Relapse Prevention Coping Strategies

Avoid High Risk Situations

  • Negative emotional states
  • Stress producing situations
  • Social pressure situation

Provide Social Support

  • Identify sources of support
  • Help arrange support
  • Role play asking for support

Develop a Specific Plan for Events

  • Usual high risk situations (interpersonal stress, alcohol use, other smokers, social events, cravings, highly stressful event, weight gain, negative mood)
  • Develop a “fire plan” for the “what ifs?”

Self Talk

  • Tell yourself, “I can do this.”

“Smoking is not an option anymore.”

  • Remember the reasons you want to quit.
  • Tally the progress you’ve made so far.
  • Remind yourself smoking will not solve any of your problems.
  • Recall where you want to be and how smoking gets in the way of reaching your goal.

Coping Skills

  • Leave the situation
  • Take a deep breath
  • Chew gum
  • Eat something
  • Go for a walk
  • Call a friend
  • Exercise

What is counterproductive

  • Relying on “willpower” alone.
  • “I am just not going to smoke.”
    • No real, practical plan.
    • Become worn down by urges.
  • Penalizing yourself for having urges.
    • “I am weak for wanting a cigarette.”
    • “I’ll never get over wanting to smoke.”
    • “This is too hard, I’ll quit some other day.”

Relapse Prevention Strategies are provided by the Mayo Clinic.