University of Illinois Extension

Avoiding the Traps of Relapse

avoiding the traps

By quitting smoking, you have taken an important step to improve your health. Now, the plan is to stay off cigarettes for good.  Here are a few tips that may help you to stay quit.

Keep a Healthy Distance
During the first few weeks to months that you are smoke-free, it is best to avoid the people, places and things that could threaten your hard work.  You are in control regarding who you spend time with, where you go and what you do.  Controlling these things is smart and healthy. 

Create a New Lifestyle
One of the most rewarding parts of staying off cigarettes is finding something to replace your habit or addiction. Make time for something that you have always wanted to do.  You’ll soon find that you like the new you more and more.

Check Your Thinking
Your attitude toward quitting smoking is as important now that you have quit as it was when you decided to quit. What you think and say to yourself has an effect on your smoking behavior.

The Three R’s

Keep your commitment to stay smoke-free.  Follow the 3 R’s for to reinforce your commitment to staying quit.

Remember back to when you first decided to quit.  Don’t forget the effort it took you to change.  Everything begins to look easier than it was now that some time has passed.  Jot down all the things that made it difficult to quit.

Recognize & Reflect
Recognize and give yourself credit for quitting smoking in the first place. Reflect upon all the work you did to get where you are.  What steps did you have to take to quit? You have come too far to slip backward. 

Have you rewarded yourself lately for not smoking?  List two rewards you will give yourself the next time you resist the temptation to smoke. Be sure to act on these rewards.