When you’ve worked so hard to quit, nothing feels worse than having a slip. It can be downright depressing. But, you can choose to let that one cigarette defeat you, or you can change how you think about it and use it as a stepping stone to success. Remember, it is up to you to choose whether you will keep moving forward or slide back into active addiction. If you decide you want to stay a non-smoker there are things you can do.

OK, so you made a mistake. Nobody’s perfect. Most smokers slip up along the way to becoming successful quitters. It’s part of the learning process. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and keep on going. Don’t let all your efforts go to waste.

Don't fall into "all-or-nothing" thinking by letting one cigarette become an excuse for returning to smoking.

Did you buy a pack of cigarettes? If you did, get rid of them! Destroy them so you aren’t tempted to smoke another one.

Remember these tips:

  1. Treat the slip as an emergency. You've got to act right away.
  2. Remember, a slip is not a relapse. You don't have to go back to smoking.
  3. Renew your decision to quit.
  4. Review what led to the slip so you won't repeat it.
  5. Decide what you'll do next time to avoid smoking.
  6. Ask someone for help.
  7. Learn from the slip. You'll have more confidence next time you face temptation.

If You Relapse...

  1. It's not a failure — it's practice! Think of this quit attempt as a learning experience. Feel good about what went right and make a plan for what you'll do differently the next time.
  2. Review your reasons for wanting to quit.
  3. Figure out what worked when you were not smoking.
  4. Make a plan for how you'll deal with your triggers the next time you quit.
  5. Set a new quit date and go for it!
  6. Remember, you can call the Quitline toll-free for help in getting back on track!

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