Dealing with setbacks when you're quitting smoking

Think of every attempt as one step closer to reaching your goal. With each new attempt to stop smoking, or another form of tobacco use, you learn new skills and ways of coping to overcome the cravings and remain smoke-free.

Nicotine dependancy disorder is a chronic and relapsing condition that requires lifelong maintenance. The nicotine is highly addictive and makes relapse very common, with most relapses occurring within the first week of quitting tobacco.

Remember that quitting the use of nicotine is not a one-time event. It’s a journey that can sometimes take months or even years before you are completely smoke-free.

Some things for you to keep in mind:

Take your slip seriously
Don't fall into the trap of thinking another cigarette won't hurt you. Often times one cigarette leaves you wanting more and will lead to relapse. If you do have a slip or relapse, stop smoking immediately and continue on with your quit attempt.
Don't get discouraged
Slips and relapse can trigger negative feelings of self-criticism and a lack of control. Having a slip isn't a sign of failure, it’s an opportunity to learn to what didn’t work and try again. When faced with negative feelings, recognize how far you've come and how hard it was to stop smoking in the first place.
Treat it as a learning experience
Reflect on why it happened and what you can do to avoid the situation or react differently to the trigger the next time. Have a few new strategies for how you will cope the next time you are tempted to smoke.
Get support
NRTs (patches, gum, lozenges, inhalers, sprays, etc.), prescription medications, and counseling support can double your chances of successfully quitting. Using a combination of these supports increases your chances of quitting even further. Reach out to the forum and friends. You are not alone.
Keep trying
It often takes a few tries before people stop using tobacco for good. Adjust your plan of action, whether it's trying new tools, like quit medications, or adjusting your plan to manage the tough times. The more quit attempts you make, the more likely you are to be successful in quitting.