How To Cope With Nicotine Withdrawal Symptoms

What Are Nicotine Withdrawal Symptoms?

Nicotine Withdrawal Symptoms are intense feelings of discomfort that are caused by depriving your body of a regular supply of nicotine.

Withdrawal symptoms vary from person to person but can include:

  • anxiety
  • hunger
  • headaches
  • irritability
  • impaired concentration
  • disturbed sleep
  • an intense craving for tobacco


Although the discomfort can be quite agonizing, the good news is that they typically only last for a few minutes at a time so if you can hold out for this relatively short period of time, the discomfort will pass.

When you first stop smoking, withdrawal symptoms will manifest regularly, peaking between 12 and 24 hours after quitting. After your first 24 hours of becoming a non-smoker, these symptoms will gradually become less regular until they eventually disappear completely.

Understanding the above information about withdrawal symptoms will help you to recognize when you are experiencing them, however it is also useful to know what you can do to ease the discomfort that they cause.

Coping With Nicotine Withdrawal Symptoms

The most important thing to realize when you are suffering from nicotine withdrawal is that the discomfort WILL pass quickly. Despite the intense urges, you only need withstand the craving for tobacco for around 5 minutes before you begin to feel normal again.

In addition, each time you resist the urge to smoke, you win a small battle and each subsequent urge will become slightly easier until you no longer feel any discomfort from tobacco withdrawal at all.

Overcoming the cravings associated with stopping smoking is perhaps the most difficult part of becoming an ex-smoker, and so there are a number of techniques that you can use to resist the urges, including:

  • Reviewing Your Reasons
    It is advisable to write a list of your own personal reasons for quitting smoking that you can refer back to during particularly difficult times. This can help to focus your mind and provide motivation.
  • Write About Your Feelings
    Some people find that writing about their feelings, whilst suffering with withdrawal symptoms can provide an outlet for their frustrations. Members enrolled on our free Stop Smoking Program are provided with a personal diary to record their thoughts.
  • Breathe
    Some people find that closing their eyes and taking deep breaths for a few minutes help them to achieve a more relaxed state of mind that makes coping with the cravings easier to overcome.
  • Healthy Snacks
    Having a healthy snack within easy reach can keep your hands and mouth occupied with something healthy when you are feeling the urge to smoke.
  • Get Support
    Overcoming a craving can be made easier if you have someone to talk to who understands what you are going through. This could be a friend , relative or colleague that used to smoke. If you don’t know anyone that can provide support our Quit Smoking Program provides the facility to chat to other ex-smokers who are going through or have gone through the same process as well as providing Live Help from a team of experts.
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