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Building motivation after a slip-up or relapse

Slip-ups are common. The good thing? With each slip-up, or each time you stop smoking, you're closer to being quit for good.

Good on you for getting back on track

One way to get back on track after a slip-up or relapse is to be really clear about your reasons for stopping smoking.

It might seem obvious, but if you find the one key reason for stopping smoking, that thing that really tugs at your heart, it can make the difference during the tough times. 

  • Take a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle. 

  • On one side write down what you like about smoking. Are there any good things about it?

  • On the other side, list what the bad things are about smoking. You might consider health, kids, money or just the fact that you feel hassled by smoking. Everyone, of course, has their own personal reasons. The more specific you can be the better. 

  • Now step back for a moment and compare both sides. How does it look? 

  • Circle the one reason to quit that REALLY hits you. Is there any way you can turn that reason into a visual cue like a photo for the wallet? 

Some more questions to consider:

  • What really concerns you about smoking?

  • Do you have future goals that could be impacted by continuing to smoke?

  • Are there any other ways you can get what you need without smokes? If time-out is important to you, can you get your time out in a different way? How do non-smokers take time out? 

  • On a scale of 0 to 10, how important it is for you to stop smoking? (A score of 0 means not important, and 10 means extremely important). What’s your number? Why is it not zero? What could you change to make it higher?

Quitline ( 13 7848) can discuss the questions above to help you find your own reasons so that you feel ready to give smoking the boot this time 'round. You can also request a Quitline callback.

Last updated February 2022.

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