I would say it’s virtually impossible to avoid the side effects of withdrawal all together. With some methods you can prolong the effects, but you can’t avoid them forever.
Eventually you’ll have to face them head-on (but not all of them if you switch to vaping), so why not get it over with?
Why keep feeding your body the drug it’s addicted to? It doesn’t make sense.
Some days will be easy, and some will be tough. But none of it is impossible to get through. You may not notice any symptoms at all some days, and then a week down the road, it may hit you like a brick.
Everyone is different, and every quit experience is different. Nicotine remains in the blood for 3 weeks, but during those 3 weeks, anything can happen.
Don’t be fooled because you aren’t feeling anything. That is how addiction gets you. It creeps up on you.
You need to focus hard every single minute. Forget about focusing, and that’s precisely when you’re caught off guard, resulting in a relapse.
Just because the last two days were terrific and you didn’t feel a thing, doesn’t mean tomorrow won’t be the worst day yet. It’s quite possible it might be. Never assume anything.
Remember, the hardest part will only last a few days (technically, but not always), and nicotine will definitely be completely gone from your body in 3 weeks, give or take a few days.
You will literally be a crazy person, scheming left and right about smoking, and how to sneak just one cigarette while nobody notices.
You may be fine all day long, but as the night progresses, it gets worse. You may be completely convinced to smoke, even though earlier in the day you were totally against it.
That’s how hard addiction strikes.
Let’s take a look at some of the symptoms so you know what to expect as soon as you quit:
BLURRY VISION – This is definitely something you will encounter on Day 1 of quitting. You will be glassy-eyed, and car’s headlights may seem brighter than usual. Trees may look different, and you might lose focus at times.
Your eyes will get dry.
I’ve had people at work ask me if I was OK, because I looked all glassy-eyed to them. Of course I would say I had a late night and stayed up too long.
You’ll encounter a loss of balance, too. I’m not saying you’re going to fall over, just that at times, you may take a wrong step or look at something the wrong way. This is common, and it will go away over time. It’s really nothing to worry about.
More discussion on blurry vision.
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MOUTH WATERING – If you’re a pack a day smoker, you’ve been orally feeding your mouth 1000’s of chemicals for many years.
Suddenly you stop, and your mouth can’t help but to salivate. It’s like eating potato chips. You can’t eat just one. And if you do, your mouth is going to salivate for another one. Same situation here.
On top of that, you may get a metallic taste in your mouth, and your teeth might exude some minor pain.
These things aren’t anything too terrible, but they are precisely the reason many people turn to food. There is an oral fixation void that needs to be filled.
It’s OK to eat, though. Don’t think for one second that you should avoid eating to stay thin.
That doesn’t mean you have to eat all day long. Chewing gum is a good option. Drinking water, juices, and simply taking a nap to get through it are also good options.
Don’t believe the myth that you have to pig-out to successfully quit. It’s not true at all.
Also, don’t believe the myth that you will gain enormous weight when you quit, because in reality, you’ll have more energy, and that will drive you to be more active in your everyday life. You’ll burn calories naturally.
MOOD SWINGS – You’re going to be mad, you’re going to be upset about something, and you won’t be a happy camper. You should expect that.
If you have to work, something is bound to happen ironically that changes your mood in an instant. You’ll be more stressed out than usual.
You may be obsessing with smoking thoughts so much that anything else going on in your life will make you angry, as if you can’t cope. That is what your addiction wants you to believe, so don’t believe any of it.
Everything will pass over time.
This is where music comes into play. If you’re going to be thinking negative thoughts all day, which is common, why not try and fill those thoughts with inspirational music?
Go into iTunes and make a playlist out of your favorite music. Listen to it all day if you can. The more positive thoughts, the less space for negative ones.
It really does help.
Music is an imperative tool to use to fight addiction.
SWEATING – You’re going to be filled with thoughts about coping with the rest of the day without another cigarette. Those nervous thoughts are going to make you perspire, or sweat.
You’ll worry about the future.
Although this is nothing to be concerned about, as it passes after Day 1 or 2, it might be a good idea to dress accordingly.
I’ve made the mistake at work before and didn’t wear an undershirt, and to be rather blunt, I was a sweaty mess all day and I was embarrassed.
If you’re constantly worried about what the next 30 minutes will be like, you’re bound to sweat. Not a huge deal, just expect it to happen.
Wear an undershirt if you have to work.
TIGHT CHEST – For me, this happens almost 99% of the time at the beginning of quitting smoking.
For some reason, at the end of the day, I get real bloated, and that affects my lungs, almost to a swollen point, which causes tightness in my chest, making it difficult to breathe. This is a common symptom, so if it happens to you, you’re not alone.
It’s your body responding to not getting any nicotine. It’s reacting negatively. It’s shutting down.
Why do I get bloated?
Not precisely sure, but I’m sure it has to do directly with how much food I’ve eaten all day. If I’ve gorged on food all day long, then there is a very high chance I will be bloated at night, and that will impair my breathing.
It also seems to occur when I haven’t eaten that much, thought not nearly as debilitating.
I would even go as far to say that it’s the amount of food eaten at night on Day 1 (or Day 2) that determines the amount of bloating and tightness in my chest.
I would advise eating a lot during the day, and then taking a break at night, rather than stuffing your face all day long. You’ll regret it.
This happened to me every single time I quit smoking cold turkey. Every single time.
It was that difficult.
However, you can avoid this side effect of quitting smoking all together by switching to vaping. You won’t get bloated then.
Perhaps it’s the other chemicals in cigarettes, not nicotine, that are causing your body to shut down and make breathing more difficult.
It’s something to think about.
I smoked for almost 33 years and decided to finally quit shortly after my 48th birthday. Granted, I’m using a Juul but I feel so much better and can take big, deep breaths with ease now. However, as I just completed my 3rd month of being cigarette-free, an odd thing is happening. I suddenly noticed the constant smell of smoke enveloping my head. It’s as if there’s smoke trapped in my hair… but I haven’t been anywhere near cigarettes. I’m also getting the sensation of tightness in my upper chest, similar to how I used to feel after binge smoking. It makes my brain think that I can’t breathe deeply. However, when I take deep breaths, I do so with ease like never before. It’s very counterintuitive. Are these phantom symptoms or is it possible that my lungs are finally expelling the buildup of toxins in my system and it’s causing the smell of smoke in my nasal passages? Has anyone else experienced this side effect? Thanks in advance for any responses!
Yes, and It is starting to really bother me.I smell smoke on a daily basis altho no where near smoking.Even outdoors.Like I cant get a fresh breath of air.
Jill TIMBERLAKE says
Day 14 not a puff! My mouth tastes disgusting and feels like it’s burnt! Just hope it feels better soon. It makes me want to eat something just to get rid of the awful taste. Good luck everyone, hang on in there!
Brian Paul says
I’m almost on day 60 and I can honestly say for me it’s not getting any better. It’s starting to scare me.
The tight chest and bloating.
Every night. For 2 months. I can’t exercise without being out of breath 5 minutes in. I used to be very active every day all day and now that I quit smoking, I haven’t went to the skatepark, I haven’t worked out with my girlfriend, I lost my job because I couldn’t preform. My life is horrible right now. when I’ll it ever get better.
Well you can’t honestly think going back to smoking will make you feel better. How could it? It’s killing you. The reason it is taking so long cuz your body is healing itself. How long were you a smoker? If for a long time, then it’s going to take longer to get back to normal than someone who just smoked for 1 year.
Gotta keep pushing! Eat good foods. Do things that make you happy. Concentrate on feeling good, and it will speed up the process.
Day 19, same symptoms
Sandi Jones says
I’m barely on day 5. First few days all I did was sleep all day, and eat alot. It’s slowly getting better. Cravings are going way down, and anxiety is definitely going away. I just try to stay focused on other things and not think about smoking at all. It’s hard though, been a smoker for almost 35 years… God’s luck everyone!
Roushan Jha says
First of all, I feel proud of myself that I quit smoking. It had been 8 years, when I had started smoking.
It’s my 3 weeks plus, I haven’t smoked since then.
It was damn difficult, story for the next time.
But my current situation is:
1. I get watery mouth, a lot.
2. Want to eat so much, it feels like, I have not eaten for a long time.
3. Still has craving, want to smoke, but now it’s easily controllable and less painful.
4. Several other symptoms are there, don’t know, how long it will take me to fully get recovered.
MY ADDICTION FOR SMOKNG WAS IN LINE WITH GAMBLING AND I QUIT THEM BOTH AT THE SAME TIME FOR ME AND MY FAMILY. I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO THE SAVINGS FOR SURE, BUT ANYWAY IT HAS BEEN 2 WEEKS FOR ME SINCE I QUIT AND THE BIGGEST SYMPTOM FOR ME IS THE NASTY DIRTY ASH TRAY ROTTING TASTE IN MY MOUTH. WHEN WILL THIS GO AWAY OR IS BECAUSE OF TOOTH DECAY FROM SMOKING?
I’m on day 14 and I’m Dribbling spitting when I talk it’s ok at home but I work in a very busy coffee shop and I was so embarrassed today kept spitting on customers.
I have health anxiety and 12 days of not smoking all I can do is focus on every symptom I have and it’s making me sick. I don’t know how to turn off my mind about this. Other people quit and go on with the day but my feelings are making me not function well at all. I don’t leave the house and don’t want to see anybody. Help!
You just gotta keep going! I have anxiety, too, but I certainly don’t let it ruin my life. Concentrate on how good you feel underneath all that, and your goals and accomplishments.
It has been almost 4 months since i Quit. I used NICOTINE patches for two months.
Anytime i thought i wanted a cigarette i’d think hard about how long I’d gone Without smoking and HOW LONG it took me to mentally get prepared to Quit. I didn’t want to have to go through that scenario again!!! Hang in there. Be strong! You’re worth it and you can do it!
Sylvia Williams says
go to a healthcare professional and get some mild non-addictive sedatives.