What are the Different Smoking Withdrawal Symptoms?

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  • Written By: Alex Tree
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 08 September 2018
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Smoking withdrawal symptoms are varied, ranging from weight gain due to an increase in appetite to difficulty sleeping or concentrating. Emotional issues may come into play too; for example, frustration, anger, and impatience are common among those who have recently stopped smoking. These smoking withdrawal symptoms typically begin and peak at certain times, usually two to three hours after the last cigarette and two to three days later, respectively. Some things, such as keeping chewing gum nearby to busy the mouth with, can sometimes help a person through his or her withdrawal symptoms and onto living a healthier life. Not every former smoker will experience the same symptoms, however.

The former smoker may feel restless and anxious, which can leave him or her stressed about insignificant things. He may also feel tense, frustrated, or angry, often leaving him quick to anger and irritation. People, places, and things that normally do not bother him might suddenly seem unbearable without a cigarette to calm him. A feeling of depression or hopelessness may also present itself, especially if the former smoker is on the verge of having another cigarette or temporarily relapsed. Smoking withdrawal symptoms can also mimic or aggravate other mental problems.


Quite a few unpleasant physical sensations are also smoking withdrawal symptoms. The clearing of the lungs may be accompanied by cold-like symptoms. Dry mouth, tingling in the extremities, and feelings of tiredness and general fatigue are also commonly experienced. Some of a wide range of intestinal difficulties can present themselves, including diarrhea, constipation, and feelings of stomach sickness and pain. Appetite is often either increased or decreased, which often leads to weight gain or weight loss if not appropriately monitored.

When a former smoker is going through withdrawal, she may experience many negative symptoms associated with sleeping and the ability to concentrate. The need to sleep more or difficulty sleeping at all often present as symptoms and are considered by some to have to do with the body trying to return to its natural state. People going through withdrawal from smoking may experience difficulty concentrating, which is often because they are no longer receiving a release of sugars associated with nicotine consumption and thus have low blood sugar.

Many forms of treatment are available to people who have decided to quit the unhealthy habit of smoking. Nicotine supplements are a popular treatment for smoking withdrawal symptoms, which can be commonly found in the forms of a nasal spray, patch, or chewing gum. Clinically tested and government-approved medications are sometimes also available. Lastly, encouragement from family and friends is important. Research shows that people typically become depressed when they do not succeed the first time, but the more times the smoker tries to quit, the more likely he or she will succeed.



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