Quitting smoking: Coping with cravings and withdrawal

Introduction

It’s not easy to quit smoking. The nicotine in cigarettes is addicting. Your body craves it because it makes you feel good.

So when you try to stop smoking, you go through nicotine withdrawal. You feel awful, and you may worry about gaining weight. You get cranky and anxious. It can be hard to sleep.

You’re not the only one. Most people feel bad when they try to quit. The hardest part is not reaching for a smoke to feel better. Use the tips in this Actionset to help you cope. The information also applies if you use chew or snuff.

Key points

  • Symptoms of nicotine withdrawal are worst within the first few days after you quit. They may last a few weeks. Some people crave cigarettes for months.
  • Medicines can help you feel better and make it more likely that you won’t start smoking again.
  • Exercise, healthy eating, counseling, and support groups also may help.

Talk with your doctor

If you have questions about this information, print it out and take it with you when you visit your doctor.

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