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Quitting Smoking - What to do if You Slip

Remember what I told you previously about it may take several tries before you are able to quit smoking for good? If you do stumble while you are trying to quit smoking and smoke a cigarette or two don't be discouraged. keep trying. One cigarette is better than an entire pack. Don't fool yourself, you may think you can smoke one every now and then but you'll end up hurting yourself in the long run and before you know it you are back to 1-2 packs a day. So keep trying to quit smoking! I did not get it right my first try either.

Many ex-smokers had to try stopping many times before they finally succeeded. When people slip up, it's usually within the first three months after quitting smoking. Here's what you can do if this happens:

  • Understand that you've had a slip. You've had a small setback. This doesn't make you a smoker again.

  • Don't be too hard on yourself. One slip up doesn't make you a failure. It doesn't mean you can't quit for good.

  • Don't be too easy on yourself either. If you slip up, don't say, "Well, I've blown it. I might as well smoke the rest of this pack." It's important to get back on the non-smoking track right away. Remember, your goal is no cigarettes - not even one puff. Actually your goal is to improve the quality of your life!

  • Feel good about all the time you went without smoking. Try to learn how to make your coping skills better.

  • Find the trigger. Exactly what was it that made you smoke? Be aware of that trigger. Decide now how you will cope with it when it comes up again. A lot of times I just had to get past some "stinking thinking" that was making me want to smoke.

  • Learn from your experience. What has helped you the most to keep from smoking? Make sure to do that on your next try.

  • Are you using a medicine to help you quit? Don't stop using your medicine after only one or two cigarettes. Stay with it. It will help you get back on track.

  • Know and use the tips in this booklet. People with even one coping skill are more likely to stay non-smokers than those who don't know any. START to stop again!

  • See your doctor or another health professional. He or she can help motivate you to quit smoking.

The next section talks about how to Manage Your Cravings.

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