Relapses Happen. Don’t Sweat It. Don’t Freak Out.
Don’t place blame or shame. While most relapses occur within the first three months after quitting, they can virtually happen at any stage. In fact, it takes the average person anywhere from 8 to more than 11 quit attempts before being successful. A lapse doesn’t have to mean they've taken up smoking again.
Here’s where you come in. If you approach this misstep in an understanding, non-judgmental manner, the person you’re supporting will be less discouraged and less likely to give up on quitting.
Tips to Help Family and Friends Deal with Relapse.
Encourage them to approach the relapse as an opportunity to learn and a step towards quitting for good.
Once you understand what might have led to the relapse, it’s important to remain understanding. Don’t judge; just stay positive.
Together, figure out how to cope with the risk of another relapse in the future. How can you be more helpful next time?
Help Them Figure Out What Triggered or Led to the Relapse.
Here Are Some Questions You Can Ask:
- Was there an unexpected stressful event that perhaps you weren’t prepared to deal with?
- Did you have a strategy in place that didn’t work?
- Does your desire to quit weaken at certain times of the day or on particular days, or perhaps at specific locations?
- What are some of the hurdles standing in the way of you quitting for good? (This can be a person who encourages smoking, certain temptations like a smoky bar or even too much time alone.)
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