Recovering From a Failed Quit Smoking Attempt and Relapse.

Smoker trapped behind barsI doubt there has ever been a smoker genuinely happy to have failed at quitting smoking. Most successful quitters have suffered a relapse in the past, and know very intimately, the feelings of hopelessness and defeat that come with relapse.

The depression that comes with a failed quit smoking attempt can easily overwhelm the smoker, and leave them feeling as though genuine recovery is simply not possible. The fact is; relapse sucks and it sucks bad!

For those who do have such feelings, and who believe quitting smoking is based on impossible odds, I have this message:

There is a reason you will hear so many ex smokers exclaim the words “If I can, you can!” It is because your situation is no different to any ex smoker who has broken free of nicotine addiction. The disease is completely curable, even for you.

It doesn’t matter how long you have smoked, how many you smoke a day, where you live, where you work, what your financial situation is or what your home and family scenario is like. Nothing changes the fact that nicotine addiction is completely curable for every single human being on this planet.

So, why does it feel so impossible?

Because quitting smoking is hard. Very hard. It takes experience, knowledge, planning, self control, belief, support, desire, and above all else, a long term commitment to the healing process.

If you have relapsed, the first thing to accept is that you haven’t failed until you give up on giving up. Rather, you have gained powerful insights and a greater awareness of the healing process.

You have gained experience and more information. Information you can use to better prepare, better plan and better manage your next quit.

“You haven’t failed until you give up on giving up.”

If you have relapsed, consider answering the following questions before launching your next quit smoking attempt:

  • What was my breaking point and what can I do next time to help me overcome it?
  • What have I learnt about the quit process and is there anything I can do differently to make the overall process easier?
  • Do I truly believe I can heal and eventually stop thinking about smoking?
  • Do I recognise the junkie brain and have I maximised the support I have available to help combat it?
  • Could I come up with a more detailed plan?
  • Do I need to re evaluate my reasons for quitting?
  • Would a different method be more suitable to my scenario and needs?
  • When should I set my next quit date?

If you need help, get it! Talk to other quitters and ex smokers as there are lots of tips and tricks you can use to get through the process. You don’t need to go it alone.

If you want freedom from a life of permanent need, a life of poor health and limited capability, you need to step up, make a new commitment and meet your demon head on!




  1. annette smith says:

    all of this is a MUST read for people who are about to embark on there quitting journey. on my last and successful quit i daily read posts that Cam wrote and the help was second to none…….

  2. Hi there

    I have stopped for almost three months and had 1 cigarette last night!!! I feel so bad about it! Problem is I am so angry and constantly pick on my husband!! I am afraid that I might ruin my marriage because of the way I feel because of the cravings

    • Stick to your guns Marilia! 3 months is still a young quit. Whilst you should start feeling more comfortable after 12 or so weeks, it will take several months to break down all of the triggers. Every crave is a heal. Neural connections in your brain that are related to smoking, are forced to weaken and eventually break down whenever as craves runs their course.

      Maybe come up with more effective strategies with the family? You need a time out space. An area to be alone when you need it.

      It does get easier. I was a horrid quitter. Today, over two years later, I am far a far more calmer person than I ever was as a smoker.

  3. Hi Cam, i stopped for 5 mths this yr, but stupidly went back on the filthy weed, need to go again in the new yr please god, wish me luck,

  4. Good luck Betty!

    That 6 month mark can be a real hurdle! It is easy get tired of the quit. Get through that phase and you will be nearly home and hosed. The second 6 months is way easier than the first!

    Stay Strong!

  5. I feel so bad I gave up last year managed 6 months now I have fallen off the wagon since Christmas I only have 2 a day but its killing me. I feel I failed …Veronica

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