How to prevent smoking relapses?

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The rules to avoid the relapses

Here is a list of rules you should follow to prevent the risks of relapse.

  • To control your cravings for a cigarette, avoid what could trigger the temptation. Just like entering a bakery should be prevented when you are on a diet, it is advised not to go too often in spots where consuming a cigarette is commonplace, especially at the beginning of the withdrawal process. Thus, avoid going out in bars, rather go to restaurants and stay indoors where smoking is prohibited.
  • Moreover, drinking is known to encourage the craving for nicotine, so it is better to remain sober.
  • The hardest thing to deal with will certainly be your habits. From your usual cigarette when you have a coffee to the one you take just to kill time, all smokers have their habits. It is essential to change them in order not to give in. Most of the times, a simple thing as keeping your hands busy is enough to keep the desire of smoking away.

How to keep your initial motivation intact?

To stay motivated, prepare a list with all the benefits of smoking cessation. Keep it with you and don’t hesitate to read it once in a while and even to add things to it as you go along. You will see you can always find new advantages.

Here are some of the benefits of smoking cessation, from which you can expand to write your own personal list.

  • First and foremost, there is a considerable financial gain in quitting smoking. Count the money you have not spent thanks to your withdrawal! Why not place it in a piggy bank and use it later? To keep track of the money you save for each cigarette you don’t smoke, download the Kwit app[1]
  • Quitting is a substantial plus for your health in both short-term and long-term. You will no longer get out-of-breath when you climb up a few steps or run a short distance. And of course, in the long run, your chances of having a cancer will be strongly diminished.
  • You will find more pleasure during meals as you rediscover the real taste of food!
  • In winter, you will no longer have to freeze outdoors to satisfy your cravings!

I’ve just had a relapse, what should I do?

If you have a relapse and smoke a cigarette, it does not mean that all the efforts you have made so far are to be forgotten. Indeed, a smoker usually faces between 2 and 4 relapses before quitting completely, so keep in mind that you are not the first one nor the only one to give in, this is a "normal" step in the whole process.

So, if you have a relapse, here are some rules you should follow to regain control of the situation. First of all, if you have bought a cigarette pack, get rid of it, give it to someone else or throw it away. You must not keep it or the temptation will be too strong. On top of that, you should think about what led you to this relapse. Try to imagine how you could react if this should happen again. Finally, do not see it as a failure and do not blame yourself for it, this would be pointless and of no good for you.

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