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Quitting smoking is tough. It might be the hardest thing you’ve ever done.

Slips (single smoke) and relapse (back to your old patterns) are part of the quitting process. There are warning signs you can watch out for.

Warning Signs

There are some warning signs that you might start smoking again. Keep an eye out for them so you can stay smoke free.

  1. You think you can have “just one” cigarette.

This is how most people start smoking again. Remember that nicotine is very addictive. Resist the urge to smoke.

  1. You take puffs of someone else’s cigarette.

When you do this it’s only a matter of time before you buy yourself a pack. Resist the urge to smoke. Tell your friends and family not to give you cigarettes, no matter what.

  1. You miss smoking a lot.

You might question whether quitting is worth the effort. This is normal. It will get easier. Find ways to reward yourself. Review your reasons for quitting. It’s worth it.

If you have these or other warning signs, contact Tobacco Free Nova Scotia. A counsellor can talk to you about how you are feeling. Talking to someone will help you resist the urge to smoke.


A slip is a single mistake. Maybe you smoked one cigarette.

Don’t let one cigarette lead you back into smoking. Here’s what you can do:

  • Take your slip seriously.
  • Think about what led you to have the smoke. What were the warning signs? What excuses were you telling yourself?
  • Learn from your mistakes. Plan how you’ll handle a similar situation next time.

Review your reasons for quitting.

You can get back on track. Contact Tobacco Free Nova Scotia to talk to a counsellor about how you can do this.

We’re here to help.


Relapse is when you find yourself back to your old patterns of smoking.

If you have a relapse, that’s OK. Quitting is a journey and sometimes it takes many tries to quit for good. Try not to be too hard on yourself.

The success you had were real. Every day that you didn’t smoke, you took strong steps to be a healthier person.

Plan another quit day as soon as possible.

If you can’t, think about how you can change your old habits. Build on your successes. Here are a few ideas:

  • Reduce the number of cigarettes you smoke.
  • Keep your home or car smoke free.
  • Delay your first cigarette of the day by a few hours.
  • Change some of your smoking routines and habits.

The successes you had were real. You can do it again.

Contact Tobacco Free Nova Scotia to talk to a counsellor about how you can do this. We’re here to help.