How do I continue to stay off cigarettes after quitting?

Staying quit is the final, longest, and most important stage of the quitting process. You can use the same methods to stay quit as you did to help you through withdrawal. Think ahead to those times when you may be tempted to smoke, and plan on how you will use other ways to cope with these situations.

More dangerous, perhaps, are the unexpected strong desires to smoke that can sometimes happen months, or even years after you've quit. To get through these without relapse, try these:

•    Review your reasons for quitting and think of all the benefits to your health, your finances, and your family.

•    Remind yourself that there is no such thing as just one cigarette -- or even one puff.

•    Ride out the desire to smoke. It will go away, but do not fool yourself into thinking you can have just one.

•    Avoid alcohol. Drinking lowers your chance of success.

•    If you are worried about gaining weight, put some energy into eating a healthy diet and staying    active with exercise.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.