What to do if you relapse while quitting smoking

Quitting smoking is the new hot ticket in town. Everyone’s doing it. From people trying to improve their health and get rid of the smoke smell, to people who simply want to widen the pool from which they may be able to find a partner (many online dating sites allow people to specify between smokers and non-smokers), smoking has zero upside and 100% downside.

Many quitters try vaping (see a selection of quality e liquids via the link) to help them along the way. Many other quitters may relapse – and if this is you, it’s important to know what to do.


Throw away the packet (rinse them under the tap first)

While you have cigarettes in the house, you are only ever a weak few seconds away from lighting up and thinking “It’s OK, I’ll start next week instead”. The thing to remember is that nicotine leaves your system after 2-3 days. This up-to-72 hour period is where you will experience the most intense cravings for nicotine. If you quit on a Monday, and if you last until Wednesday night without smoking, you are technically over the hump, as they say.

All told, the cravings will fade slowly over a period of around 8-12 weeks, but the first three days are the worst. This is why you should throw out the cigarettes if you relapse. This initial 72 hour period is of significant importance for people wishing to quit for good. Rinse the pack under the tap and throw them out (this will prevent you from digging in the bin for a drag around the latter stages of cravings on day two).

Quit more than once if you need to

Statistically, those who quit once and relapse and quit again represent a bigger proportion of quitters than the people who managed to do it the first time, cold turkey style. Because you are more likely to replace in the first three days of quitting, you will have only lost a maximum of around three days’ worth of progress, meaning the set back is only a couple of days, and nothing you can’t handle.

When you relapse, it’s important to remember the reasons why you wanted to quit in the first place. This can help you to feel shame and spur you on to get it right the second time. You haven’t failed if you relapse, you’ve simply started again.

Stock up on some handy supplies

Quitting smoking can be made all the more easy with the help of a few simple supplies. This could include stocking up on foods like hard candies and chewing gum. Making regular drinks and using a straw will help to replace the feel of having something in your mouth (the same tactic can be used to some effect using coffee stirrers in your hot drinks, but remember not to overdo your caffeine intake by accident!).

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