Preventing a Relapse
There may be “snakes on the path” while you’re quitting—things that put your quit in jeopardy and can attack at unexpected times (or sometimes, appear right where you expect them to be). This is as true for experienced hikers as it is for novices.
But the better prepared you are, the less likely you are to get “bitten.”
Here are some examples of what we're talking about.
Bars and Alcohol
One of the major reasons for slipping up is alcohol. Drinking lowers your resolve, so try to avoid alcohol for the first few weeks.
Some places are just home-base for smokers/vapers—the sidewalk outside of work, the patio at a party, etc. So avoid these areas where people light up or vape.
Friends Who Use Tobacco
Seeing your friends smoke, vape, dip or chew is a big temptation. So let them know you need their support during your quit. They'll understand.
Places You Smoke, Vape, Dip or Chew
You can't avoid your car or your house, but if you used to use tobacco outside at work or at the local diner, take a small break from those places.
H.A.L.T. (Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired)
You're more likely to slip up when you're hungry, angry, lonely or tired. When you’re tempted to use tobacco, ask yourself if one of these feelings is driving your craving and then take care of yourself.
Friends Smoking E-cigarettes
Friends, family and colleagues may use e-cigarettes or offer you one to help you quit. It can be tempting! For more information on e-cigarettes, click here.
Right before a “snake attack,” you'll usually get a warning signal—an inner voice making excuses. So when you hear that inner voice persuading you to light up, tempting you that “just one won’t hurt”, get out of wherever you are. Take a walk, go home, or just do anything else to get your mind thinking differently.
Hearing thoughts like these is a warning signal that you're on the verge of returning to smoking, vaping, dipping or chewing. When you hear yourself thinking like this, wherever you are, change the situation. Avoid those snakes on the path!
- "I've gone three weeks without smoking. I've proved I can quit, so I can have just one."
- "My aunt smoked a pack a day and lived to be 95."
- "Well, maybe just one couldn't hurt"
- "I'll just try one of these 'light' cigarettes."
- "I can't do my job without smoking. I can't think straight."
- "I just need it when I'm here. When I get home, I won't keep smoking."
- "Screw it. Everyone has got to die of something."