The greatest challenge people face when they try to stop smoking is dealing with the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal. These physical withdrawal symptoms are temporary, but potent enough that many people will relapse and start smoking again within a few days. Understanding the power of nicotine withdrawal can help you to devise strategies to make your cessation attempt more successful.
What Are The Symptoms Of Nicotine Withdrawal?
Unsurprisingly, the first withdrawal symptom you are likely to notice is an overwhelming desire to light up a cigarette. The craving can be so overwhelming that you can concentrate on very little else, and you may find that you become more irritable and short tempered.
If you continue to resist the urge then other physical symptoms can start to develop. The first symptom is usually a headache and a dry mouth. This will often be followed by a sore throat and a cough, which is caused by a postnasal drip.
Other, more unexpected symptoms can also be attributed to quitting smoking. This includes digestive discomfort, which can manifest itself as either stomach cramps or constipation. Insomnia and extreme fatigue are also very common among people who are trying to beat an addiction.
If you can persist with your cessation attempt for a few days, you will find that your nicotine craving and the withdrawal symptoms start to ease slightly. However, you may remain susceptible to triggers for several weeks, if not months. For instance, a social smoker may find it difficult to resist while on a night out, or a smoker who used cigarettes as a form of relaxation may suffer a relapse if they become stressed.
How To Cope With The Symptoms Of Nicotine Withdrawal
The urge to smoke normally comes in waves, so simply forcing yourself to wait 10 minutes before having a cigarette can give you enough will power to say no altogether. Try to distract yourself or give yourself something else to do with your hands, such as drinking a glass of water. If the craving is making you very stressed, close your eyes and inhale deeply to promote relaxation.
If you find the cravings are too strong or the withdrawal symptoms are too unpleasant to deal with, you may benefit from a smoking cessation aid. One of the most popular ways to quit tobacco is electronic cigarettes. These are electronic devices emit a small hit of nicotine in a vapor form.
The amount of nicotine in an e-cigarette is much smaller than is found in tobacco, so it helps to wean yourself off nicotine more gently. The similarity to the sensation of smoking a real cigarette also makes the adjustment period less challenging. In addition to this, electronic cigarettes do not contain the same harmful chemicals that tobacco does, so they do not carry the same health risks.
Nicotine withdrawal is the leading reason why peoples’ attempts to stop smoking fail. If your previous attempts to quit smoking have been unsuccessful in the past, it may be worth looking into aids such as electronic cigarettes.