A relapse is a return to regular smoking. Remember, most smokers quit a number of times before they quit for good - relapse is common.
It’s natural to feel disappointed when you replase, but remember: every day you were smokefree made your body healthier and helped to break your habit and weaken your addiction.
Quitting is a process. Rather than it being like sporting match – where you go in, fight it out, and either win or lose – quitting successfully is more like learning to drive a manual car. You’ll drive off eventually but it takes time and practice to learn how to do it smoothly and properly, and to perform when the pressure is on.
The best time to consider quitting again, whether you’ve relapsed early on or later, is when you feel like you’re ready. But don’t wait until the perfect time – it never comes.
If you feel you want to jump back in now – go for it! Consider some of the information below:
This is the time to reflect on your own personal reasons for quitting. Write them down as a reminder.
The Quitline is a great support at this time. Quitline counsellors know how difficult it is to quit, and that a relapse is a normal part of the quitting journey. They’re trained to listen and allow you to talk through what happened to maximise your chances when you’re ready to quit next time. Quitline can set up future call backs to help you get back on track in the coming weeks. Click here if you’d like to request a Quitline callback now, or down the track.
An early relapse (in the first few days or weeks after your quit day) is a common part of the quitting journey.
To maximise your chance of quitting next time, there are a few things to consider:
Research shows that the most effective way to quit is:
Counselling / behavioural support + nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) or quitting medication
Coaching means getting advice and support. Quitline is the best coach. QuitCoach is another proven method of support. Your coach might be a website, a self-help book, a quit course leader, or a doctor or other health professional with special training to help people quit. A coach can give you motivation, tips, support and confidence. To get the best out of your coach see effective coaching.
If you did use them, the following questions may be relevant:
See Choosing the best way to quit for more information.
Many smokers are taken by surprise when they relapse further down the track, when everything seems to be going well.
You’ve chosen a method that works for you and you’re past the daily cravings stage, but you’ve found yourself smoking again. This is not uncommon. It means you’re likely to be very close to being quit for good. Book a Quitline call for extra support this time round. Think through the circumstances around the relapse and what you can learn from it.
Book a Quitline call to discuss strategies to help you get back on track.