I’m Afraid of a Relapse

This is normal - especially if you’ve tried several times.

Here’s an explanation of the difference between a slip and a relapse when quitting smoking. This should help you see your past experience in a positive light and confidently take your next steps in breaking free from cigarettes.


A slip is when you take two or three puffs of a cigarette or one or a few entire cigarettes. But:

  • You understand that it’s like when you’re learning something new- you make mistakes, you stumble, and it takes several tries to succeed.
  • You are able to analyse what happened, examine and understand why it happened, and reign yourself in!
  • You continue to make concrete steps like going back to the strategies and tricks that work well for you and using the support of your friends, specialists of other I QUIT NOW Services indicated on this site, and the help of site users.

Keep this phrase in mind as a cry of freedom for smokers: "To fall down is human; to get back up is divine!"


A relapse is when you do the same thing but you are unable to stop yourself...

  • You allow your emotions, negative judgment of your abilities or guilt to take over.
  • You no longer believe in yourself and you’re ready to abandon all the efforts you have made up to this point.

If this happens to you again, tell yourself you’re still a winner:

  • You made it to this point and learned a lot along the way!
  • You need to figure out why it didn’t work and find a way to get through this type of situation the next time you decide to free yourself from tobacco.

In the I QUIT NOW online help you’ll not only find new and effective tools for letting nicotine cravings pass, but exercises to help you get back on track if you ever relapse!

But before going to this next section, take the time here to work through your roadblocks and rebuild your confidence and determination to free yourself from cigarettes once and for all!

I need help

You would like to have support from smoking cessation professionals to help you quit smoking, but you don’t know which service to turn to? Learn more about the I QUIT NOW services and their free personalized support via online help, by phone, in person or by text message.


You want to quit smoking at you own pace and keep track of your progress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? Sign up to the I QUIT NOW online help for free and discover our everyday life tips and experiential exercises to help let the cravings pass.



Want to speak with a specialist to help you quit smoking?

Call the I QUIT NOW helpline. It’s free!
Monday to Thursday: 8 A.M. to 9 P.M.
Friday: 8 A.M. to 8 P.M.

*** For Quebec residents only ***



Want to meet with a specialist to help you quit smoking?

Find the Quit Smoking Centre nearest you!



Unfortunately, the English service is no longer available. However, you can subscribe to the French
program if you want to receive tips and advice on quitting smoking by text message.

Sign up for free!


*** For Quebec residents only ***