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Quitting Smoking & Withdrawal Symptoms

Not everyone who quits smoking experiences withdrawal symptoms. If you do experience these symptoms they could last a few minutes to a few weeks. So prepare yourself to deal with withdrawal symptoms. The chart below contains a few tips on coping with withdrawal symptoms, or you can contact your health care professional for more information. Also, if you have any questions or concerns about your own withdrawal symptoms, please call your doctor.

What type of withdrawal symptoms might I experience when I quit smoking?

Symptoms Why It Happens What You Can Do
  • Irritable
  • Nervous
  • Anxious
  • Grumpy
  • There is not enough nicotine in your blood.
  • Relax - you are trying something new.
  • Be  physically active and get plenty of rest.
  • Avoid stressful situations if possible.
  • Talk to your pharmacist about nicotine replacement therapy.
  • Unable to concentrate
  • Lack of co-ordination
  • Carbon Monoxide and nicotine are no longer in your blood stream.
  • Deep breathing.
  • Don't expect so much of yourself so soon.
  • Light-headed
  • Dizzy
  • More oxygen is in your blood due to less carbon monoxide.
  • This feeling will pass, sit down and take it easy.
  • Lack of energy
  • Sleepy
  • Weak
  • Nicotine is a stimulant. Now that you are not getting it, you may feel weak.
  • Participating in physical activity can increase your energy level.
  • Problems sleeping
  • Your body may need more sleep or not as much as before.
  • Participating in physical activity can help you sleep.
  • Unwind before going to bed.
  • Increased coughing
  • The excess mucus and tar in your lungs is clearing out.
  • Realize that this is your body's way of clearing itself. This will eventually go away.
  • Constipation
  • Your intestines are not moving as fast as they used to.
  • Headache
  • Your blood is circulating better which may cause a headache due to more blood going to the brain.
  • Lie down and relax.

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What changes will my body go through when I quit smoking?

When you quit smoking your body begins the repair process even within 8 hours from your last cigarette. You may find that you feel great immediately, or you may find that you’re not feeling as great as you thought you would. However, it doesn’t take long before you recognize the positive signs of recovery.

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