What is tobacco slip up or relapse?

How can you avoid your smoking triggers?

Many common activities or events can trigger the urge to smoke. Here are some common triggers and what you might do to avoid smoking:

  • Finishing a meal. Get up from the table immediately and do something else.
  • Drinking coffee. Change the way you have coffee: the place, the coffee mug, everything you did when you were smoking.
  • Talking on the phone. Hold your phone with your "smoking" hand.
  • Between tasks. When you have time between projects, try taking a short walk or reading.
  • After an argument, disappointment, or negative event. Let off steam by walking briskly around the building.
  • In the car. Remove the ashtray from your car, or change your driving patterns.
  • Other people who smoke. Avoid the smoking areas at your workplace.
  • Parties. Don't go with your friends when they go outside for a cigarette.

Quitting Tobacco: Managing a Slip-Up

What are tobacco slips and relapses?

A slip means that someone who has quit tobacco uses it again a time or two. A relapse means that a person who has quit returns to regular tobacco use. Most people quit and restart many times before they quit for good.

Getting back on track after a tobacco slip-up

It's common for people to use tobacco once in a while after quitting. Here are some ideas for getting back on track.

  • Don't think of a slip-up as a sign of failure.

    It's common to have a few slip-ups. Most people who quit tobacco try many times before they quit for good. Don't give up.

  • Figure out why you slipped.

    Plan what you'll do the next time you're in that situation.

  • Get support.

    Ask loved ones for help. Try a support group, a quit-tobacco app, or a quitline that provides counseling.

  • Don't use tobacco at all, and make it hard to use.

    Avoid places where you can easily get tobacco. Don't buy any. If you're tempted to use tobacco, wait for the urge to pass.

  • Remember past successes.

    Try to learn from past situations when you resisted temptation.

  • Think about using a new treatment.

    If you're not using medicine or nicotine replacement, think about trying it. Consider starting a quit-tobacco program or talking to a counselor trained to help people quit.

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The content above contains general health information provided by Healthwise, Incorporated, and reviewed by its medical experts. This content should not replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Not all treatments or services described are offered as services by us. For recommended treatments, please consult your healthcare provider.