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Handling Nicotine Withdrawal

Once you quit smoking, there is every possibility that you will experience one or more forms of nicotine withdrawal symptoms. And while these symptoms are temporary, they can be quite a challenge to deal with. Knowing what to expect can help in making this period more bearable, and this article shall help you with the same.

For starters, after you’ve stopped smoking you should try and live with the mindset that what you’re set to do is not impossible. Moreover, most of the symptoms that you would experience as a result of your quitting smoking are actually signs of your body cleansing itself. Given below are some common withdrawal symptoms and what you can do to help minimize the associated discomfort. Also bear in mind that the occurrence of these symptoms and their severity can vary from person to person.

Sore Throat, Runny Nose and Cough:

Experiencing these symptoms immediately after quitting smoking is fairly common and these do not last for more than a week. This is simply a result of all the accumulated tar and nicotine being cleared away. Sucking on flavoured medicated throat lozenges can help, and you should ideally drink plenty of fluids.


Headaches come as a result of the brain being supplied with more oxygen rich blood, and it can take a couple of weeks for it to become accustomed to this change. Increasing fluid intake and some form of light exercising should help.

Lapse in Concentration:

This, again, is a result of the brain being supplied with more oxygen rich blood, along with the absence of the stimulus that nicotine provided. In such a scenario, you should try not to overwork yourself, and this phase can last for in between a couple of weeks and a month.


These are a result of the intestinal movement slowing down and can last for a couple of weeks. Drinking fluids and incorporating adequate fibre in your diet will help.


If you’re experiencing fatigue as a result of your quitting smoking, it can last for in between a couple of weeks and a month. Fatigue comes as a result of the slowing down of the body’s metabolism, and overworking yourself in such a scenario should be avoided.


This symptom is more psychological than physical, and this is why there is no fixed time period after which it goes away. Ex-smokers have been known to reignite after having abstained for years owing to their cravings, and this is why knowing how to get over cravings becomes crucial. The physical cravings for nicotine, though, are the most intense in the first few days after quitting smoking and pass quickly.

Know that while help to quit smoking is available in the form of nicotine replacement therapy, hypnosis, medication programs, etc. there will be a point when you have to stop all intake of nicotine. This is when you have to exercise some will power to remain nicotine free. And by understanding what to expect, it can be possible to minimize the impact.

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