If you have decided to quit smoking, you are likely to experience something called “nicotine withdrawal.”
Nicotine withdrawal is a very unpleasant experience, and not something many people want to go through.
Sometimes, it gets so bad that people give up on quitting smoking. Which, if you really do want to quit, is something you want to avoid.
In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about nicotine withdrawal, such as when it peaks, what the symptoms are, and more.
This will prepare you with all the necessary information to keep you on track to quitting.
So, if this is of interest to you, then read on for more!
What Is Nicotine Withdrawal?
Nicotine is a drug that makes smoking cigarettes so addictive. It has many effects on your brain. Let’s check them out below!
- Reduces appetite
- Reduces irritability
- Reduces depression
- Boosts your mood
- Enhances your short-term memory
- Enhances concentration
- Creates a sense of well-being
Nicotine is just as addictive as cocaine, morphine, and alcohol. So, nicotine withdrawal is a series of symptoms people experience when they are not getting the amount of nicotine their body is accustomed to.
On top of this, nicotine contains around 70 carcinogens. These can result in diseases related to smoking, like stroke, heart disease, and lung cancer.
As a result, many people try to quit smoking, but the nicotine withdrawal they experience makes it too difficult.
What Are The Symptoms Associated With Nicotine Withdrawal?
Nicotine withdrawal symptoms can start within half an hour of your most recent use of tobacco. This depends on how addicted you are to nicotine and does not apply to everyone.
The severity of your symptoms will depend on your daily use of tobacco and how long you have been using it for in your lifetime.
Some of the nicotine withdrawal symptoms are:
- Gas and constipation
- Abdominal cramping
- Feeling nauseous
- Craving for nicotine that can be very intense
- Tingling in both your feet and hands
- Sore throat
- Weight gain
- Concentration issues
Additionally, if you are using chewing tobacco, then your withdrawal symptoms will look a little like this:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Weight gain
- Increased appetite
- Resteleeness / jumpiness
- Concentration issues
- Depressed mood
- Reduced heart rate
When Does Nicotine Withdrawal Peak?
Nicotine withdrawal typically peaks around two to three days after quitting.
Receptors in your brain will cause the craving for nicotine. They are increased as a result of your previous usage of nicotine, and they will be the reason that you want to continue smoking.
When you ignore these receptors, you will experience withdrawal symptoms.
If you continue to ignore them, they will start to disappear, and will totally go away within two weeks to one month after they start.
However, it is important to note that while this is true of most people, some may still experience nicotine withdrawal for many months after they quit smoking.
What Treatments Are There For Nicotine Withdrawal?
Once you choose to quit smoking, you should speak to your doctor or a medical professional to discuss nicotine withdrawal and the ways in which you can deal with it.
Sometimes, doctors will offer a medical prescription or information detailing any support groups you can attend.
There are many different options for treatment available regarding nicotine withdrawal. They are:
- Inhalers and nasal sprays as part of a prescription nicotine replacement
- Skin patches and nicotine gum as part of Over-the-counter nicotine replacement
You can also have treatments that do not contain any nicotine, such as Zyban or Chantix.
While nicotine replacement therapy products are indeed helpful, this help is limited.
You will still experience some withdrawal symptoms, and, if you have an emotional connection to smoking, nicotine replacement therapy cannot remove that.
What Are The Cons Of Nicotine Replacement Therapy?
The main disadvantages of nicotine replacement therapy come from the side effects. Some of the main side effects would be:
- Sleep issues
Unfortunately, the side effects usually outweigh any pros of nicotine replacement therapy, according to many studies.
There have been many reports of a rise in blood pressure when it comes to nicotine replacement therapy.
Some reports state that many people have experienced heart attacks while having a nicotine patch and smoking simultaneously.
Although, the rise in blood pressure comes from an increased nicotine from the use of both.
If you were to only use the nicotine patches in a correct manner, then a blood pressure increase is very unlikely.
What Can Trigger You To Want To Smoke Again?
Aside from nicotine withdrawal, there are other factors that can make you want to smoke again. These are:
- Driving or being a passenger in a car
- Coffee and tea
- Spending time with other smokers
- Chatting on the phone
It is a good idea to identify your personal triggers and try to avoid them or work around them. Many people have found it beneficial to find ways to relax, such as:
- Getting a new hobby
- Going for a walk
- Chatting in person to family and friends
- Listening to music
- Engage in moderate physical activity
- Chew on gum, hard candy, or carrots as a curb for long-term tobacco cravings
Quitting smoking for good is not an easy thing to do, thanks to the nicotine withdrawal symptoms you can experience.
Depending on how often you smoke and how long you have smoked for, nicotine withdrawal can start as early as half an hour after your last cigarette, and will typically peak at around two to three days in.
They will usually cease at around two weeks to one month after you quit smoking.
There are many treatments you can have to help you with nicotine withdrawal symptoms. There are also many things you can do to help curb the cravings for smoking.
If you are planning to quit, then you should consult a doctor on the best way to do this successfully.
You should also contact a medical professional for support if you are planning to quit smoking but suffer with mental health issues, such as depression.
We hope this article tells you everything you need to know about when nicotine withdrawal peaks.
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