Nicotine withdrawal symptoms are what many smokers fear while embarking on a cessation plan for smoking. Some can experience it in a distressful way, triggering a host of physical and psychological symptoms that they find difficult to tolerate.
Not everyone will experience nicotine withdrawal in the same way. Usually, most people who quit cold turkey have these symptoms and even worse ones. However, with some support systems, smoking aids (including nicotine replacement therapy) and counseling can overcome.
For many smokers, nicotine cravings last much longer than other withdrawal symptoms. Many people are surprised when cravings arise without warning occasionally. Cravings may be caused by smoking reminders. These memories are also referred to as triggers. People, places, and things could trigger a desire. This means that it is necessary to have a strategy for how you deal with an urge when it happens.
The good news is that any desire passes if you give it time and keep busy. The quest for ways to get through this time is a crucial way to cope with cravings. Anything that distracts you and keeps you occupied will help. Involving yourself in several activities can help. Taking a walk can also be helpful as this takes your mind off any cravings. Many smokers who seek nicotine replacement therapy find it effective to withdraw and control cravings.
Nicotine Withdrawal Isn’t Dangerous
Withdrawal may be uncomfortable and some people may experience high symptoms. However, nicotine withdrawal does not pose a health risk. The best thing you can do for your health is to stop smoking nicotine. Any severe signs of withdrawal will diminish with time.
Some people feel more depressed when they stop smoking. Watch for this, especially if you a medical history of depression. Let a friend or family member know whether you’re upset or really sad and try talking to your doctor. Doctors are in the best position to help you.
Nicotine Withdrawal Timeline
After you’ve had your last row these are some of the signs you should expect:
30 minutes to 4 hours: The nicotine effects will wear away and you’ll start looking for another cigarette.
10 hours: You’ll be very restless, want a cigarette physically. You may feel hopeless and sad.
24 hours: Irritability starts and the appetite rises.
2 days: As the nicotine leaves your system you will have headaches.
3 days: The nicotine should be out of your system now. Your cravings will get even stronger and anxiety will increase.
1 week: After a week encourage yourself and try avoiding any triggers.
2 to 4 weeks: You won’t have much stamina yet, but the brain fog will clear and your appetite can be controlled. Any cough, depression, and anxiety will also improve.
5 weeks: The challenge now is keeping a strong mental game.
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