December 21, 2018

A pep talk about persistence, for when it’s not going well.


Most smokers make several attempts before quitting cigarettes for good.

Recognize that this is a challenging process, because you’re dealing with breaking an addiction. Arm yourself with as many tools and as much support as possible. And if you relapse, forgive yourself – and try again.

Typically, it takes five or more attempts to quit smoking for good. (If you get there sooner, fantastic!) Even people who gave up cigarettes many months ago report that sometimes they still crave a cigarette. Long after your body rids itself of nicotine and other chemicals contained in cigarettes, certain situations that you associate with smoking may awaken some cravings – like being around smokers or watching co-workers head out for a smoke break.

“Tobacco dependence is a chronic condition,” and some people relapse – and go on to quit again, says Hilary Tindle, M.D. Tindle is an associate professor of medicine, a physician and founding director of the Vanderbilt Center for Tobacco, Addictions and Lifestyle.

So don’t give up. Remember that while staying smoke-free may feel difficult sometimes, it’s the single best thing you can do for your health.

Need more inspiration, or help as you try to quit smoking? Check out these resources: