Quit Smoking Help Support: 03/30/06

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Some Facts About Dealing With Lapses


This interesting article addresses some of the key issues regarding about how to quit smoking. A careful reading of this material could make a big difference in how you think about how to quit smoking.


During the quitting process the urge to smoke will be very strong. At some point, many people succumb to those urges. In fact, most people will have lapses or relapses on the road to smoke-free lives.


Rather than viewing these lapses as failures, it is better to view them as learning opportunities to understand why we slipped and how we can prevent it from happening again.


Lapses can happen any time. It could happen days or months after making the decision to quit. They are often triggered by stressful situations or by placing yourself in a situation which you associate with smoking. You may say to yourself, "Oh, it's just a few puffs", or "Just this one time." That "one time" could lead into a full-blown relapse.


All is not lost, however. Nearly every former smoker went through similar episodes as they tried to quit the habit. Each time you again resolve to give up smoking you are approaching the task with greater determination and knowledge about what lies ahead.


Dealing with Lapses
If you find yourself smoking again, simply stop! Some people pick up a cigarette without even thinking about it. Even if you are in the middle of a puff, put the cigarette out and throw it away. If you have bought a pack of cigarettes, don't even think about finishing it. Put them in the garbage. If you are smoking because you are sitting with other smokers, excuse yourself and leave.


Go for a walk and get some fresh air. Let your mind clear and use the opportunity to assess what made you pick up a cigarette. Remind yourself of all the reasons why you have decided to quit smoking and re-establish their importance in your mind.

Once you begin to move beyond basic background information, you begin to realize that there's more to how to quit smoking than you may have first thought.


Try to talk to a friend or family member who can offer moral support in your effort to quit smoking. Be upfront about your lapse and ask for their opinion on how to prevent it from happening again. Above all, do not let yourself get down. View the lapse as an opportunity to plan strategies for similar situations.


It is important to critically examine the situation which caused the lapse. Who were you with? What were you doing? How did that cigarette make you feel? The answers can help you reassess your desire to quit smoking and strengthen your resolve to overcome the desire to smoke in similar situations.


Getting Back on Track
To overcome the lapse or relapse, you must renew your vow to quit smoking. Think of all the reasons that made you come to that decision in the first place -- they are just as valid after a relapse as before, perhaps even more so. Recognize the progress you have made so far. After all, you may have gone several days or even months without having a cigarette. That is no mean feat.


If your lapse has been for several days, you may need a nicotine substitute like gum or a patch to tide you over. Don't hesitate to talk to your doctor or counsellor about what has happened and ask for their advice.


Above all, don't dwell on this temporary failure. Recognize it as one step along the path to a smoke-free future.



Now you can understand why there's a growing interest in how to quit smoking. When people start looking for more information about how to quit smoking, you'll be in a position to meet their needs.
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