Sudden nicotine withdrawal has many physical and psychological effects. In order to increase the chances of successful smoking cessation, consumers of nicotine-containing products should inform themselves in advance about what withdrawal symptoms are to be expected and how long they last. Learn more about the typical symptoms of nicotine withdrawal and how best to alleviate them.
What is nicotine withdrawal?
If you regularly consume nicotine-containing products, your body will develop an addiction. Addiction is evident in the fact that consumers are increasingly demanding tobacco and other nicotine-containing products. You lose control over the number of products you take and have to take more and more products to achieve the same effect.
Over time, our body forms more nicotine receptors in the brain and binds nicotine to itself. The more receptors you have, the more nicotine you need. Tolerance develops and normal amounts are no longer sufficient to achieve the mental effect of tobacco as a stress reliever. Withdrawal symptoms occur when consumers abruptly stop taking nicotine-containing products.
When does nicotine withdrawal start?
Nicotine has the effect of suppressing negative emotions such as stress, anxiety and irritability. When you quit smoking, the lack of nicotine stimulates your cells and leads to the typical withdrawal symptoms. Consumers become stressed, irritable and less focused. Smoking withdrawal symptoms can last for days to weeks. The duration of nicotine withdrawal depends on the dose and duration of dependence.
Overview of the individual phases:
- Shortly after you smoke your last cigarette, the effects of nicotine wear off and your body craves more nicotine.
- Consumers become increasingly restless after about 10 hours without a cigarette.
- After 24 hours, you will feel more irritable and your appetite will increase.
- After 2 days, nicotine degradation begins and many patients complain of headaches.
- After 3 to 5 days, the nicotine in the body is completely discharged and the desire for the next cigarette decreases. However, some smokers complain of anxiety during this period. Smokers often cough more frequently as their cilia begin to grow back.
- After 2 to 4 weeks, the smoker feels a lack of energy and has difficulty concentrating.
- After 5 weeks, you should have escaped nicotine addiction, but your brain occasionally sends signals that prompt you to smoke and generate desire
For most smokers, the first five days after quitting nicotine are the worst. Over time, withdrawal symptoms subside and your body recovers.
What are the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal?
The nicotine withdrawal symptoms started just a few hours after I smoked my last cigarette. Symptoms vary in severity and some smokers report few or no symptoms. Common symptoms include restlessness, depressed mood, fatigue, nervousness, irritability, increased appetite and difficulty concentrating.
How can I reduce nicotine withdrawal?
If you want to quit smoking, you have two options:
Stop smoking abruptly (cold turkey) or gradually reduce the amount of cigarettes smoked. Gradual withdrawal is less stressful for the body and mind and has a higher chance of success. To reduce nicotine, snus can be used instead of cigarettes. The amount of nicotine varies and can be gradually reduced until the body no longer needs it.
Conclusion – Nicotine withdrawal has an impact on the body and mind
Nicotine withdrawal has many effects on the body and mind. Your body gets used to consuming nicotine on a regular basis and gets frustrated when you try to quit. Nicotine withdrawal symptoms begin hours after smoking the last cigarette and last for varying lengths of time. Some of the most common withdrawal symptoms include headaches, nervousness, anxiety, and increased irritability. For many people, quitting cold turkey is painful, so you should try to reduce the amount of nicotine gradually.