After quitting, you might experience nicotine cravings. Luckily, cravings don’t last forever… they only last a few minutes, so hang on – you’ll make it through!
A good way to deal with a craving is to remove yourself from the moment.
- Text a friend
- Read a book
- Keep an elastic band on your wrist & snap it when you want to smoke
- Chew on sugarless gum, hard candies, celery/carrot sticks, jube jubes
- Take a cold shower
- Send a Facebook message to your buddy
After quitting, you might also experience nicotine withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal can be very unpleasant but it is normal, and it means that your body is renewing itself.
Like you, your withdrawal symptoms will be unique. Here are some typical withdrawal symptoms and ways to deal.
||How long it lasts
||What to do about it
|Angry or Tense?
||Most smokers feel like this during the first few days or even weeks. It’s completely normal! Your body is craving more nicotine which is making you feel uneasy.
||First few days – week.
||Take a few deep breaths, talk out your anger, exercise, or try a relaxation technique like deep breathing.
|Intense hunger all the time!
||It’s normal for smokers to have an increased appetite when they quit. Your sense of taste and smell are improving and you may be more tempted to replace smoking with food.
||It can last the first few weeks or more.
||Drink lots of water, stock up on healthy foods such as fruits and veggies, get rid of chips, cookies and high-fat foods, watch portions, make a healthy grocery list and stick to it.
|A little down?
||It’s perfectly normal for smokers to feel a little down after quitting. Health professionals and researchers aren’t exactly sure why quitting brings on feelings of sadness, but they agree that quitting truly does make some people feel down.
||These feelings of sadness usually begin within the first day of quitting, continue for a few weeks, and then go away within a month.
||Stay positive, be more active (exercise is uplifting), and talk to a cheerful friend. Smoking a cigarette now can make you feel sad that you could not stick with your decision to quit. Finally, keep this important info in mind: feeling down is okay, but feeling seriously depressed is a signal to see your health professional.
|Like you’ve got a cold?
||It’s normal for smokers to experience a cough, sore throat & lots of phlegm when they are quitting! In fact, for a while after quitting you may cough more often and more forcefully than you did while you smoked. It can be very distressing, but remember, it’s just your lungs clearing away all the excess mucus to help you breathe.
||The first few days – week.
||Drink lots of water, suck on hard candies or chew gum. Grin and bear it. Speak to a health professional if problems persist.
|Like it’s hard to get a good nights sleep?
||Nicotine is a powerful drug that sometimes acts as a stimulant and as a depressant other times. As a smoker, you may have had certain patterns of smoking. Your body adjusted to the nicotine highs and lows of these patterns. After quitting, your body must adjust to the new smoke-free way of living and lack of nicotine so it’s perfectly normal to experience sleep problems when quitting. It may be harder to fall asleep and stay asleep but this is only temporary until your body has adjusted.
||The first few days – week.
||Avoid caffeine and strenuous exercise late at night. Go to bed & get up at the same time everyday. Try meditation, chamomile tea or reading before bed. Keep in mind your sleeping problems are temporary, and there’s no need for sleeping pills or herbal remedies.