MyHealth.Alberta.ca Network

Manage setbacks

Think of every attempt as one step closer to reaching your goal. With each new attempt to stop smoking, or another form of tobacco use, you learn new skills and ways of coping to overcome the cravings and remain smoke-free.

Tobacco addiction is a chronic and relapsing condition that requires lifelong maintenance. The nicotine in tobacco is highly addictive and makes relapse very common, with most relapses occurring within the first week of quitting tobacco. Each individual’s journey to stop smoking is unique and involves addressing both their addiction to nicotine and all the ways using tobacco is woven into their life. This means it can take multiple quit attempts to be successful and for some people it could take up to 30 quit attempts to be able to quit for good.

Remember that quitting tobacco is not a one-time event. It’s a process that can sometimes take months or even years before you are completely smoke-free.

What to do if you start smoking again

A slip is having one or two cigarettes, or even just a puff after you've quit. A relapse is getting back into your regular smoking routine after your quit attempt. Look at the slip or relapse as a good time to review your quit plan and develop new strategies to be better prepared for your next attempt.

Here are some tips to help you get back on track with your journey to be tobacco free: