Nicotine withdrawal symptoms hit everyone regardless of their stop smoking
method or plan. Some will experience intense symptoms while others may not. Try
not to have any preconceived notions about what your nicotine withdrawal
symptoms will be like. Just expect that you'll have them. So be ready to deal with
them regardless of how intense they may or may not be. Remember this rule:
expect and plan for the worst, and you will never be disappointed.
Develop strategies ahead of time to handle your symptoms. What will you do? Will
you keep something close by to help? Who will you call?
Also, plan for the symptoms to hit you at different times of the day and in different
settings (home, school, work). Know what you'll do when they hit. With a little
advance planning, you can overcome withdrawal like a pro.
Nicotine Withdrawal Tips
The withdrawal symptoms that come with smoking cessation can be very intense.
Frequently, cravings peak by day 2 or 3. As in the story below, many report relapsing
during this first week of smoking cessation. The gateway to relapse is the simple
idea that smoking one cigarette won't hurt. Unfortunately, that single cigarette leads
to another and then another. Here is a list of tips many people say helped them with
their withdrawal cravings.
1. Chew gum or suck on lollipops
2. Keep a piece of hard candy in your mouth
3. Some like to drink water
4. Go for a brisk walk
5. Join a gym and go there for a quick exercise when a major craving hits
6. Call your non-smoking friends and hang out with them
7. Go to a non-smoking bookstore to read
8. Start a hobby like scrap-booking or gardening
9. Keep nuts in the shell around and eat them instead
10. Wash your hands or take a shower
11. Light candles or incense instead of cigarettes
12. Play tennis or other sport - it's hard to play and smoke
13. Do crossword or sudoku puzzles
14. Brush your teeth
15. Clean the house or do some chores
Using a stop smoking aid can double your chance of success over quitting cold
turkey alone. However, if you are mentally prepared for the cravings and have a plan
in place, then you are in a much better position to quit smoking regardless of the
method you choose. But understand the cravings will not go away; you will have to
face them for several weeks. But don't worry, they do begin to lessen. But don't get
overconfident. Treat smoking as a life long addiction, just like an alcoholic does with
drinking. Have the attitude that you are never truly over the addiction.
Smoking Withdrawal Symptoms
Listen to Sally's story of relapse. What can you learn from it?
"I stopped smoking about 2 days ago and the cravings are making me sick. I can't
sleep. I want to stop smoking, but I also want a cigarette so bad!!! I feel like if I just
have one, I'll calm down. I'm so fidgety. I'm afraid I won't make it..."
"Great, I fell off the wagon! I couldn't sleep, looked all around for some. Finally found
them in the trash. I can't believe I dug them out and smoked one. Then I went to bed
and smoked the rest today. I don't think I can ever stop. But I'll try again tomorrow.
This is a familiar story. Sally is just 28 years old and thought she could just quit as
casually as she started. She underestimated the power of nicotine and the smoking
withdrawal symptoms. She didn't have a plan to quit and she didn't get any help for
her nicotine withdrawal.
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