A man in a blue hoodie is holding his hands over his face as he suffers from nicotine withdrawal symptoms

Nicotine Withdrawal Symptoms

Nicotine is highly addictive as millions of people across the country know from first-hand experience. While nicotine is found in legal tobacco products sold in corner stores everywhere, it’s as addictive as illegal drugs like cocaine and heroin. When nicotine enters your body, it affects many areas of your body. Nicotine enters your heart and blood vessels and can cause unwanted changes in your hormones, brain, and metabolism. When you cut your body off from any more nicotine, your body physically craves it again. The negative symptoms one experiences when they quit vaping, dipping, or smoking are called nicotine withdrawal symptoms.

How Long Do Nicotine Withdrawal Symptoms Last?

The time frame for nicotine withdrawal varies from person to person. It will depend on how long and how often the person has been using tobacco products, and it can even be affected by their genetics. For most people, nicotine withdrawal symptoms last anywhere from several days to several weeks. The first several days are always the worst when the nicotine is leaving your system. Your body is affected physically, mentally, and emotionally. Once the nicotine has metabolized out of your body, you might experience headaches, loss of sleep, and of course, cravings.

Physical Smoking Withdrawal Symptoms

The physical nicotine withdrawal symptoms are what cause most people to go back to using tobacco products. These relapses often happen within the first week or two. If you can make it past the period of physical symptoms, you have a good chance to quit for good.

The most common nicotine withdrawal symptoms people may experience are:

  • Fatigue- Nicotine is a stimulant that can give your body an extra boost of energy. Without it, you may feel tired and have a lack of motivation. Even though you will feel fatigued, you’ll also be restless and will likely experience insomnia.
  • Cough- Smoke and nicotine clog up your respiratory system making it hard for your lungs to clean themselves. Having a cough last for several weeks is common.
  • Constipation- Constipation can last throughout the first month after quitting nicotine.
  • Headaches- Headaches are usually the first nicotine withdrawal symptom to affect people and they are typically mild. People also often experience dizziness alongside headaches.
  • Increased Appetite- When people try to quit smoking they often gain several pounds from increased appetite and from eating to fill the void when they would usually be smoking. Using tobacco products causes a release of serotonin and dopamine from the brain, which can give users a high feeling, but these substances also reduce hunger. Quitting nicotine causes your appetite to increase during the first couple of weeks. You may also crave carbs and sugar because they give your body a serotonin boost.
  • Cravings- Cravings are both physical and mental smoking withdrawal symptoms. Cravings will start very quickly after you stop using tobacco, and each craving might last about 20 minutes. Cravings are the nicotine withdrawal symptom that lasts the longest and many people find it to be the hardest to overcome.

Mental and Emotional Nicotine Withdrawal Symptoms

Because everybody is different, the mental and emotional symptoms will vary just like the physical symptoms. The most common psychological symptoms people incur include:

  • Depression - Depression from quitting nicotine can last up to a month. If you have had depression previously, your depression may last longer and you might need help from a doctor to manage your symptoms.
  • Anxiety - For most people, nicotine relieves stress. With nicotine being absent, you may feel higher levels of stress and anxiety for up to a couple of weeks.
  • Confusion and Lack of Concentration - As the nicotine leaves your system, you may experience a mental fog, loss of concentration, and light confusion.
  • Irritability - All of the smoking withdrawal symptoms combined can make it easy to anger. You may find yourself snapping at family members and friends. This is normal and you should become more relaxed as time passes.

The combined physical, mental, and emotional nicotine withdrawal symptoms can be daunting to individuals making relapses in tobacco use common. Tobacco users often try multiple times to quit before they are successful.

A man is smoking while in a bar

How Can You Manage Nicotine Withdrawal Symptoms?

The symptoms from quitting tobacco products will be the most severe within the first few days to the first two weeks. Nicotine and other substances in cigarettes cause chemical changes in your body and brain. Depending on your use, it can take 1-3 months for your body and brain to fully rebalance after stopping the use of tobacco products. Here are some common treatments and ways to manage your symptoms so that you can quit permanently.

Medical Management

  • Antidepressants - A doctor can prescribe antidepressants to help combat the mental symptoms of nicotine withdrawal.
  • Smoking Cessation Aids - Cessation aids like Varenicline help to block the positive effects of nicotine on the brain that can cause you to remain addicted.
  • Nicotine Replacement Therapy - Many over-the-counter options are available in patches, gum, and lozenges, or prescription as nasal sprays or oral inhalers. Nicotine replacement therapy slowly lowers the level of nicotine your body is exposed to without the harmful additives found in cigarettes. This can help curb your symptoms and make you more comfortable throughout your attempts to quit.

Non-Medical Management

  • Avoid situations that expose you to smoking
  • Exercise
  • Stay busy
  • Practice deep breathing
  • Join a smoking cessation program

Remove Toxins Faster With NicoClean Detox

Some of the most acute symptoms happen within the first few days as the nicotine, cotinine, and other toxins leave your body. NicoClean Detox helps your body metabolize and expel toxins faster. How does it do this? The NicoClean Detox kit contains the natural supplements of vitamin C, L-methionine, cranberry fruit extract, horsetail, and St. John's Wort that accelerate the rate your body breaks down and flushes out toxins. It quickly and effectively cleanses your body of nicotine-related toxins.

NicoClean Detox is a permanent cleanse kit that also contains cotinine test strips. The supplements are vegan, organic, and made in the USA in FDA-approved facilities. Get clean from nicotine two times faster than other products with NicoClean Detox.

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