Smoking is extremely injurious to health, yet most people
cannot seem to just quit. Do you know why this is the case? This is because
tobacco contains nicotine, which can create a chemical dependency, making you
want to always keep smoking.
A chemical dependency indicates that you cannot simply quit
smoking. Your body will give you physical manifestations of the pangs. There
are many withdrawal symptoms of smoking, which can be difficult to overcome.
Today, let us discuss these symptoms and how to cope with these withdrawal
Cigarette smoking is among the top causes of lung and mouth cancer
worldwide. Even though people know it is harmful to health, they cannot simply
stop smoking because of the chemical dependency that nicotine creates for them.
The urge to smoke after quitting can, unfortunately, be too much to handle, and
people ultimately go back to their old ways.
Coping with the withdrawal symptoms of smoking is as much a
physical endeavor as a behavioral one. Recovery from smoking is very important
because you can live holistically only when you are not dependent on chemicals
for everyday living.
What is Nicotine Withdrawal?
When you are addicted to smoking, nicotine creates a
dependency that must always be maintained at a certain level. Your body begins
to experience withdrawal because this level is not met occasionally if you quit
The side effects of quitting smoking suddenly can be very
difficult to deal with since the pangs work on a physical level. You cannot
simply ignore these pangs. This is why it is important to know how to deal with
the withdrawal symptoms of smoking.
You can effectively go cold turkey only when you have
learned the techniques to help you successfully withdraw. Otherwise, you will
revert to your old habits and not be able to quit smoking.
Smoking affects many body components, so withdrawal can lead
to increased physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral problems, which need
to be handled with care. You will have intense cravings for cigarettes. You
will be angry and irritable and hungry and tired, but you will not be able to
sleep or work like normal.
However, the good news is the withdrawal symptoms of smoking
will peak within 48 hours after you have stopped smoking and will stay over the
next 3-4 weeks. This is because it takes time to remove the nicotine from the
The nicotine withdrawal timeline takes quite a few weeks.
Once you get through this, however, there is no turning back. The nicotine will
be completely gone from your system, and you will be healthier than ever.
This is why, before you quit, it is important to have a plan
in place to deal with the withdrawal symptoms of smoking. This way, you will
not be left alone to deal with the effects, and you will learn how to get by
those few stressful weeks without going back to your old smoking habits.
Dealing with the Withdrawal Symptoms of Smoking
Here is a complete checklist that can help you cope with
your nicotine cravings and help you successfully get past them. Once you can
get through this stage, you will be far happier and much healthier than before.
1. Know What you are Getting Yourself Into
Quitting smoking is much harder than it sounds. Anyone who
has ever tried to quit smoking will tell you just how difficult it can be to
stay away from going back to a cigarette when you are experiencing withdrawal.
It is the worst in the first week of quitting since your emotions will be all
over the place, and you will always feel the physical urge to smoke.
Here are some of the symptoms that you can notice on
withdrawing from nicotine:
- Cravings for smoking
- Mood swings
- Perpetual fatigue
- Hunger pangs leading to weight gain
- Focus problems
- Digestive issues
- Stress and headaches
Awareness of what is coming can go a big way in making sure
that you can deal with them. Now that you know these are normal and expected
side effects of quitting smoking, you can approach them with a better
2. Consider Nicotine Replacement Therapy
Sometimes, you simply may not know how to deal with
cigarette cravings. They can become very intense, and thus, you need to have an
emergency plan in place so that you do not go back to your cigarettes.
Ask your doctor for a prescription nicotine spray, or get
yourself a couple of nicotine patches and/or gums that can help you get through
very intense cravings. These are short-acting agents that can help get over
periods of intense cravings. However, it is not advised to use E-cigarettes
because they have not been proven to be safer than smoking a regular
3. Get as Much Physical Activity as you can
Among the most natural ways to deal with withdrawal symptoms
of smoking is to get physical. Physical activity can naturally inhibit nicotine
cravings. If you are feeling the urge to smoke, go out for a walk or a quick
job, get on your feet, and do something around the house. It can be anything as
long as you keep moving.
This will also mentally distract you from your cravings and,
thus, help you get over the withdrawal symptoms. This way, you can also help in
the treatment of diseases linked to smoking if you have already been
4. Make Sure you Get Enough Sleep
One of the most common withdrawal symptoms of smoking is
lack of sleep, along with heavy fatigue. You will feel tired, but you will not
be able to sleep. This can make many people go back to their older smoking
habits because they just want to get some sleep. If it becomes very bad, speak
with your doctor, and you may be recommended sleeping pills to help you get
There are also some other ways in which you can make sure you
get enough sleep:
- Do not drink caffeinated drinks in the evening or at night
- Take off your nicotine patch at least an hour before your
- Add some physical activity throughout the day to help you
5. Remind yourself why you chose to Quit
Mental reminders can be very powerful when you are trying to
deal with an addiction. Write down why you chose to quit smoking when you
feel like you cannot deal with the withdrawal symptoms of smoking.
Remind yourself of the risks associated with smoking during
pregnancy if that is why you have stopped. Tell yourself that you are saving
your loved ones from secondhand smoke. Moreover, think about all the money you
are going to save. Ultimately, these will overpower your cravings.
Always remind yourself that trying to beat the urge to quit
smoking is better than smoking. Every time you resist craving and learn how to
deal with the withdrawal symptoms of smoking, you are a step closer to becoming
a healthier person.
1. How can smoking withdrawal symptoms be eliminated?
Ans: Withdrawal symptoms of smoking can be eliminated by
following a strict behavioral schedule and using nicotine patches and gums to
2. What can I do to recover from stopping smoking the
Ans: The best way to recover from quitting smoking is to use
prescription nicotine puffs, patches, and gums, which will satiate your
3. When do smoking withdrawal symptoms stop?
Ans: Smoking withdrawal symptoms stop manifesting after 3-4
weeks of quitting smoking.
4. Are symptoms of withdrawal common among smokers?
Ans: Yes, withdrawal symptoms are very common among chain
smokers who try to quit smoking.
5. Can I abruptly stop smoking?
Ans: Yes, you can, but you will still have to face the
withdrawal symptoms of smoking.
Mokshada Tandon is an accomplished Content Writer. Her
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