Quitting Smoking: Coping With Cravings and Withdrawal
It's not easy to quit smoking. The nicotine in cigarettes is addicting. Your body craves it because it makes you feel good.
So when you try to stop smoking, you go through Reference nicotine withdrawal Opens New Window. You feel awful, and you may worry about gaining weight. You get cranky and anxious. It can be hard to sleep.
You're not the only one. Most people feel bad when they try to quit. The hardest part is not reaching for a smoke to feel better. Use the tips in this Actionset to help you cope. The information also applies if you use chew or snuff.
- Symptoms of nicotine withdrawal are at their worst during the first couple of days or so after you quit. They may last a few weeks.
- Medicines help ease withdrawal symptoms and craving. This can help you feel better and make it more likely that you won't start smoking again.
- Exercise and healthy eating also may help.
Talk with your doctor
Your doctor can prescribe medicines that can get you through withdrawal. Together, you can plan the best way to use nicotine replacement products. This may be varenicline (Chantix) and the nicotine patch. Or it may be the nicotine patch plus gum for those times you need something more.
If you have questions about this information, print it out and take it with you when you visit your doctor. You may want to mark areas or make notes in the margins where you have questions.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: August 15, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Reference John Hughes, MD - Psychiatry