It Takes Just One Cigarette to Relapse.

Smoker with head in sandYou will never smoke again. Accepting this is perhaps the most daunting aspect of quitting smoking and nicotine addiction recovery. The thought of never having another cigarette can be so overwhelming, that smokers will willingly go to the grave an addict and never again taste a life free from the disease addiction.

If you have decided you no longer want to be a drug addict always in need, the reality of never smoking again is what you must ultimately confront.

You must be completely resolved to never smoke another cigarette again.

In order to heal from addiction and achieve freedom you must be completely resolved to never smoke another cigarette again. Why?

Because the next smoke is always going to be just one cigarette. As will the next one and the next one and the next one!

You see, the thing with healing from nicotine addiction, is that it relies on a large number of neurons and neural connections within your brain metabolizing and breaking down due to INACTIVITY!.

The moment you smoke, especially during the early stages, you re ignite weakened connections that have been laying dormant. Instead of allowing them to break down, you re invigorate them and in turn, re enforce them.

Quitting immediately becomes harder.

Having a smoke will always be a step backward.

To be free, you have to heal, and to heal, you must absolutely not smoke. Having a smoke will always be a step backward.

There are going to be times, even in the medium to long term, the deceiving allure of tobacco will force you to recall the high of dopamine that came after relieving withdrawal.

If you find yourself arguing that “just one cigarette,” won’t hurt, you are in all likelihood, not fully resolved to quitting. Chances are, you’re also not prepared for long term recovery and have possibly quit under false expectations.

Full recovery takes many months and there will be many craves and many individual neural connections to break down.

Recovery always begins and ends after your LAST cigarette and never, ever, the next.

Of the very small percentage of smokers who relapse after medium to long term recovery, each and every one started with just one cigarette. If you decide that one cigarette won’t hurt, you will almost certainly spend the rest of your life a miserable full time smoker.

The fact is, until you choose to not smoke, EVER, you will never become a happy and free non smoker. Recovery always begins and ends after your LAST cigarette and never, EVER, the next.

If you find yourself debating whether to have just one cigarette, ask yourself this question:

Are you willing to undo everything you have achieved, all the recovery you have been through, and waste all that pain you have suffered, just to satisfy an extremely short and momentary whim?

A whim that will pass in less than a second if you allow it too.


Then I guess it’s time to get on with enjoying the rest of your life!



  1. Excellent article! I’m on day 6, smoke free. I’ve smoked 23 yrs and tried to quit countless times. That was ALWAYS my downfall… just one. Just one won’t be a big deal. I’ve started my own blog/diary to help me through it. You can check it out here if you’d like:
    Again, great article!

  2. I am going to read and re read this article. I’m at the 4 month mark and here and there suffering some really intense cravings to drive myself down to the village for a packet of cigarettes from which I will just have ONE and throw the rest away. All I need is that hit. For me, it’s the nicotine playing with my mind and I know I am still at risk of listening and acting. Any suggestions on how to stay in control of these visualisations and imaginings?

    • Hi Susan. Grats on 4 months!

      It does keep getting easier, even if slowly… I recall thinking there were so many things I couldn’t imagine doing without cigarettes. Now I go through 99.99999% of my life not even thinking about them. The 0.00001% is not even genuine craves. I am talking really weak, very short thoughts of needing a hit. It’s usually gone by the time I recogize it. I think the best thing to do, is keep reminding yourself it doesn’t happen overnight and simply trust in the process. If you did cave, you would feel absolutely gutted. Also, be mindful of the “quitters fatigue,” and by that, I mean becoming tired of the walls we hit throughout recovery. It is the last major hurdle I think. Beat that and you will be almost home and hosed. (Hit me around 6 months.) Stay strong!

  3. I smoked for nineteen years and quit for A YEAR AND TEN MONTHS (yep, almost two years) before succumbing to a moment of “surely I can have just ONE at this point” when someone offered me one at a social gathering. Needless to say, I was hooked again immediately. I smoked for another ten months until about six weeks ago. NEVER again. There’s no bitter feeling quite like having been a hopelessly addicted smoker who finally kicked it and then went back. There’s such a freedom that comes with getting rid of the smoking scourge.

  4. Paras mehta says:

    Hello everyone! I am a 27 years old Indian. I got hooked to the weed when I was 18. I smoked 12-15 cigarettes a day for 9 long years of my life. I quit smoking on October 31st 2013 but since then I have had three slips. I smoked 4 ciggies on November 22nd, 5 on December 20th & 2 on January 1st 2014. Needless to say I felt so sick & depressed every time I inhaled those cancer triggering tars into my lungs. My body has stopped accepting nicotine. The real tussle goes in the mind. I am feeling so disappointed with myself. Plz help me out of this.

  5. Paras Mehta says:

    Hello everyone! I am a 27 years old guy from India. I got hooked to this disgusting weed when I was 18. I smoked 12-15 cigarettes a day for 9 long years of my life. I quit smoking on October 31st 2013 after reading Allen Carr’s Easy way to stop smoking but since then I have had three slips. I smoked 4 cigarettes on November 22nd, 5 on December 5th & 2 yesterday. Needless to say I felt sick & dizzy every time I puffed on those cancer triggering tars. My body has stopped accepting nicotine but the tussle is still going on in my mind. Though i no longer enjoy cigarettes but sth inside me keeps reminding of them & interferes with my studies. Please help me out of this.

  6. I quit 26th december went cold turkey feel ok still get cravings but they pass. Good luck everyone

  7. I am at the 4 month mark, and am really doing okay. However, I have had 3 slips where because of drinking at a social gathering, I slipped and had one or two. I felt very guilty, but didn’t feel like buying a pack of cigarettes the next day. A whole month would go by, and then the same would happen again, without any cravings the next day. I don’t find it useful to think about those moments, because I am really proud of myself. I used to smoke a pack a day, and when I first quit, it was hard to even get out of bed in the morning.
    I hope it doesn’t happen again, and I am not using the fact that I haven’t started as an excuse to say that I could be a social smoker. I want to get to the point that I don’t feel like smoking, even if I am out drinking with friends. I have a wedding to go to at the end of May, which is the only dangerous event coming up, and I hope I can do it.

    • Sharlene says:

      Nora are you still clean

      • I haven’t smoked in 13 months, but it wasn’t until I truly said that I will never smoke another cigarette again, that it actually worked. In 2013, I spent 8 months, smoking once a month, but eventually I started smoking again. I think it is inevitable. The only way to stop is the way Cameron says, decide once and for all that you are never going to smoke again.

  8. After smoking for 25 years pack a day, I quit 7 weeks ago. I had too many reasons to quit. E-cigs was my way and thanks to it’s inventor. Asked my doctor if he feels ok about it. He told me they are safe. I wonder if I am still addict, given that e-cigs still has some nicotine.

    • Hi. Well they’ve gotta be better than cigarettes 🙂 i smoked for 51 yrs.tried a £25 e cig starter kit and im now on my 61st day without a cig. But my throat feels crap.

  9. I was a late bloomer to smoking, started when I was 25 ( go figure) and been smoking for 13 years now.I have attempted to quit before, 1 month back in 2009.
    Recently I quit in November and had 4 months of sobriety until a very very stressful week traveling. Smoked 2 packs during that week. It was such a relief, and I realize that I associate smoking with traveling…. the same way I really associate it with driving long distances.

    Now I’m back home and back to reality, but struggling. I smell the smoke on some coworkers, before i relapsed was grossed out, now it makes me feel nostalgic, remembering all the interesting conversations with new people while we were huddled together smoking. Or having a cocktail. I realize how much the smoking was social for me. It brought this instant comradeship with strangers…..
    I’m back on the ecigs…… trying to push past the nostalgia. I have another big trip in 2 weeks and I don’t know how I’m not going to smoke 🙁

  10. April Snider says:

    Well today is day 2….cold turkey…it’s killing me!! I know I can do this. I am starting the day off by changing some other habits. Wish me luck!!!

  11. Day 12. Cold turkey. It actually seems that the cravings are increasingly challenging more so now. The second day was an intensely emotional day…since I had finally made the choice I would Never again have that feeling a cig gives you. It was elightening and my “pink cloud” stayed around for a while making it no problem. 12 days and I find myself not saying “just one” (okay, fleetingly passing) but the nostalgia of it makes my body ache now- perhaps the truth is finally setting in? Great article. I’ll always have to come read it, I’m sure or it.

  12. Mel Padden says:

    I am on day 3 and I have decided to do it the hard way after reading Luc Carl’s The Drunk Diet; I haven’t quit drinking, and I have a pack of cigarettes on display in my apartment because if I have to walk around being afraid of the temptation to smoke then there’s no point. So far it’s working, but the dizziness and cravings are terrible. I know there is good stuff on the other side though. That’s the only thing I need to know. That and my pride at quitting…

  13. Nigel Armitage says:


    Just found this site. I am in UK. 54 years old male. Been smoking 20 a day for 36 years – and drinking far too much alcohol for same period.

    Stopped the alcohol completely 3 months back – it was easy – especially considering I rarely missed a day drinking in 36 years!

    Now, trying to quit smoking. Been to see ‘Smoking Cessation’ people at GPs. Gave me patches and gum. Carbon monoxide reading was 23. Decided to quit by going cold turkey!

    Now on day 3. Cravings are killing me. My legs have suddenly gone very ‘jumpy’ at night – really weird! Also had cramp in the abdomen area. Dreading going to bed tonight.

    Why am I trying to quit? To hopefully live longer to be around for my 11 year old special needs son – since his Mum, my partner was diagnosed Xmas 2014 with stage 4 ovarian cancer. Also, hoping to run a half marathon in 2016 to raise money for autistic kids.


  14. Today is day three for me cold turkey. I can’t get smoking off my mind. I’ve tried to quit before but not cold turkey. Used patches. They helped but this time God is blessing me and keeping me strong. I’ve smoked for 39 yrs. I used drugs for 37 yrs. I quit using drugs almost 2 yrs ago. If I can quit using drugs I can quit smoking. Prayers and God give me strength to do this.

  15. I have smoked for 60 years. I read Allen Carr’s Easyway 14 years ago and stopped immediately, no withdrawal symptoms, but after 2 months I got cocky and to prove a point to my husband, who was still smoking, that I was completely cured and that one cigarette would not affect me, Wrong!! Soon back to 15 a day! After 14 years I have now stopped for the last three weeks and have no intention of ever smoking again. Glad I found your site, so encouraging.

  16. Hi — I am 57 years old. I suffered a mid-life lunacy 8 years ago and started “smoking” as a way to control things. Then I got hooked. Today is Day 2 of cold-turkey no smoking. It coincided with a bad chest cold I developed, which made the act of smoking a cough-o-rama, and totally unpleasant. I found this more than a coincidence, like maybe my body was sending me an SOS. I have changed up my evenings…I tended to like to stay up and work late, and tinker around. In truth, it is when I crave cigarettes the most. I’m going to sleep early tonight. I’ve appreciated the things people wrote on this site. I “am ready” to set this habit aside, it’s killing me and I don’t even like it any more. Peace to all.

  17. I gave up for two years with the help of champix found it really easy not many carvings , then had to put two beloved cats down within a few weeks of each other that was my excuse to have a ciggy . Smoked for another year then gave up this year for 4 months again on the champix . Found it much harder have had really strong mind cravings I have been grumpy depressed for no good reason that I can fathom. Gave in today bought a bottle ouzo and pkt of cigs . I Feel so guilty and think how weak willed I am , will just have to try yet again ASAP I guess .

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