Quitting Smoking: Preparing for Nicotine Withdrawal


  • When you quit smoking, you may need help coping with the cravings and withdrawal symptoms that you will experience. These physical cravings and withdrawal symptoms drive many people back to smoking.
  • You may feel lightheaded, dizzy, and have tingling or numbness in your arms and feet. Although unpleasant, these changes are healthy due to better blood flow and will go away over time.
  • You may cough more often because your lungs are cleaning out the waste left by cigarettes. Again, this is a good thing.
  • You may feel irritable or have mood swings. Hunger, food cravings, difficulty concentrating or sleeping and constipation are also possible.
  • The worst of these are over in a few days, but some degree of symptoms may continue for three to four weeks. Make a plan with your healthcare provider ahead of time for ways to cope with these symptoms.
  • They may recommend you use stop smoking aids.
  • “The lozenges helped a little bit for the immediate urge … I only did them for about two weeks, until I got over the real hard cravings.”
  • Preparing for your nicotine withdrawal symptoms will help you to overcome them and stay quit.

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