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Successfully quitting is a huge accomplishment. Most people use tobacco for many years before quitting so it becomes a part of their daily lives. This, combined with the addictive nature of nicotine, means it takes a lot of work and commitment to quit using tobacco. And once you quit, you probably don’t want to start again.

A big part of staying quit is watching out for situations that might trigger your desire to use tobacco. Bars and alcohol are two top triggers, especially in the early stages of a quit. In fact, drinking alcohol is one of the main reasons people end up using tobacco again after quitting.

So, why does this happen?

First, most smokers who drink alcohol say that having a cigarette or cigar in one hand goes right along with having a drink. So having a drink after quitting can be very risky, especially in a place where there may be other smokers.

Second, it’s no surprise that after a couple of drinks, people may make different choices than they normally would. Many people can’t believe they went back to smoking after a night out at the bar. Keeping a clear head will help you stay quit.

Simply put, getting tipsy or intoxicated isn’t recommended in the early stages of quitting. And if you’re concerned about gaining weight, alcohol is full of calories and is a primary cause of weight gain after quitting.

So, do you have to stop drinking alcohol altogether after quitting? No, you don’t. However, it is important to be careful and aware of the risks involved with drinking alcohol after you’ve quit tobacco.