Managing a relapse

Had a bit of a stumble? It’s ok. Most smokers try a number of times before they quit for good – relapse is common. Just put it behind you and try again when you feel ready. But don’t wait until the perfect time – it may never come.

A relapse is a return to regular smoking. It’s natural to feel disappointed when it happens but don’t forget every day you were smoke-free made your body healthier and helped to break your habit and weaken your addiction.

Quitting is a process. Quitting isn’t something you can do overnight. The process is different for everyone. It takes time effort and practice to learn what to do and what triggers to avoid. Both your mind and body need time to adjust to no longer smoking along with the symptoms of withdrawal.

When to try quitting again?

The best time to consider quitting again, whether you’ve relapsed early on or later, is when you feel like you’re ready again. But don’t wait until the perfect time – it may never come. If you feel you want to jump back in right away, that’s fine too. Consider some of the information below:

  • Mark a time in your calendar (or phone) to revisit quitting.
  • We suggest making it only a month or two away.
  • Book a Quitline call (now/one week/one month/two months/four months). It’s a great way to get started again.

Building motivation

This is the time to reflect on your own personal reasons for quitting. Write them down as a reminder.

Book a Quitline call

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, Call Back now or down the track.

Book a Quitline call to discuss ways to help you get back on track.