8 Common Symptoms of Nicotine Withdrawal

Nicotine withdrawal can trigger a whole host of physical and psychological symptoms that leaves ex-smokers feeling both physically ill and mentally stressed and anxious.

While most people will experience some discomfort commonly associated with nicotine withdrawal, there are steps that can be taken to minimize them. Use the tips below to help you know what to expect as you move through this phase of smoking cessation, and read the selected personal stories to see how others have managed as well.

The Urge to Smoke

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Smoking urges come with the territory when you are recovering from nicotine addiction.  Learning how to manage those impulses will help you go from feeling powerless to knowing that you can manage this short but intense phase of smoking cessation.

More Reading:  4 Steps to Defeat the Urge to Smoking


The Urge to Snack

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New ex-smokers reach for food when they're craving cigarettes.  The reasons for this are more involved than simply looking for a replacement for smoking. Chemical changes taking place in the body due to smoking cessation are partly responsible. How can you avoid overindulging when you quit smoking?

More Reading:  Easy Healthy Snacks


Sleep Disturbances

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Sleep problems are a normal side effect of nicotine withdrawal, and can run the gamut from quit-related insomnia to needing extra sleep during the course of a day. Don't let it throw you.  If you slept well before you stopped smoking, this temporary upset will smooth out soon.

More Reading:  14 Natural Sleep Aids


A New Cough

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It can be alarming to develop a cough after you stop smoking, but it is not uncommon. Take a look at why this happens and how to evaluate whether the cough might be more serious than a symptom of nicotine withdrawal.


Quit-Related Stress

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Smoking cessation will reduce the stress in your life considerably, but not until you've gotten the nicotine out of your body. Learn what you can do to minimize the effects of cessation-related stress while you're going through nicotine withdrawal.

More Reading:  10 Tips to Manage Stress When You Quit Smoking



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Upsets in the digestive system that result in constipation are a common complaint among new ex-smokers. Use the tips in this article to help you manage this uncomfortable symptom of nicotine withdrawal.

More Reading:  Foods that Help with Constipation


Junkie Thinking

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There is an inner voice that tries its hardest to tell us it's alright to smoke again once we've quit.  This is called junkie thinking, and will pass in time, and long as we learn how to recognize and redirect these unhealthy thoughts of smoking.

More Reading:  Common Rationalizations for Smoking



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This is a less common symptom of nicotine withdrawal, but some ex-smokers do experience lightheaded/dizzy feelings when they first stop smoking. Learn why this happens and what you can do about it if it's happening to you.


Nicotine Withdrawal is Temporary

There is no question that for most of us, nicotine withdrawal is an intense experience that we'd prefer to skip if it were possible. Unfortunately, we have to go through it to get through it. Learn what you need to know to manage the discomforts and then proactively participate in your recovery. The benefits that await you in your smoke-free life are more numerous that you can probably imagine, so take it one simple day at a time and know that better days are ahead.

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