Symptoms of Nicotine Withdrawal

The first few days when you quit smoking are the most difficult because you’re suffering from symptoms of Nicotine withdrawal. The good news is that these feelings will all go away with enough time and discipline. These tips will help you

Symptoms of Nicotine Withdrawl-Headache
Headache is a common symptom of nicotine withdrawal

to recognize the symptoms of Nicotine withdrawal and develop strategies on how to deal with them.

Symptoms of Nicotine Withdrawal

  • Anxiety
  • Headache
  • Irritability
  • Cravings to smoke
  • Constipation
  • Dry Mouth
  • Depression
  • Cough
  • Anger
  • Weight Gain
  • Feeling More Hungry
  • Trouble Sleeping

Dealing with Nicotine Withdrawal

The first few days can be really rough when trying to quit, but it’s best to always remind yourself the reason you are quitting in the first place to stay motivated and on track. These tips below can help with the withdrawal symptoms:

  • Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRTs) – Using Nicotine patches and gums can help with the symptoms of withdrawal by slowly weaning your body off nicotine. Studies have shown that using NRTs can up to double your chances of success [1].
  • Exercise – Exercising increases your dopamine levels which in turn makes you feel happy. The feeling is sometimes referred to as ‘a runners high’. Because nicotine used to give you the same feeling, you can replace the feeling with a healthy alternative, exercise. Another perk of staying active is that it can help you sleep at night and may help curb some of the weight gain.
  • Social Support – When dealing with cravings and withdrawal, its good to communicate your efforts to your friends and family that you’re going to quit. If you’re having a hard time, talk to someone who can coach you through your symptoms of cravings, anxiety and depression. If you don’t have anyone to support you, you can always call 1-800-QUIT-NOW to talk to a quit counselor. Check out our blog post for more info about free professional help to quit smoking.
  • Meditation Techniques – Meditating and doing deep breathing exercises when you are experiencing cravings have been shown to help people quit smoking by reducing the stress associated with quitting. These techniques help you stay calm and avoid becoming overly stressed out.

Just as was mentioned at the start of the post, keep in mind that these feelings are temporary and that they will all go away by staying dedicated. Don’t be discouraged, stay focused and you’ll be able to kick the habit in no time!



1 – Stead LF, Perera R, Bullen C, et al. Nicotine replacement therapy for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012;11:CD000146.



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