Quit Smoking Withdrawal Symptoms

The duration of quit smoking withdrawal symptoms and the effects of nicotine withdrawal are generalised here as an indication of what to expect when you quit smoking.

Smokers tend to experience cravings and other side effects of quitting smoking to very different degrees and their experiences can range from severe to almost negligible.

Nicotine Withdrawal Duration

Over time as you continue to smoke, your body learns to depend on nicotine.

As a result, when you stop smoking you may get 'cravings', one of many different nicotine withdrawal symptoms that are commonly experienced. These are natural ways for your body to react once it stops getting nicotine and all the other chemicals in tobacco smoke.

However, not every smoker is affected to the same degree.

Some will experience severe nicotine withdrawal symptoms but more often than not, the symptoms will come and go over a period of a few days and most are gone within as little as three weeks.

Symptoms of Quitting Smoking

  • Cravings. Each one lasts 3 -5 minutes, and may be strong. Over time however, cravings will happen less often.
  • Headaches (occasional), indigestion, nausea, diarrhoea and sore throats rarely last more than four days.
    • Try usual over the counter remedies for these symptoms.
  • Insomnia and an increased tendency to dream.
    • Tea and coffee contain caffeine and, without nicotine (stimulant), your body absorbs much more caffeine (also a stimulant), which can make you restless, irritable and sleepless for a while.
    • Try drinking less tea and coffee, make your cups weaker.
    • Consider coffee substitutes, water, fruit juice and caffeine-free cola drinks.
  • Coughing most commonly caused by the cilia that line your lungs cleaning out the tar and mucus.
  • Irritability, depression or anxiety are closely connected to the physical action of nicotine leaving your body and will lessen over one to three weeks.
  • Increased appetite and possible weight gain.
  • Tiredness and lack of concentration.
    • Try and relax more during the first few weeks any tiredness will pass.
    • Take a break from what you are doing and take a short walk if possible to help focus your concentration.

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