Smoking withdrawal is when you stop smoking and your body goes through changes. These changes can cause you to feel anxious, irritable, or sad. You may also have trouble sleeping or feel tired. These symptoms can last for a few days or a few months and may vary from person to person. The symptoms of smoking withdrawal are different for everyone, but they generally start within 24 hours of your last cigarette and can last anywhere from 2 weeks to several months.
The commonest symptom of smoking withdrawal is intense cravings for cigarettes. You may also experience irritability, anxiety or depression during this period. Your body will go through physical changes as well: your blood pressure may rise; your heart rate will increase; and your lungs will begin to function better without all the tar in them!
How to Prepare for Smoking Withdrawal
- Get ready to quit. Before you start your quit journey, make sure that you have support from family and friends. Having people around who can help keep you motivated will make it easier for you to stay on track.
- Get rid of cigarettes, lighters and ashtrays in your home so that they are not easily accessible when cravings hit. If possible, throw out all other smoking paraphernalia such as pipes or cigars as well; these items may trigger memories of smoking and cause temptation later on in recovery.
- Try some relaxation techniques like meditation or deep breathing exercises during times when withdrawal symptoms are most intense (usually within 48 hours after quitting). It helps calm nerves while providing a distraction from urges.
Common Symptoms of Smoking Withdrawal
Smoking withdrawal is a complex process that can be difficult to manage. Common symptoms include:
- Irritability and moodiness
- Insomnia (difficulty sleeping)
- Restlessness or fatigue
These symptoms can last from several days to weeks, depending on how long you have been smoking, how much you smoke and whether you are trying to quit cold turkey or with medication like nicotine patches or gum.
Managing Withdrawal Symptoms
There are many ways to manage symptoms. Relaxation techniques, exercise, healthy eating and avoiding triggers can all be helpful. If you’re feeling especially anxious or depressed, seek support from friends and family members who understand what you’re going through you have a friend or family member who smokes with you and encourage them to quit as well so that neither of you has to go through this alone.
Medications to Help with Smoking Withdrawal
Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is a form of medication that can help you stop smoking. NRT includes:
- Nicotine gum, lozenges and patches. These are available over the counter or by prescription. They provide a small amount of nicotine to the body so that you don’t feel as much urge to smoke.
- Prescription medications such as varenicline (Chantix) or bupropion (Zyban). These drugs work by changing how your brain responds to nicotine, making it easier for you to quit smoking without experiencing cravings or withdrawal symptoms.
Long-Term Benefits of Quitting Smoking
Quitting smoking has many benefits. You’ll be able to breathe easier, look better, and feel healthier overall.
- Reduced risk of cancer: The most common types of cancers caused by smoking include lung cancer, mouth and throat cancers (including larynx), oesophagal cancer and bladder cancer. Quitting smoking can reduce your risk for these diseases by half or more within five years after quitting.
- Improved heart health: Smoking increases the risk of developing coronary heart disease (CHD), which includes angina (chest pain) and heart attack. Quitting smoking reduces this risk by 50 per cent within 15 years after quitting; however, if you’re over age 55 when you quit smoking it may take up to 20 years before your CHD risk decreases by half!
- Improved respiratory health: Smoking damages the cilia–tiny hair-like structures that line our airways–making them less effective at removing mucus from our lungs and trapping dust particles before they reach our lungs’ delicate tissues where they can cause inflammation or infection.
- Improved fertility: Women who smoke are twice as likely as nonsmokers not only to have fertility problems but also to have an increased chance of miscarriage during pregnancy.
- Improved appearance: A person who quits smoking will often notice improvements in their skin tone within days after quitting because nicotine constricts blood vessels near the surface layer which causes wrinkles when applied topically but also internally due to poor circulation throughout the face area.
Relapse prevention is a process that helps you manage potential triggers, develop healthy habits and seek support. You can also use this information to develop a relapse prevention plan.
- Identifying triggers: Triggers are things that remind you of smoking or make you want to smoke. They often happen when you’re stressed, upset or bored. For example, if one of your friends smoked while drinking coffee every day at work, seeing her drink coffee could be a trigger for smoking because it reminds you of the habit she had when she was smoking. It’s important to identify all the triggers that might lead back to smoking so that they can be avoided as much as possible during recovery.
- Developing healthy habits: Instead of developing new bad habits like overeating or drinking alcohol excessively (which may cause weight gain), try developing positive ones such as exercising regularly and spending time with friends who don’t smoke so they can provide support when needed!
When to Seek Professional Help
If you’re experiencing any of the following, it’s time to seek professional help:
- Severe withdrawal symptoms that are interfering with your ability to function normally.
- Persistent cravings for cigarettes and other nicotine products.
- An inability to quit smoking despite trying on multiple occasions.
- Mental health issues related to smoking (e.g., depression or anxiety)
How to Find Support
- Online support groups: You can find online smoking cessation groups on Facebook, Reddit and other social media sites. These are great places to share your experiences as well as get advice from others who have quit or are trying to quit smoking.
- Quitting smoking apps: There are many apps available that can help you stay motivated during your journey toward quitting smoking. Some of these include Quitbit (iOS), Smoke-Free (Android) and SmokeFreeTrial (Windows Phone).
- Family and friends: Having someone who understands what you’re going through will make all the difference in helping you succeed at quitting smoking once and for all! If possible, try not to isolate yourself during this time; having people around who support your decision will help keep up your morale when cravings hit hard or life gets stressful again later on down the road.
- Healthcare professionals: Your doctor may also be able to provide additional support through medication therapy options like nicotine patches or gum which both come with FDA approval ratings above 90%.
Smoking is a complex habit that can be difficult to quit. If you’re thinking about quitting, or if you’ve already started the process, it’s important to understand what happens during smoking withdrawal and how long it lasts.