BACKGROUND: Long-term maintenance of smoking cessation is important to reduce smoking related diseases. There are few studies that evaluated long-term maintenance and related factors. For effective cessation treatment, we analyzed the relapse pattern after cessation and related factors. METHODS: We selected people who visited a health care center more than two times between January 1995 and December 2006 and who have succeeded in cessation after the first visit. Telephone survey was done and their medical records was analyzed. A total of 308 people whose medical records corresponded to the results of the telephone survey were finally included and analyzed. RESULTS: The mean follow-up duration was 112 months and the mean age of the first visit was 47.9 years. The median maximum duration of abstinence was 5.50 years, and the annual hazard ratio of relapse was about 2.5-4.2% from two to seven years of duration of abstinence. Mean age of smoking onset was 22.9 years, the mean smoking duration was 24.5 years, and the mean smoking amount per a day was 20.0 cigarettes. In single-variate analysis, the total number of cessation success, the age of smoking onset, the mean smoking duration, the mean smoking amount per day, the cessation method, the reason for trying cessation were related with the long-term cessation maintenance. In multivariate analysis, the total number of success for cesstion, the reason for trying cessation, the cessation method, the mean number of cigarettes per day were related. CONCLUSION: The experience of relapse, the motive of cessation and self-willingness were shown to be important for long-term maintenance of smoking cessation.