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Slips and Relapses

​​​​​​​ ​"Slips" happen when you have a cigarette while you are trying to reduce or quit. It is a good idea to be ready for slips. Do not let the slip lead to returning to smoking. Make a plan to prevent slips and to deal with them if they happen.

You can prevent slips by using the same tips for dealing with cravings. Think about what situation you would most likely be in if you were to smoke again, and then think about what you would do so you don't smoke. It might help to write these ideas down.

You can also watch for warning signs such as thoughts or actions that usually happen before a slip.

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If you do have a slip, do not be hard on yourself about it. It is important not to focus on feelings of guilt or failure that might come from a slip. Slips are a normal part of the quitting process, and they are something you can triumph over. Don't let a slip be the reason you return to smoking. Think of where you were, what you were doing, who you were with, and how this may have led to you smoking. Think about what you will do so you don't have a slip the next time it happens. Throw away any other cigarettes you have and commit right away to quitting again.

Learn from your slip, plan for next time and stay positive!

If your slips become more long term and you've relapsed into smoking again, there's still an opportunity to restart your quit journey. Similar to how you would handle a slip; take a moment to think about the reason(s) why you stopped smoking in the first place and what caused you to relapse this time. Write these thoughts down and recommit. 

You can also learn about dealing with cravings and cues as well as additional self-help resources.​​​