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Stage Five: Maintaining a Tobacco-Free Lifestyle

        Health | Smoking Cessation

It feels good to be tobacco free, doesn't it? Your progress is something to applaud, quitting is challenging, and you've come through with flying colors. Your goal now is to make this change permanent.

A Slip Is Just a Slip

Even though you're not using tobacco now, you may have times when you falter. That's okay. Do your best to stay 100% free of tobacco. Remember, the time to be concerned is if a slip turns into 2, then becomes 3 or more. Here are some comparisons between momentary slips and more serious relapses:

  • You take 1 puff and stop vs. having an entire cigarette.
  • You buy a tin of snuff, but then throw it away vs. stashing it in your car.
  • You smoke a single cigarette at the bar vs. lighting up every day on your commute to and from work.

Accept there will be times your urge for tobacco will be stronger than others, but overall you're going to remain tobacco free and feel good about your healthier lifestyle. If you slip it doesn't mean you're destined to fail.

To prepare for slips, list situations where you might be tempted to start smoking — along with ideas to avoid or recover from them.

  • Challenges that can prevent from quiting.
  • Solutions to deal with these challenges.

Staying Focused

Try not to become overconfident or forget how you achieved your goal. To stay focused on not smoking, try some of these ideas:

  • Remove the visible reminders of your old habit
  • Keep sugarless gum/candy, carrot sticks, and healthy snacks handy
  • Review the advantages of not smoking.
  • Offer to coach someone else through the process.

Complete the following:

To stay focused on not using tobacco today, I will...

To stay focused on not using tobacco this week, I will...

To stay focused on not using tobacco for good, I will...