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Don't be discouraged if you slip up and smoke one or two cigarettes. One cigarette is better than an entire pack. But don't use it as excuse to start smoking again because it's a slippery slope. Many ex-smokers try stopping many times before they finally succeed. When people slip up‚ it's usually within the first three months after quitting.

Here's what you can do if you slip:

  • Understand that you've had a slip. You've had a small setback. This doesn't make you a smoker again.
  • Don't be too hard on yourself. One slip up doesn't make you a failure. It doesn't mean you can't quit for good.
  • Don't be too easy on yourself either. If you slip up‚ don't say‚ "Well‚ I've blown it. I might as well smoke the rest of this pack". It's important to get back on the non-smoking track right away. Remember‚ your goal is no cigarettes—not even one puff.
  • Feel good about all the time you went without smoking. Try to learn how to make your coping skills better.
  • Identify the trigger. Exactly what was it that made you smoke? Be aware of that trigger. Decide now how you will cope with it when it comes up again.
  • Learn from your experience. What has helped you the most to keep from smoking? Make sure to do that on your next try.
  • Are you using a medicine to help you quit? Don't stop using your medicine after only one or two cigarettes. Stay with it. It will help you get back on track.
  • Know and use the tips on Smokefree.gov. People with even one coping skill are more likely to stay non-smokers than those who don't know any.
  • See your doctor or another health professional. He or she can help motivate you to quit smoking.
  • Ask for the support you need from friends, family members, co-workers, etc. that you need to stay quit. You don't have to do this alone!
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