Just One Can’t Hurt, Right?

After you quit smoking it’s normal to think, "Well, maybe just one couldn't hurt.” Especially if you’ve been quit for a long time.

This “just one” mentality is a snake on your path to staying quit. Learn how to safely get past it without getting bitten.

Will having “just one cigarette” hurt my quit progress?

Short answer? It could. Everyone goes through their quitting journey differently so there is no cookie cutter answer. But for most people, it’s rarely “just one.” 

Thinking you can have “just one” after you’ve quit is a slippery slope. That kind of thinking is actually a warning sign that can alert you to a potential slip or relapse BEFORE anything happens. When you feel that warning sign, get out of whatever situation you’re in to shake off those thoughts and stay on track with quitting.

On our EX Community, the topic of just one cigarette and the damage it could do to a quit comes up frequently. 

One member, Wobble, reached out to the Community with a post called “just one cigarette problem” looking for support. Wobble said, “I know what that one cigarette does. Somehow though, I am not quite as confident as when I began the quit 9 days ago.”

Other members quickly responded with words of encouragement.

Here are a few of their responses:

  • “Take the pressure off of yourself.

    All you need to do is get through one minute, one hour, one day at a time. And reach out and ask for help when you need a hand to get you through.”

  • “Catch yourself before you smoke.

    You can laugh the crave away.”

  • “Celebrate the fact that you will never have another cigarette!!

    What a wonderful gift to yourself!! Never give up what you have gained.”

If you’re still thinking about having “just one” after quitting: