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Nicotine withdrawal duration

Nicotine withdrawal sucks.

If you have quit nicotine before, then you know that some of the withdrawal symptoms of nicotine can be unpleasant. But you can get through it!

Withdrawal symptoms are strongest in the first 7 days after quitting, but can persist for months later. For most people the worst of withdrawal symptoms only last a few days to a couple weeks. Here, we present a timeline for an average nicotine withdrawal period so that you can know what to expect. Your questions, comments and vents are welcomed at the bottom.

The first day

Nicotine withdrawal begins 20 minutes after your last dose of nicotine. Strongest cravings for nicotine usually occur first thing in the morning, as the body has been without nicotine for hours while sleeping. Withdrawal is THE sign that your body and brain are getting used to the absence of nicotine.

Cravings usually begin within an hour or two after you have your last cigarette, peak for several days, and may last several weeks. Because most people slip up in the first days to week after stopping, plan nicotine withdrawal help for withdrawal symptoms of nicotine during this period to increase the odds that you stay stopped.

The first week

When you quit using nicotine, withdrawal symptoms are strongest in the first 7 days after you quit. Many people just can’t handle how they feel after they quit and start smoking or using tobacco again to feel better. Some common physical symptoms present during this time are usually:

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  • constipation
  • decreased heart rate
  • difficulty thinking
  • headache
  • increased appetite
  • lightheadedness
  • nausea

However, mental symptoms can also be present. Feelings of anxiety, irritability, anger, or depression can feed into cravings to use nicotine. In fact, many people describe the urge to use nicotine during first week of quitting as an almost physical craving for the drug. Using medicines to help manage withdrawal symptoms such as cravings can get you over the hump. Even without medication, withdrawal symptoms do subside over time.

The second week

During the second week off nicotine, physical symptoms of nicotine withdrawal tend to subside. However, habitual cravings and urges to use nicotine are still present. Many people, places, events, moods and things can trigger the behavioral urge to use nicotine. It is important that you know how to handle these triggers and have a plan for managing strong urges to use nicotine. The more resources you have during this time, the better. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW to get personalized help quitting, support and coping strategies, and referrals to resources and local cessation programs.

The third week and on…

The physical symptoms acute nicotine withdrawal usually only last a few weeks. The symptoms that persist for weeks to months after you quit nicotine are urges and cravings to use nicotine. In most cases, urges do not disappear until you practice resisting them for many times. As the days pass, the cravings for nicotine will get farther apart. Occasional mild cravings may last for 6 months.

Questions about nicotine withdrawal duration

Withdrawal symptoms are usually worst during the first week after quitting. From that point on, the intensity usually drops over the first month. However, everyone is different, and some people have withdrawal symptoms for several months after quitting.

If you have questions about coming off nicotine, or need support…please leave us a message below. We answer all legitimate concerns with a personal and prompt response. Plus, we can do research to help you find answers to your questions. Just know that you are not alone! And you can do it!

Reference sources: Forever Free: A guide to remaining smoke free, Coping with Urges
Smoke Free [dot] gov
CDC Smoking and Tobacco Use: How to Quit
National Cancer Institute: How To Handle Withdrawal Symptoms and Triggers When You Decide To Quit Smoking

Photo credit: respres

Leave a Reply

40 Responses to “Nicotine withdrawal duration
baghavanhj
9:46 am December 23rd, 2011

iam fully addicted to nicotine ,, iam not able to mingle with family friends …

i tried to quit also .. but with drawl symptops are more ,, not able to cop UP .. give some suggestion to cop UP ..

regards,
baghavan j

1:19 pm December 23rd, 2011

Hi Bhaghavan. Thanks for your question. Can you help clarify, ease? Are you asking about how to cope with withdrawal, or how to promote cough and expectoration of mucus during withdrawal?

Shayna
4:25 pm May 25th, 2012

I have quit smoking cold turkey for 7 days and had a smoke this morning because of too much stress at home.

On a scale of 1 to 10 ( 10 being worst) my withdrawals are between 5 and 7.

Will my one smoke start over my nicotine withdrawals?

Thank you,
Shayna

11:44 am May 28th, 2012

Hi Shayna. You probably haven’t compromised much if you’ve only had one smoke. In fact, some doctors recommend having a nicotine gum, patch or spray on hand during withdraw in order to help manage the physical symptoms. The idea is to gradually reduce your dosage until you wean off completely. If you’ve gone cold turkey, and had one smoke, one cigarette will deliver nicotine to your brain in a more intense way, but it shouldn’t start the withdrawal process over completely. The trick is to get beyond the last-last smoke and stay away. Check out smokefree [dot] gov for more tips and ways to stay away from cigarettes during withdrawal.

Karen
6:50 pm September 15th, 2012

I have quit smoking now for 22 days, I can’t stop eating, I will eat and eat until the shakes are gone! Today I’m trying the medifast diet that I did last year but I almost feel like if I smoke then I can loose weight. Will this feeling tapper off or am I going to become really fat

1:50 pm September 16th, 2012

Hi Karen. Weight gain is common in people who stop smoking. An increase in calorie intake can only be countered with regular physical exercise or other healthy ways which burn calories (sitting in a sauna, jacuzzi or steam room, for example, if your heart is healthy). I’d suggest that you find alternatives to eating when you feel a craving come on. Have you tried calling a smoking hotline yet? Have you gone for a walk until the craving passes? Now that you’ve made one healthy lifestyle change…you may need to change others to support it.

Suzi
7:54 pm November 5th, 2012

I stopped smoking 5 years ago today, but for the past 5 years, I have been using (and addicted to) the nicotine inhaler. I have been unable to wean myself off, and though I have been unable to find any negative long term effects of nicotine, I KNOW it no doubt, is not healthy for me. Any suggestions as to how to stop the inhaler? Do you have any info. re: long term effects of nicotine via inhaler? Thankyou Suzi

11:26 am November 6th, 2012

Hello Suzi. As you probably already know, use of nicotine inhalers can be accompanied with many side effects such as rritation in the mouth and throat, cough, a change in the way things taste, pain of the jaw, neck, or back, a runny nose, tooth problems, sinus pressure and pain, headaches, pain, burning, or tingling in the hands or feet, and intestinal gas. I’d suggest that you consult with a doctor about your use of the inhaler. There may be other options (nicotine gum, spray, etc.) that you can use as you taper, but eventually you need to go through nicotine withdrawal in order to get over the dependence. Also, check into the national toll-free number, 800-QUIT-NOW ( 800-784-8669) for more information and assistance in quitting. And smokefree[dot]gov.

JOE
5:59 pm November 13th, 2012

I am a professional ” QUITTER” !
I have tried to quit smoking so many times…I have lost track.
Nicotine has a powerful grip on me. Smoking for over thirty years….and trying to quit for tha last 10.
Cold turkey…..patches…..cutting down……whatever the method….
IT SUCKS !! :(

I am at day four after stepping down with the patches.
4 days with no nicotine…..can’t focus…..and will eat anything.
My wife wants to kill me……
It’s easier to just give in….and feel normal again.
Months of this ahead of me??
Weeks and weeks of withdrawal?
I am DOOMED !

11:47 am November 15th, 2012

Hi Joe. You gotta believe that you can do it, man! The biggest part of taking control of cravings is the belief behind your will. Check into the program of SMART Recovery to learn some ways that you can strengthen your resolve and get your psychological power in place as you undertake this life-long quest to self-mastery. Good luck!

Sandip
12:15 pm November 26th, 2012

I have quit smoking one month back. I have no craving for smoking but suffering a lot from physical pain.
have physical pain in my chest (tightness), muscle twitching in my chest, feeling feverish sometimes, hypertension, anxiety.
Already a month is over but the symptomps still persist. Visited all docs cardio, pulmo, psy. Taking medicine for hypertension, aspirin Please give some insight! when will this end? Please suggest some home remedies.

Chaos Seed
7:02 am November 28th, 2012

guys for all who wanting to quit smoking..please read allen carr’s -easy way to stop smoking. i read it and it has helped me ..god bless you all and good luck,,,it really easy people . just dont be afraid and you will be fine…

Julias
11:45 am January 20th, 2013

I have quit smoking for 21 days now. However I went out on the weekend with friend and could not stop smoking. Will that offset my attempt to quit.

Bo
8:13 am January 26th, 2013

Stopped smoking for 10 weeks…smoked most of my life off and on…mostly on, anyways I’m so lightheaded and my mind confused..never had this before when I quit other times. I get so pi–ed off because of this…anybody else get lightheaded for this length of time? Hmmm maybe its CHEMTRAILS!!!!

Des
12:55 am March 11th, 2013

Have tried everything in the past, hypnosis, Gum, Zyban, Patches, alan carr, electric cigarette, etc etc. This time cold turkey. My downfall in the past has always been around weeks 4 to 8 where I get hit with a major depression and incessent cravings 24 x 7 for weeks. This time I didnt cave and started hitting the gym. 10 weeks now and feeling great and the little worrying wheeze in my chest has gone completely. Not saying im out of the woods but as someone who has smoked 30 a day for the past 30 years what I am saying is in the here and now it would be harder for me to put a cigarette to my mouth than not to.

Sean Ben
7:31 am May 3rd, 2013

Quiting smoking is not very easy task and it requires efforts as nicotine addiction is such that it is difficult to be given away, but if using vaporizers device will help definitely in quiting.

debbe
2:26 pm April 15th, 2014

My second day without a cigarette! Yea Me~ really want to stop- I do want to gain a few pounds ( booty pounds ) and breathe a little easier. My lips are dark from cigarettes, dark circles under my eyes, pallor skin and dry hair. I am really trying hard – hope I make it through! I hope I can get through withdrawal……

Vikram
10:36 am May 8th, 2014

Thanks for all the informations !!!

Naomi
3:19 pm June 11th, 2014

I’ve been a smoker for 15 years and just stopped cold turkey 3 days ago. I can totally empathize with the frustration of falling back into the nicotine trap as this is my 4th serious attempt to quit. The last time I quit, I stopped smoking for 2 years. This time has been surprisingly easy for me (so far) and while I might be jumping the gun, I do feel pretty determined so I want to share what I’m doing different with you ~ hopefully it helps!

Naomi
3:25 pm June 11th, 2014

Woops ~ I submitted sooner than I wanted to… Anywho ~ I watched the documentary on Youtube for Allen Carr’s “The Easyway to Stop Smoking”. It’s excellent, watch it if you haven’t seen it. Totally cheezy but the method works! I’ve watched it 3 times now and every time I get the “itch” of nicotine withdrawal, I just tell myself that I’m starving that little monster inside me that is nicotine addiction, and soon that monster is going to die, soon I’ll be free of it. It helps a lot to change the way we think about our relationship with nicotine. Us smokers, we’re JUNKIES, and nicotine is not doing anything for us! The sooner we’re free from it, the better off we will be. It’s really important to try to quit cold turkey, and not use any replacement nicotine. The sooner we get rid of the nasty stuff, the sooner we’ll be free. This morning I woke up feeling so great, I realized it was because I didn’t smell that nasty smell on myself, and I wasn’t distracted with getting my first “fix”. Of course the symptoms aren’t pleasant (I’ve had a headache for 3 days), but what’s a week or two of unpleasantness if we can get our lives back? GOOD LUCK!

andrea
7:13 pm July 27th, 2014

Hi my name is andrea and ill just get straight to it my whole quit smoking journey has been HORRIABLE. 1st i started these patches which i believe i would have been bett off going could turkey because now i feel like if i don’t have a patch im going to die, i developed anxiety and ocd thanking my anxiety is so damn bad im frightened half of the day i take hydroxozine for my anxiety but who the heck want to take pills in order to get threw the day , im not sure if its because or the path or just over all quitting period i constantly feel like ill either have a heart a tack or my breathing isnt normal and ill die i have very bad muscle spams at night and anxiety that make me afraid to sleep,,,,, this stuff has really messed me up i have moved to the lowest patch 7mg with hope that doing this for a week then getting completely off will help my symptoms im seriously going crazy im n and out the doctor EVERYDAY I HAVE BEENGoing threw pure hell someone please help me WITH CALMING MYSELF AND LETTING ME KNO IF THESE SYMPTOMS ARE NORMAL OR WHAT N HOW LONG WILL THEY LAST

andrea
7:17 pm July 27th, 2014

Oh i had been a smoker for about 10 years and i havebeen off since june 102014

Taylor
8:59 am February 1st, 2015

Im a 20 yo Male and I will be honest I smoke pot on the day to day basis but since I quit smoking ever well.. im a legit 72 hours clean and im proud of myself but when I take a hit of pot my chest gets tight and when I say tight I mean tight… it feels like a sumo wrestler is sitting on my chest at times. Is this a withdrawal symptom??? Is it just my lungs healing?? Please help it would be so much appreciated and would let so much stress off my back thanks :)

12:18 pm February 2nd, 2015

Hi Taylor. Many smokers report shortness of breath upon quiting. This is because marijuana works as a brochialdialotor-it opens up your lungs for longer, allowing more oxygen to be taken in (similar to using an asthma inhaler). Now that you’ve stopped, your body thinks it’s not getting enough oxygen and this creates your shortness of breathe.

You can improve the condition with some regular exercise. Try doing big-breath exercises.

Saimithra
4:18 pm April 30th, 2015

Hi, I smoked for four years and almost 12 cigarettes per day. Recently I stopped. This is my starting of second week after quitting smoke.I’m facing fluctuations in blood pressure, its going high to 140/90. All my muscles are tend to be uncontrollable. Does these all are reasons or withdrawal symptoms or something else? Plz let me know.

Adam
4:31 am June 29th, 2015

Great article on nicotine addiction. Many people don’t realize that the addiction can be helped with hypnosis. There have been a lot of breakthrough using this.

Matt
2:37 am September 4th, 2015

A few years ago a friend of mine gave me a Camel Snus to try. I had tried dip before (once or twice) which gave me such a buzz I puked so I was nervous but he told me that they weren’t nearly as strong. I tried one and it gave me a slight buzz that wasn’t over the top.

A few months later I was working on a construction site and all of the workers were dipping and I was just standing around as an inspector so I decided to try the Snus again just for something to do. I did the Snus for about 3 months and quit without any problems whatsoever.

A couple years later (about a year ago) I decided to use it again because I was getting busy at work and, again, just something to do while I worked (I am a design engineer (desk job)). I did the Snus for about 8 months and got to the point where I was practically chaining them back to back, all day long (especially at work) (about 15-20 pouches a day or a little over a can a day).

Over the past July 4th weekend (9 weeks ago) I drank fairly heavily and wasn’t feeling great so I decided to stop using the Snus. I had quit no problem before and all I knew about nicotine withdrawal was that you could get a bad headache for a few days or whatever. Plus the Snus gave me such a little buzz I figured there wasn’t much nicotine in them. Boy was I wrong.

After a couple days of not being able to sleep at all, a tingly feeling over my entire body, anxiety (including a panic attack that laster all night one night), and very bad lightheaded feeling, I went to the ER. At this point I thought I had a major hangover or something. They gave me some fluids and I felt a little better but I knew that wasn’t the problem because I had been hydrating a lot. After another sleepless night and symptoms increasing I looked up symptoms of nicotine withdrawal after thinking that it was possibly from quitting the Snus. I had every symptom there was. I had already missed three days or work so I decided to try some gum and a patch, although, I was reluctant because I didn’t want to backtrack from any withdrawal I had already gone through (really wish I knew what I know now). I started using 8 mg of gum per day (4 2 mg pieces) and a 7 mg patch. I was able to go to work one day that week and slept a total of 5 hours for the entire week. The first week was absolutely insane.

I actually felt fairly good for a couple days after a couple days of using the gum (I quit the patch after two days because I felt it was giving me anxiety at night). But the relief was short and week 2 consisted of very bad lightheadedness/vertigo with some anxiety here and there. Week 2 I was on vacation so at least I wasn’t having to deal with work. During week 2 I took motion sickness medicine so I could eat while being so dizzy. Sleeping wasn’t as bad this week but I would wake up after about 4 hours needing gum.

Week 3 I had to return to work and this is when the anxiety really started to kick in. The dizzyness was also still really bad and I faked work all week. I would hide in a conference room twice a day for about an hour and call my mom just for some distraction. Mid-week I got an appointment with a doctor and he gave me some Klonopin (.5 mg) for the anxiety. I tried it a few times but was reluctant due to the horror stories I had researched regarding withdrawing from it. Still sleeping only 4 or 5 hours a night.

Week 4 had similar symptoms to week 3. Finally during week 4 I got in touch with a nicotine withdrawal councilor. That’s when I found out the amount of nicotine I was getting from the Snus was comparable to 4 packs of cigarettes per day. I had no idea. He told me that the Snus has a very delayed absorption into your body because it is a dry oral tobacco which is why it doesn’t give you a strong buzz but more of a drawn out, constant one. He told me that if I would have come to him before quitting, he would have had me starting with two 21 mg patches plus gum. At this point I am terrified because I had no idea that I was doing that much and that nicotine withdrawal could be this bad. I was traumatized.

During Week 4 I started to notice symptoms significantly increasing in the afternoon which the councilor said was understandable since when I was on the Snus, the afternoon was when my body had the most nicotine. In the afternoons my whole body seems to speed up which increases all of the symptoms (it’s my body craving the nicotine). It’s like an extreme version of the shakes. Dizzyness increases, anxiety increases, vision gets blurry, and concentration goes to hell. Still sleeping only 4 or 5 hours a night during week 4.

At the start of Week 5 I was having such bad anxiety that I went to the ER again. They gave me some Vistaril and Ativan to try which I did I decided I was going to take a Vistaril (25 mg) in the morning, 1mg of Ativan in the afternoon, and 1 mg of Ativan at night before bed. Although still dizzy, I felt pretty good that week (obviously with the meds). I could actually handle work and was starting to eat normal (I hadn’t been eating much cause anxiety makes me feel sick). I also started to sleep my normal 8 hours. Sometimes I am up and down for the last couple. The doctor also gave me wellbutrin to try but I took it for two days over that next weekend and the amphetamine boost it gave me increased the anxiety so I stopped taking it.

Week 6 my body started to get used to the Ativan because I started to not feel great in the mornings when I had no Ativan in me. So, I cut out the Vistaril and started taking 0.5 mg of Ativan at night and in the morning and 1 mg in the afternoon. That week the afternoon rush and dizzyness was minimal most days. The whole process has had a lot of ups and downs. I have really good days sometimes and really bad days sometimes.

Week 7 I’m getting worried about getting hooked to the Ativan so I decide to start tapering off. I took all three doses to 0.5 mg. Had full blown anxiety attacks on the 2nd and 3rd day ( in the morning after waking up) after dropping the Ativan. The dizziness also increased.

Week 8 I dropped the Ativan another 0.5 mg. 0.5 mg in the morning and 0.5 mg in the early afternoon. I had one bad afternoon rush the day after dropping the Ativan. I went three days like this but was extremely dizzy every morning and decided that it was probably because I was doing a whole mg by noon every day and then having nothing till I woke up. Needed something to keep a little in me more consistently, so I added back in 0.25 mg at night. This did the trick. At this point, I also decided to slow down the taper to 0.25 mg per week.

Week 9 (currently) I have maintained the same Ativan schedule because I feel like I’ve been messing with it too much. I will drop 0.25 mg this coming weekend. Although it’s slow as hell, my symptoms due seem to be getting better. Dizzyness definitely seems to be getting better. I get fairly dizzy if I go for a long walk and when I first wake up, but, during the day it is minimal and sometimes I don’t even notice it. The afternoon rush has seemed to weaken since I can withstand it more. Although, sometimes I have a bad day. Currently, the afternoon rush consists of a tense, agitated feeling and some blurred vision.

The whole process has been absolute hell. I had no idea how much nicotine I was doing and I had no idea nicotine withdrawal can be this crazy. These blogs are helpful to know that others have had these issues because most people I talk to just don’t understand. I’ve never had an issue with anxiety at all. In fact, I slept the entire night before defending my Master’s Thesis. But nicotine withdrawal sucks. Anxiety just pops out of nowhere, makes your heart pound, and freaks you out which adds to it. Dizzyness is terrifying cause it’s your brain. The ups and downs with the whole process never gives you a feeling of any consistency. The only consistent thing is that I always feel better at night. I want so bad to be back to my normal self. I haven’t had a drink with caffeine or alcohol since this all started. I haven’t been able to go out normally with my friends, although, the last few weeks I’ve at least been able to go see movies and do more relaxing things. Looks like I am in it for the long haul though and it could be a couple more months before I am feeling normal. I’m sure it will be many months before I can do any physical activity without getting dizzy.

Just thought I would share my story. Sorry it was so long. Any words of wisdom or advice to help get me through the next couple months, especially as I drop the Ativan would be much appreciated. I now have a much better understanding/respect for the nicotine addiction and I now sympathize with people going through withdrawal or who have anxiety issues.

For those starting the withdrawal process (who have it really bad like me) you’re going to feel hopeless at points but it will get better. It’s biology, it has to.

alisha
9:11 pm November 30th, 2015

I am on 6 days of not smoking and the cravings yesterday were very strong. I don’t want to go back to smoking. How can I stay away from it. I have smoked since I was 12 years old and I am 39 now. I’m afraid I will go back to it since it was such a big part of my life. What can I do not to?

2:05 pm December 2nd, 2015

Hello Alisha. It’s hard giving up nicotine, but you must stay strong to end this addiction. Have you considered visiting counseling sessions? I think they might be helpful. Also, here’s an article on nicotine withdrawal treatment, I hope you might find something useful: http://drug.addictionblog.org/nicotine-withdrawal-treatment/

chinju
10:08 am December 15th, 2015

I have quit smoking one month back. I have no craving for smoking but suffering a lot from physical pain.
have physical pain in my chest (tightness), muscle twitching in my chest, feeling feverish sometimes, hypertension, anxiety.
Already a month is over but the symptomps still persist. Visited all docs cardio, pulmo, psy. Taking medicine for hypertension, aspirin Please give some insight! when will this end? Please suggest some home remedies.

1:03 pm December 15th, 2015

Hello Chinju. Some symptoms may persist for weeks to months after you quit nicotine, and you will probably continue to feel urges and cravings to use nicotine for several more week or months. You can find more help using these national hotlines and talk to a tobacco cessation counselor: 1-877-44U-QUIT (1-877-448-7848) and 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669).
Also, check out this article explaining different approaches for nicotine withdrawal treatment.

Brian
7:38 am January 30th, 2016

Over the last year Ive been having moments of “mental fog” and tried so hard to figure out the cause. I was vaping 12-18mg solution maybe 10 times a day some days none some days 3 puffs. It was extremely leisure off/on and sometimes weeks without. Once i found out my mental fog was from nicotine, I took 20mg orally/day to get through my studies. starting vacation i cut down by vaping but decided to just stop completely after 2 weeks. Ive had no nicotine for 24 days now. I’ve never had a “craving” to take any, I’m just so mad because i can’t think and have exams coming up. I know this is the last symptom to go and have heard mental clarity should come back by weeks 3-4. Im very in-tune with my body and the slightest amount of brain fog is no good at all. Does anyone know how long I it will be until i can think clearly for longer than a 2-3hrs/day? or until this symptom is gone? Not “urges” or “cravings” bc i don’t have any desire to take nicotine at all.. I feel like it’s not much longer but i do take caffeine and ephedrine which amplifies the symptoms by a lot but I gotta get stuff done ya know? I’m also hoping it may decrease the withdrawal time by increasing my metabolic rate? I don’t know… I read an article which showed that nicotine receptor density paralleled that of nonsmokers only after 6 weeks of complete abstinence :( it can’t really take that long for mental clarity to return can it? this Sx of mental fog is from physical withdrawal so its got to right? ok well i can think now so I’m gonna study before i lose this window

Brian
11:59 pm February 6th, 2016

So i had an exam on feb. 1st and decided to chew a 1mg stick of gum and only ended up having anxiety halfway through.. So since Jan 5th I had no nicotine until Feb. 1st… now its feb 6th and I still can’t focus every now and again.. How long can it be until these moments of mental fog go away??

Neville
10:10 am March 9th, 2016

I quit smoking and I am having terrible pain in hands and feet, is there any meds or home remedies that I can take?

Des
12:43 am March 10th, 2016

After many failed attempts I believe I may have succeeded this time. Certainly this is my most successful attempt ever and I have tried to learn from the failures of the past so that I had things in place to overcome each hurdle as I hit them. What I have done may not be possible for everyone but I hope it helps a few.

Based on past experience in knew that my ‘wall’ was at around 5 or 6 weeks. Sometimes I would only get a few weeks into an attempt without hotting the wall simply because I knew it was coming. I am not sure, but am interested to know if anyone else has a similar cycle but for me, the first few weeks though difficult and challenging I can get through. A packet of strong mints and a lot of willpower would get me through the cravings. After a few weeks it would start to get better, more of a gap between cravings, quite oven a sense of euphoria at how well I was doing and then,, ‘The Wall’. The wall starts like a mild niggle in your brain, but it is incessant and grows stronger day after day until you quite literally start to feel like you are going mad and cannot string a coherent thought together. I have never made it past the wall until this last attempt as lifes’ pressures such as work commitments, family etc mean have meant I succumb as it feels like life is falling apart…. and I have just one cigarette,, and I feel better and normal again.

So, what did I do different this time? Like I said, not everyone can do this, I was in a fortunate position financially, in my relationships and at work.

1 – For two months before my quite date I took up some sport. In my case tennis. I had never played before but joined a local club, started to have some lessons and joined some of the club evenings as I got better and a bit fitter.

2 – I discussed at work that I was stopping smoking at the beginning of the year and wanted to look at options for a two month sabbatical. In the end we laid out a plan where I would have every Tuesday off, would start later in morning on every other day as I would be having a tennis lesson or game early each morning but most importantly that I could leave the office at any time I needed to if it was just getting to much. ( I was incredibly fortunate here and what was amazing was how my work colleagues and bosses supported me. In some ways that aided my will power,, I would have been embarrassed to have not given this attempt everything after they support they gave me).

3 – I set a weekly appointment with a psychologist who had dealt a lot with the ‘no hope smokers’ like me. Yep, some of you know what I mean… we are the ones that will smoke ourselves into the grave knowingly.

4 – With all that in place, and a few months of playing tennis and starting to feel fit and strong I stopped.

The first four weeks were challenging. I never needed to take any more than the Tuesdays off work. That day I filled with my stuff,, tennis , writing and some volunteer work with a local charity. My family and friends patience was stretched at times with my grumpynes and irrational mood swings. At times I started to ‘self medicate a bit… A bottle of vodka could disappear very quickly to ease the pain. I gave my wife a ‘your been an arsehole bell’ to ring ( literally) to snap me out of those moments.

And then,, just when it was starting to look really good, the cravings were easing, I was starting to feel normal again,,, The Wall. It started with a mild niggle on a Friday by the Monday it was an incessant roar. I messaged work with a simple message,, I am out and can’t say when I will be back. I went to the living room, closed the door, put on the TV and apart from a trip to the tennis courts in mornings and evenings that gave my brain a holiday of sorts, lay there for a week shaking. But,, at no point during that time was there a danger that I would have a cigarette,, my support network was behind me,, I didn’t need to worry about life the universe or anything. It was going to tick along without me. Sometime on Friday, a week after the niggle began, I fell into a delirious sleep filled with bizarre dreams,, woke up 10 hours later and like a fever breaking, it was over.

That was about two weeks ago. As it stands now I have gone from a 34inch waste to a 31inch and I have a back hand to rival Djockovich. Those tennis balls took a hammering over the last 8 weeks.

Des
12:52 am March 10th, 2016

Hmnnn,, noted I posted here in March 2013,,, better be on my guard still,, maybe not out of the woods yet. ( This is a bit like groundhog day) :-)

Amelia
1:42 pm May 4th, 2016

Hi, I smoked for 37 years. During the last 10 years i have quit once or twice a year, the longest time was 10 months. Usually a few months, sometimes 6 or 7 . The biggest hurdle for me is anxiety and depression. Last time i cried for 6 months non-stop and had to start smoking again , just so i could function. This time i hope will be different. I had a heart episode (taccyardia and was so frightened that i stopped smoking. ) I bought myself a vape pipe and have been using it to give myself a long enough cigarette free time and then plan to quit vaping too. I am at 2 weeks and 4 days today. I’m feeling incredibly anxious – like a high feeling- but it’s unpleasant. I feel over-excited and unable to function. My sleeping is normal ,but my digestion is up the creek. My skin has broken out in spots, i have a sore chest, but my teeth are fine. I keep feeling waves of depression, but it’s bearable at the moment. I just want some encouragement to keep going and some tips on keeping going. Can’t work out if the vape pipe is a good idea or not, maybe it’s just keeping the withdrawels going?

Safiys
11:51 pm May 9th, 2016

Hi its day 29 for me. I feel dizzy fingers tingly. Indigestion, pain in chest and shoulders occasionally.

Saurab
11:12 am June 5th, 2016

Hi. I feel tightness around my neck and inside of my neck. Got it checked up with ENT but nothing came up. It has been 6 months since I quit and still I m undergoing this situation.what should I do?

Ajay
1:34 pm July 18th, 2016

Hello,
i was chewing tobacco and Gutkha from last 8 year,
am decided to quite all. now am on 22nd day but nicotine just cant able to drop me, keep asking for chewing

am controlling this via nicotine 2mg chewing gums

let me know if any suggestion or how much days i will have this filling

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