When you quit smoking, it’s hard to get through those initial withdrawal symptoms. The good news, however, is that physical withdrawal to nicotine is only temporary. Symptoms usually peak about 3-4 days after you smoke your last cigarette but after the first week, withdrawal symptoms begin to subside. The longer you have smoked, the longer your symptoms may last.

In addition to nicotine withdrawal, you may find other aspects of quitting difficult, especially if you have been smoking for a long time. Anger, irritability, anxiety, depression and weight gain are common complaints after quitting.

Here are 5 things you can do to deal with these symptoms so you quit for the very last time.

1

Avoid Triggers

There are often certain places, activities or times that you associate with smoking. Identify your triggers and try to avoid them. If you can’t avoid them, find ways to distract yourself so you don’t smoke when you’re around those triggers.

2

Use Smoking Cessation Aids

Over-the-counter and prescription aids, including nicotine gum, lozenges, patches and inhalers, allow you to slowly reduce the amount of nicotine you use. Doing so helps avoid the physical withdrawal symptoms of quitting “cold turkey.”

3

Find Substitutes

Chew on gum or pop a hard candy in your mouth when cravings occur. Try carrots, apples or celery if you need to crunch.

4

Manage Stress

Many people turn to cigarettes when they’re stressed, so finding other ways to manage stress can keep you from picking up another cigarette. Craving nicotine can also increase stress levels. Practice deep breathing exercises, take a walk, spend a few minutes reading or meditate.

5

Exercise

By including more physical activity in your day, you may boost endorphins and sleep better. This can help improve your mood. You’ll also start to notice you’re breathing easier and have more energy and stamina over time, giving you the push you need to keep going.

Call the New York State Smokers’ Quitline.
1-866-NY-QUITS (1-866-697-8487)

Copyright 2017 © Baldwin Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.
Health eCooking® is a registered trademark of Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Cook eKitchen™ is a designated trademark of Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein without the express approval of Baldwin Publishing, Inc. is strictly prohibited.

Date Last Reviewed: August 11, 2017

Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor

Medical Review: Perry Pitkow, MD

Learn more about Baldwin Publishing Inc. editorial policyprivacy policy and sponsorship policy.

No information provided by Baldwin Publishing, Inc. in any article is a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical condition. Baldwin Publishing, Inc. strongly suggests that you use this information in consultation with your doctor or other health professional. Use or viewing of any Baldwin Publishing, Inc. article signifies your understanding and agreement to the disclaimer and acceptance of these terms of use.

When you quit smoking, it’s hard to get through those initial withdrawal symptoms. The good news, however, is that physical withdrawal to nicotine is only temporary. Symptoms usually peak about 3-4 days after you smoke your last cigarette but after the first week, withdrawal symptoms begin to subside. The longer you have smoked, the longer your symptoms may last.

In addition to nicotine withdrawal, you may find other aspects of quitting difficult, especially if you have been smoking for a long time. Anger, irritability, anxiety, depression and weight gain are common complaints after quitting.

Here are 5 things you can do to deal with these symptoms so you quit for the very last time.

1

Avoid Triggers

There are often certain places, activities or times that you associate with smoking. Identify your triggers and try to avoid them. If you can’t avoid them, find ways to distract yourself so you don’t smoke when you’re around those triggers.

2

Use Smoking Cessation Aids

Over-the-counter and prescription aids, including nicotine gum, lozenges, patches and inhalers, allow you to slowly reduce the amount of nicotine you use. Doing so helps avoid the physical withdrawal symptoms of quitting “cold turkey.”

4

Manage Stress

Many people turn to cigarettes when they’re stressed, so finding other ways to manage stress can keep you from picking up another cigarette. Craving nicotine can also increase stress levels. Practice deep breathing exercises, take a walk, spend a few minutes reading or meditate.

5

Exercise

By including more physical activity in your day, you may boost endorphins and sleep better. This can help improve your mood. You’ll also start to notice you’re breathing easier and have more energy and stamina over time, giving you the push you need to keep going.

Call the New York State Smokers’ Quitline.
1-866-NY-QUITS (1-866-697-8487)

Call the New York State Smokers’ Quitline.
1-866-NY-QUITS
(1-866-697-8487)

Copyright 2017 © Baldwin Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.
Health eCooking® is a registered trademark of Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Cook eKitchen™ is a designated trademark of Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein without the express approval of Baldwin Publishing, Inc. is strictly prohibited.

Date Last Reviewed: August 11, 2017

Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor

Medical Review: Perry Pitkow, MD

Learn more about Baldwin Publishing Inc. editorial policyprivacy policy and sponsorship policy.

No information provided by Baldwin Publishing, Inc. in any article is a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical condition. Baldwin Publishing, Inc. strongly suggests that you use this information in consultation with your doctor or other health professional. Use or viewing of any Baldwin Publishing, Inc. article signifies your understanding and agreement to the disclaimer and acceptance of these terms of use.