What to Do if You Have a Cigarette After Quitting Smoking

A man and woman sitting on a hill watching the sunset

If a relapse happens, don’t be too hard on yourself. We know it may feel like a big setback, but it’s better to accept it and move on. Don’t let it deter your resolve to quit – in fact, strengthen it with these tips.

Understand that quitting smoking is a learning process.

Keep in mind that quitting smoking is like learning to ride a bicycle. You may fall, but it’s more important to get up and back on your bike. That's how we learn, and the same logic applies to quitting smoking. Over time, you’ll find the right balance.

Don’t stop using your NICORETTE® product.

It’s perfectly safe to continue using any NICORETTE® product, even if you slip up and have a cigarette.

Try to understand what made you slip up and plan what to do differently.

A big part of quitting smoking is figuring out what makes you want to smoke.1 By figuring out the trigger, you can recognize it the next time and instead try a new behaviour (like going for a walk or eating a healthy snack).

Talk to someone in your support network.

Rely on support as you get back on track and share your feelings. As well, talking may help you better understand why you slipped up and how to avoid doing it in the future.

Remind yourself of your goals.

Think of the good things that have happened since you quit smoking. Quickly refocus on quitting and remember the reasons why you quit.

Talk to your healthcare professional about using the NICODERM® patch with your NICORETTE® product.

If the amount of NICORETTE® you are taking does not help you stop smoking, talk to your healthcare professional about using more than one type of Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) at the same time. Visit here to learn more about Combination Therapy to increase your chance of quitting for good.


  1. https://smokefree.gov/challenges-when-quitting/cravings-triggers/know-your-triggers