What to Expect When You Quit Smoking

What to Expect When You Quit Smoking

If you are trying to decide whether or not to quit smoking or how to go about it, you may be wavering in your decision because you don’t know what to expect. What is withdrawal like? Not knowing may make it harder to make the decision to quit.
Here are some suggestions as to what you can expect when you begin to quit, and how to anticipate them and possibly make them easier to deal with. The good thing is, withdrawal symptoms are temporary.

  1. Physical

The physical symptoms of cigarette withdrawal can be mild in some people and tough in others. Some physical changes you may experience include:

  • Nausea – Many smokers like to have a cigarette after meals. Your digestive organs have gotten used to this stimulation, and will “rebel” when you quit. Try to have some ginger root tea at the end of your meal instead, or chew on candied ginger root. Ginger is reputed to relieve nausea, and drinking or chewing will help occupy your mouth.
  • Abdominal cramps or pain – Like nausea, your other digestive organs have been affected by cigarettes. This may result in pain and cramping. To deal with this, you might try taking cramp bark supplements, or tea made from fennel seeds.
  • Bad taste in your mouth – As your sense of taste recovers, your mouth may taste weird or nasty to you. Drinking lots of fluids is helpful, and watered-down fruit juice, smoothies, or vegetable juices may help flush out the bad taste. You can also go for some sugarless gum; however, it’s still a good idea to increase fluid intake anyway, as this is said to help the body flush out toxins.
  • Sleep disturbances – Whether it’s insomnia or a feeling of grogginess that makes you want to sleep all the time, sleep disturbances can accompany nicotine withdrawal. Sources say that you should avoid caffeine when quitting smoking (caffeine is said to make cigarettes taste better and thus enhances cravings). You could try a good multi-vitamin and mineral supplement to boost your energy, as well as healthy juices and energizing smoothies. If you are having trouble sleeping, you could try sleep-promoting herbs like chamomile or valerian root, or see your doctor.
  • Cold-like symptoms – As your lungs, throat, and trachea begin to heal, you may experience symptoms that are something like a cold. You may cough, sneeze, and cough up phlegm, and your chest and throat may feel irritated.
  1. Emotional

Anger and irritability are said to accompany many smokers’ quitting efforts. You may feel irrationally annoyed, or find yourself snapping and yelling at people without meaning to. You may feel very impatient.

To keep the peace with those around you, try to find constructive ways to release your anger. Although you may be a bear right now, ultimately you are doing your loved ones a favor by quitting.

You may also find yourself feeling depressed and/or worried about the future. Try to remember this is temporary, and seek therapy if you need to.

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