Well, that depends on a few things. If you relapsed quickly – within the first few weeks – it may be a good idea to try a different medication or a different dose. You can talk with your doctor about different options. But if the medication got you through the worst of the withdrawal period, it’s probably worth using again.
If you were a heavy smoker (more than a pack a day) and using the patch, adding nicotine gum or lozenges to help with cravings might be useful. This combination therapy has helped many people who weren’t able to quit with the patch alone. Talk to your doctor about either increasing the dose of your medication or pairing it with another type before your next quit.
After a relapse, it’s also a good idea to think about what might have gotten in the way of your quit (other than medication). Some things that can help you stay smoke-free include:
- changing your routine
- replacing old habits with new ones
- avoiding places you used to smoke for a while
- staying away from smokers for a while
- getting daily exercise
- having a strategy for getting through cravings (try the four Ds: delay, deep breathing, drink water, or do something else)
Remember that whenever you’re hit with a craving, you can post in the feed and use the “Craving” tag. This lets everyone know that you want to smoke and need support right away.
No matter what happens, don't risk your new smoke-free life! Do whatever it takes to stay quit.
Medical review: Nathan Cobb, MD, September 12, 2017