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Overcoming a relapse when you are trying to quit smoking

Published on October 21, 2014 at 14:41 / Updated on July 25, 2019 at 13:10

For a great majority of smokers, getting rid of their cigarettes permanently is a long and difficult process. This is quite understandable, because we know that addiction to nicotine is incredibly powerful.

Even if you put all the chances on your side to ensure you quit successfully, you may succumb to the temptation of lighting up. Should you take it as an insurmountable defeat? Of course not! Smokers usually make a few attempts to quit smoking before actually succeeding. However, you must learn from your mistakes. Figure out what caused your relapse and avoid it in the future. Perseverance is key, and your next attempt to quit will be the right one!

Start by thinking about the advantages of quitting. Just to name a few, you will smell nicer, you can say goodbye to yellow teeth, you will cough less, you will have more money in your pocket and a greater tolerance for physical exercise. Although you will quickly notice some of the benefits of quitting (better sense of taste), others, such as better breathing, will take a little while to manifest themselves. When you are experiencing moments of weakness, remind yourself what your initial motivations were.

You need to identify the cause of your relapse. Is it intense stress, exposure (celebration with alcohol, routine with coworkers, etc.), or is it simply boredom? To make sure your next attempt is successful, find a strategy for times when you need to fight a craving. These cravings or impulses usually last less than two minutes. To help resist the urge, go for a walk, take a few deep breaths, drink a tall glass of water, or chew gum. The activity itself is not important. The goal is to have a good plan so you are prepared when the next craving comes, and keep yourself busy! You should also let those around you know you are quitting smoking. They can give you the moral support needed not to give in.

Had you used all the resources available the last time you tried to quit? Success rarely comes on its own. Websites that deal with quitting smoking, close ones who have succeeded in quitting, and healthcare professionals can help you put together a good strategy to quit. Have you thought about relying on nicotine substitutes or prescription medications? You should not neglect using these tools, because they considerably increase your chances of quitting. Speak with your pharmacist, he or she can give you additional tips to quit smoking…for good!

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