Skip to main content

Slip-ups are a common part of quitting

Quitting can be a journey of ups and down. It's common for people to have a 'slip-up' while trying to quit. Treat any 'slip-up' as a sign you need to revise your quitting strategy. Try not to spend your energy on self-blame.

Plan the next couple of days, especially if you know you are going to be facing some risky situations.

1. Get rid of your cigarettes or vapes

If you have any cigarettes or vapes on you or in easy reach, get rid of them. If you live with a person who smokes or vapes, consider what changes you’d like to make to your home, or what conversations you’ll need to have, to minimise slip-ups. 

2. Plan for the rest of the day, and tomorrow

As mentioned, the next 24 hours is pivotal to your goal of conquering smoking or vaping for good. Your strategy will depend on your understanding of what triggered you. 

  • Think about the circumstances that led you to have a puff and write them down. Next, write down a strategy for dealing with a similar situation without reaching for a cigarette or vape. Use our tactics hub for ideas.

  • Remember the 4Ds (delay, deep breath, drink water, do something else)

  • Get moving: change the scene and make sure you’ve got something to keep you busy for the rest of the day. Stretch, exercise.

  • Give Quitline a call or request a Quitline callback.

  • Check out some of our relaxation strategies

  • Chat with your doctor for extra support.

  • Make sure you have a plan for the same time tomorrow.

3. "But isn’t just one cigarette or puff okay?"

Thoughts like “just one will be okay” or “it'd be great to smoke or vape just one-a-day or one-a-week” are warning signs. Ask yourself “Why wasn’t I smoking or vaping just one-a-day before?” Nicotine is very addictive.

4. Building motivation

Sometimes have a puff or going back to smoking or vaping can be about losing sight of your reasons to stop smoking or vaping. This is the time to reflect on your own personal reasons to quit and remind yourself why they are important.

5. Reach out to Quitline

If you’re doing it tough, Quitline can be a great support at this time. Quitline counsellors know how difficult it is to stop smoking or vaping and that slip-ups are a normal part of the quitting journey. They’re trained to listen and allow you to talk through where you’re at. Quitline can set up future call backs to help you get back on track in the coming weeks and months.

There are lots of ways to contact Quitline, including via webchat, WhatsApp, Messenger and more. See below for all the details.

You can also complete the online form to request Quitline call you back:

Request a callback

Please note, this information is for general use only.  Please consult your health professional for further advice.

If you would like to provide feedback, please contact

Last updated February 2024

I've only had a puff or two
Slip ups

Explore other support options

There are a range of support options available to help you quit.

Free Quit Support

Calling the Quitline increases your chance of quitting successfully.
Quitline counsellors are trained to listen carefully to you to help meet your needs.

Free Tools