How to Cope with Nicotine Withdrawal Symptoms

You will need to learn how to cope with nicotine withdrawal symptoms that you will face when you quit smoking, no doubts about that however you may be one of the few smokers that quit without nicotine cravings.

Nicotine withdrawal symptoms can include any or all of the following symptoms:

  • Anxiety.
  • Constipation or diarrhea.
  • Coughing, dry mouth, sore throat, sore tongue.
  • Depression.
  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • Fatigue, drowsiness, and insomnia.
  • Headaches, postnasal drips.
  • Nausea.
  • Irritability.
  • Increased appetite and hunger, desire for sweet stuff.
  • Tightness in the chest.
  • Tobacco cravings.

Here are some tips on how to cope with nicotine withdrawal symptoms that you may find useful. The first few days after you quit smoking can be the hardest and challenging with the most problematic being cravings for nicotine.

Few smokers (you are not alone) quit without getting nicotine cravings and to succeed, you must learn how to cope with nicotine withdrawal symptoms first.  Make a list of situations which will likely trigger you to smoke. 

Your list may include but not necessary restricted to the following:

  • With your morning coffee and reading the papers.
  • On the way to work.
  • During tea break at work.
  • After a meal.
  • Whilst watching television.
  • Socialising with friends at a party, in a pub, bar with alcohol involved.
  • When you are feeling stressed.
  • When you are feeling bored.

So what are you going to do when you get the craving to smoke in those situations above? You need come up with an alternative action that will take your mind of the normal action of reaching for a cigarette. Cravings for nicotine only last a few minutes, however your sense of time during this period may seem like hours or forever.

However, once your brain realise that your body is not going to get any nicotine during this period of time, your cravings will gradually disappear. The first few days will be the most difficult, learning how to cope with nicotine withdrawal symptoms but quitting is not an impossible task, each time you resist an urge to smoke, your confidence will build and the next time round will be easier.

If you feel the urge to smoke or if you need ideas for activities to keep you busy and your mind off of smoking, here are some tips on how to cope with nicotine withdrawal symptoms:

  • Take a few deep breaths. Breathe in slowly through the nose and fill your lungs, then breathe out again slowly through the mouth.
  • Stimulating drinks such as coffee, tea or alcohol should be avoided, try drinking juice with your breakfast.
  • If you smoke while watching television or reading, prepare some pieces of fruit or vegetable sticks in advance to snack on.
  • Drink ice water, add a slice of lemon to it. Sip it slowly and try to savour the taste. This will also help to satisfy any increased appetite.
  • If you tend to smoke when stressed, try going for a walk or jog instead, or try doing some housework, an alternative to smoking and getting more things accomplished.
  • Take up a new hobby, preferably one that will keep your hands busy.
  • Keep your mouth busy too. Chew on some sugarless gum, toothpick. If you have a partner, start kissing and enjoy the freshness of a kiss without the smoker’s cigarette breath.
  • Join the gym, go bowling, join dance classes.

I hope the tips on how to cope with nicotine withdrawal symptoms above can help you in your quest for a smoke free life. However if for any reasons you are depressed and your depression doesn’t go away, take it seriously and consult your doctor.

If you cannot really live without nicotine but would like to give up cigarette smoking for one reason or another, you may want to check out the benefits of electronic smokeless cigarettes where you can still get your nicotine kick without all the smoke.