So you've started smoking again.

You might be feeling angry, disappointed or embarrassed, but don’t let it keep you down. Most people make multiple attempts before quitting for good!

Any amount of time you were able to stop smoking gave your body a chance to repair.

Before you make your next quit attempt, figure out what led you to smoke again.

Here are some common reasons people go back to smoking:

  • Offered a cigarette from friends or family
  • Stress
  • Withdrawal symptoms
  • Old habits

Relapse warning signs

If you think you might relapse again, there are signs you can look out for, and things you can do to avoid it.

  1. Thinking “just one” smoke will be ok - try to remember how far you've come and how addictive nicotine was. One won’t be enough.
  2. Having a puff of another person’s smoke - avoid the temptation of other people’s cigarettes by asking them not to smoke around you and staying in smoke-free areas.
  3. Feeling tempted to smoke after a while just to see what it’s like again - you quit for a reason. Remember why you quit, all the money you've saved and keep busy with other things you enjoy.

Extra tips to try next time you feel the urge to smoke again

Remember, every craving only lasts a few minutes. Use the 4Ds: delay, deep breathe, drink water or do something else.

  • Remind yourself of how far you have come, how your body has already started repairing and how much money you've saved.
  • List your reasons for quitting on a card that you can carry with you. Read the reasons whenever you feel the urge to smoke.
  • Reward yourself for staying stopped. Do things you enjoy. 
  • Have you found replacements for all the things you used cigarettes for? Think of what you can do to enjoy life without cigarettes.

Have a think about your situation

What to do if you go back to your regular smoking habit

Although you may be feeling down that you relapsed, you should take pride in what you did achieve.

Every day you spent without cigarettes made your body healthier, helped to break your habit and weaken your dependence on nicotine.

Most people who have quit smoking for good have tried several times. When you find what works for you, you will quit for good.

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When to try quitting again

Taking that first step towards quitting smoking is important. When you feel ready, try creating a quit plan based on your experience last time and include any new strategies and tips you have to help stay on track.

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The My QuitBuddy App tracks your quitting progress, such as days smoke-free, cigarettes avoided, health gained and dollars saved.

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