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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Symptoms Of Nicotine Withdrawal

Posted by patrick

By Barb Hicks

Ask anyone who smokes and they will tell you it is a hard habit to break. It is very interesting to note that nicotine is more addictive than harsher drugs such as cocaine or heroin. However, although the symptoms of withdrawal vary quite differently, quitting smoking can still be a very harrowing and nerve racking endeavor.

Nicotine is found in all tobacco products, as well as thousands of other chemicals and toxins contained in cigarettes. The good news is that the withdrawal symptoms are temporary and peak after two days. Your body begins a healing process within thirty minutes of quitting smoking. If you can just stick with it, your risks of heart attack and other conditions associated with smoking are significantly reduced and can add years to your life.

Withdrawal symptoms include:

Nicotine cravings Tension Irritability Headaches Inability to concentrate Drowsiness Sleeping difficulties Increased appetite Weight gain Depression

The above symptoms can be made to be less intense if you try switching to cigarettes with less tar as well as cutting back on how many cigarettes you smoke in a day. It is very important to remember that there is no such thing as a "safe" cigarette. Just because it contains less tar or nicotine does not necessarily mean your body isn't receiving the same toxins, especially if you smoke more of these cigarettes to compensate for the amount your body used to receive with the regular cigarettes.

How to cope:

There are ways for coping with nicotine withdrawal. Nicotine replacement therapy such as gum or patch can be useful. Other methods include medications such as clonidine, antidepressants such as fluoxetine (Prozac), and buspirone (Buspar). The use of these agents may increase the likelihood of successfully quitting cigarettes. These medications do not cause an added addiction to them, and are helpful in dealing with the cravings for nicotine.

Many people become discouraged when their first attempt to quit smoking ends in failure. However, it is very important that you keep trying. Research suggests that the more attempts made to quit smoking, the more likely you will eventually succeed. So, keep pushing ahead and know that you will beat the smoking habit.

Coping strategies are very important in the journey to quit smoking. Te symptoms are only temporary, so having a good solid plan in place is imperative.


Weight gain is by far the most complained about complication of quitting smoking. You must remember that you should anticipate both food and nicotine cravings. To combat these effects, try increasing your physical activity as well as supplementing a healthy diet along with fresh fruit and vegetable sticks for snacks.

Get in contact with your health care provider who can help you with ways to give up the cigarette habit. You will find that your senses of taste and smell will return to normal, your lung capacity will increase, which will enable you to increase your physical endurance. Increasing your exercise will burn more calories, keeping off the weight gain that can occur while quitting smoking and dealing with the withdrawal symptoms.

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