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I’m smoking or vaping again

I’ve had a slip-up

Had one or two smokes or puff on a vape? If you have a slip-up, don’t let that stop you from sticking with quitting! Slip-ups are common. Keep up your quitting journey. Think of a slip-up as an opportunity to learn and build your quitting skills. What prompted you to smoke or vape? What can you do to avoid it in the future? 

Here are a couple of important things to do right away:

1. Get rid of your smokes or vapes

If you have any smokes or vapes on you or in easy reach, get rid of them. If you live with a person who smokes or vapes, consider what changes you’d like to make to your home, or what conversations you’ll need to have, to minimise slip-ups.

2. Plan for the rest of the day, and tomorrow

The next 24 hours is pivotal to your goal of quitting for good! Your strategy will depend on your understanding of your slip-up. Figure out what prompted you and plan how to manage that trigger next time.


  • Try the 4Ds (delay, deep breath, drink water, do something else).
  • Get moving. Stretch, exercise.
  • Yarn with mob, friends, and Elders.
  • Give AQL a call or request an AQL callback – we can help you work out how to manage cravings and triggers!
  • Speak with your doctor or pharmacist. They can advise if any medications are appropriate to help you stop smoking and/or vaping.
Never give up givin’ up. If you wanna quit, try, and if it doesn’t work, try and try again.
Uncle Stewart Taylor

I’ve gone back to smoking  or vaping

Quitting is a journey, one that can have ups and downs. It can take practice. Most people try several times before they quit for good. Every try is an opportunity to learn and grow the skills you need to quit for good. Each try can help you better prepare for the next. Never quit quitting!

Be proud of yourself for quitting the smokes or vapes, even if only for a few days. Every smoke or vape you didn’t have is a win – a moment when you beat the habit and the dependence.

If you feel ready to try quitting again then go for it! If not, work on rebuilding your motivation and give it another go when you’re ready. But remember, there’s no such thing as the perfect time to quit.

Getting your motivation back

What made you want to quit? Was it family, money or your health? Go back to your original reason and think about why it is so important to you. You might want to write it down and keep it in your wallet or put it on your fridge as a reminder for when things get tough. 

Learning from a slip-up

Each time you quit, you learn more about the quitting process and become better at it. Do any of these common scenarios look familiar to you?

"I gave in to strong cravings."

Talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can advise if any medications are appropriate to help you stop smoking and/or vaping. Also remember most cravings pass within a few minutes, so try the 4Ds: delay, deep breath, drink water, do something else.

"The whole thing got too scary and difficult."

The first week is often the hardest to get through. Plan for low and high moods and stressful situations. If you get through, you’ve gained a lot of skills. Keep at it.

"I started to smoke without realising it."

Change your routine. Also, find a good replacement for the smokes or vapes e.g. chewing gum, stress ball, drinking water.

AQL support

Our AQL counsellors have yarned to thousands of people in the same situation. Give them a try. They're full of ideas about how to keep busy and get through a craving. You can even request a callback at a time that suits you.

Ways to contact AQL counsellors

"I was stressed out!"

Managing stress can be challenging. Deep breathe, walk, meditate, drink water, get a massage, be kind to yourself and use your savings to do something you enjoy.

"I slipped up when I had a few drinks."

There’s a reason some people crave alcohol when they are smoking or vaping and crave smokes or vapes when they are drinking. Nicotine changes how the brain responds to alcohol, which means more alcohol is needed before you get the same feel-good response. Meanwhile, alcohol increases the level of feel-good chemicals produced in the brain by nicotine. If you can’t avoid alcohol altogether while you’re quitting, stick to one or two drinks, or drink water between drinks.

"I felt unable to say NO in the situation I was in."

Yarn to smoking friends and be clear about what you need. Choosing a phrase like "I'm a non-smoker" or "I don't smoke or vape anymore" can be quite powerful.

Please note,this information is for general use only.  Please consult your health professional for further advice.

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Last updated February 2024

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