Dealing With Smoking Relapses

And despite the high temperatures all over the country some interested people came into the chat and there was a lively exchange – about all possible and partly also very personal topics, as it is a good tradition in the chat. The actual topic of “slips or relapses” was rather a marginal one, other questions were burning on the soul.

For all, which want to know more about the “restart after the smoke stop”, which remains then either a slip or to the relapse becomes, we answer the most important questions in addition:

How can it be explained that people start smoking again after a successful smoke stop?

There are several explanations. Smoking creates a physical dependency. In addition, there are usually over many years, sometimes even decades, grinded smoking habits, which can “catch up” again sometime. This means that in a certain situation the desire for a cigarette appears and at this moment one has no suitable strategy available for dealing with it.

It is even “meaner” if the desire is not felt at all, but the hand automatically wanders to the cigarette pack lying around and you – so to speak “before you know it” – grab a cigarette and light it. Fortunately, this happens less often and you always have the opportunity to express your cigarette again.

What is the difference between a slip and a relapse?

A slip is sometimes called an “incident” or an “accident”. A typical slip would be when a person smokes one or more cigarettes on an evening, for example. He or she has every chance of turning the slip into a “unique opportunity” in the truest sense of the word: by being aware of the incident and not being too angry about it, but instead making the best of it. Because the slip shows, which situations are critical, because they are still connected with smoking. In this sense, a slip can be very useful information.

One speaks of a relapse when someone “falls back” into his old behaviour patterns. Even then it is still possible to stop again, but often the affected persons are not motivated to pursue the goal of “stopping smoking” and only after some time take a new attempt.

What can be done to avoid a slip or relapse?

Here, for example, the four A-tips can help. You can read what that is here.

In addition, it helps to prepare emergency strategies beforehand, for example calling a girlfriend if the desire becomes great. Or report about it in the forum, write about the need of the soul, so to speak. There you can also ask others which emergency strategies they have had good experiences with.

The next and provisionally last expert Chat on 27 June concerns itself with the important topic smoke-free remain . The Expertinnen and experts are this time all successful no more smokers and support in the meantime themselves other humans, who are in the same situation, in which they were also at the beginning of their smoke-free way. Correctly, it concerns the smoke-free pilots, who will stand for all interested speech and answer.

How to stay smoke-free in the long term

Resisting desire is one of the biggest challenges when you quit smoking. But a few simple tips can really help you put the cravings under control and become a non-smoker in the long run.

Relapses are no disgrace

If you do relapse, don’t blame yourself. Without using any aids to quit smoking, only 3 to 5 percent of cases succeed the first time. With nicotine replacement products, you double your chance of staying smokeless in the long term. Learn more about nicotine replacement therapy here.

Non-smoking is a learning process

Remember that smoking is similar to cycling. Of course you fall down at first, but it is important to get on your bike again and again. The same logic applies to non-smoking. At first there may be setbacks, but over time you will find the right balance.

Preventing relapses: What you should do

Stay active

Even little sport can help enormously to reduce cigarette cravings. It also distracts you from the withdrawal symptoms you experience after stopping smoking. This does not mean that you should jog 10 km every time you feel the urge for a cigarette. Often a short walk is enough.

In addition, regular training promotes the production of the happiness hormone endorphin and thus gives you an extra boost. In addition, it helps to actively counteract weight gain (more about this under quitting smoking without gaining weight).


Delay is a clever tactic to get a grip on the desire for cigarettes. If you think that you absolutely need a cigarette now, then you’ll be putting yourself off for later. Tell yourself that you can have one in 10 minutes. Find an occupation that will distract you until then – read a good book, make yourself a cup of tea, work a little – and when the 10 minutes are over, the desire is usually gone again.

Write a list

Nicotine cravings are a very physical phenomenon, but the mind also has a word to say. Write a list to support your willpower and write down all the good reasons why you stop smoking. Also list the benefits and rewards you can expect: for example, a healthy body, more money, pleasantly scented clothes, a white smile…

Every time you need a little reminder why it’s worth stopping, you can read the list. You want to use the saved money from the first smokeless year to treat yourself to a dream holiday or a shopping tour? Hang an appropriate photo on your fridge!

Talk to friends or family

Desires belong to cessation and are a normal part of the process. Almost everyone who quits smoking has them at some point, so you don’t have to feel bad about them. If you suffer from a strong desire to smoke, talk to someone about it.

Call a friend, tell your colleague or get support from an online forum. Shared suffering is half suffering, and if you talk about miserable nicotine addiction, it could give you the extra willpower you need right now.

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