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Bouncing Back After a Slip
By the Quitter's Circle Staff
March 31, 2016

Bouncing Back After a Slip

Slips can happen to the best of us, especially during the first three months of quitting. But having a cigarette during the quitting process is never a good reason to completely abandon your quit journey. Use these tips to regain focus on your goal, and leave slips where they belong: in the ash tray.

Put it in Perspective

One cigarette doesn’t make you a smoker again, but a slip isn’t a pass to pick up an entire pack, either. Instead of beating yourself up, think of the progress you’ve made and continue to focus on your goal.

Refocus Your Reasoning

Think of yourself as actively creating a better, healthier you—not just giving up cigarettes. Smokers who quit with an end goal of self-improvement may have an easier time getting back on track after a slip than those who don’t.

Remove the Temptation

Bought a pack after a long day? Throw it out. Always bumming one from a friend? Tell them you’re quitting and ask them not to offer you cigarettes anymore. Plan ahead for any scenarios where you may encounter social smokers, and be prepared to say “No thanks.”

Find the Trigger

A slip is caused by a trigger event. Figure out what caused you to light up—common triggers include stress, boredom, alcohol, coffee, finishing a meal and feeling lonely. Solving the initial trigger event will help you avoid future slips.

Talk to Your Supporters

Find someone you trust to talk about your slip and then move forward.

Learn From Your Experience

Remember that quitting is a learned behavior and often takes practice. In fact, it can take several quit attempts before you’re completely smokefree for good. But as you progress in your quit journey, you continue to get stronger.


See additional quit smoking resources from our partner American Lung Association.