Quitting Tobacco - I Relapsed and Started Smoking Again, Now What?

Written by Lindsey Mcilvena, MD, MPH on November 8th, 2019

Cut out any shaming, self-destructive talk - the fact that you've had an unsuccessful attempt at quitting actually makes you more likely to successfully quit in the future !

Whether you have a slip (just a few puffs), or a relapse (going back to regular tobacco use), it’s not the end of the world.

The most important thing is to get back on your quit plan as soon as you can. The longer you go back to smoking, the longer it can take you to quit again. So if you mess up, just get back to your program of medication, nicotine replacement, and/or expert support and start again.

For most tobacco users it takes 5+ attempts to finally quit for good. And if you’ve already had several attempts, that actually predicts that you will be successful in the future.

Try to cut out any shaming, self-destructive talk inside your head and just get back to what you know works. It can also be helpful to try to non-judgmentally look at what made you relapse, and figure out a plan to prevent that trigger in the future.

Keep going, you’ll get there.

The views expressed in this article intend to highlight alternative studies and induce conversation. They are the views of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of HeyDoctor, and are for informational purposes only, even if and to the extent that this article features the advice of physicians and medical practitioners. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.

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