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When you decide to quit smoking, it can help to find out what to expect as you work through the process. Some people have only a few mild symptoms when they quit but others find it harder. While withdrawal can be challenging, it can help if you look at the symptoms as s that your body is recovering from the damage smoking has caused.


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Millions of people know from personal experience that smoking is a tough habit to kick.

The reason is that nicotine is addictive. And nicotine withdrawal is very real.

Nicotine affects all areas of your body, from your heart and blood vessels to your hormones, metabolismand brain. Nicotine withdrawal usually lasts only a month or so, but you could be fighting the mental battle against cigarettes for a long time. Nicotine withdrawal involves physical, mental, and emotional symptoms.

Nicotine withdrawal

The first week, especially days 3 through 5, is always the worst. Most relapses happen within the first two weeks of quitting. Those will also taper off after a few weeks. But for the most part, you can expect to have these common physical issues when you quit:.

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Like physical symptoms, how much you are affected mentally and emotionally when you quit smoking will be different for everybody. But assume you will deal with some or all of the following s of withdrawal:. Smoking Cessation Reference. But for the most part, you can expect to have these common physical issues when you quit: Appetite.

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Within a day or so of your last cigarette, your appetite will shoot up for a while. Cigarettes bind to receptors in the brain which augment the release of the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine from the brain. A lot of people also find that they eat to fill the time when they used to be smoking. And unfortunately, you might crave more carbs and sweets. The first 2 weeks are the worst -- most people gain about 5 to 10 pounds as they try to quit smoking. Nicotine cravings are the symptom you will deal with the longest, and they could start just 30 minutes after your last cigarette.

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Headaches and dizziness. For the first month, constipation can be another unpleasant side effect.

Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Symptoms Like physical symptoms, how much you are affected mentally and emotionally when you quit smoking will be different for everybody. But assume you will deal with some or all of the following s of withdrawal: Anxiety.

Smoking relieves stressso your anxiety can skyrocket when you quit. It tends to pop up around 3 days in and can last a couple of weeks. It can start the first day you quit but is generally gone within a month. You might have a short fuse -- even find yourself angry -- from time to time as you deal with the physical symptoms.

How nicotine withdrawal works

Mental fog. You may feel sad and hopeless.

Your cravings taper off but anxiety will start to rise. Pat yourself on the back, you've made it through the worst.

Physical withdrawal symptoms

Keep avoiding those triggers. Your coughdepression, and anxiety will also improve. Could I have CAD? Missing Teeth?