quit for a few days or do a week of Daily Challenges before quitting for good.
- Use nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). You can still use NRT after a slip. Using NRT increases your chances of staying smoke-free for good.
- Get support. If you slip, talk to family or friends. Ask them for help to stay smoke-free. You don’t have to do it alone.
- Think about what you learned when you weren’t smoking. What helped you to stay smoke-free and what caused you to slip?
Learn more about the effect of nicotine on your body and get more tips and tools for quitting at Smokefree.gov*
*Provides free, accurate, evidence-based information and professional assistance to help support the immediate and long-term needs of people trying to quit smoking.
For one-on-one coaching or to enroll in our QCARE Kick the Nic!† stopping tobacco use program, call 800.235.7111 or 501.228.7111 and ask to speak to a Care Manager.
†Health plans vary. Check with your employer or plan administrator to see if QCARE is included.