Smoking cessation - feels like a bad ... - British Lung Foun...

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Smoking cessation - feels like a bad choice.

Asherleymoco profile image

Hi all.

I gave up smoking 52 days ago. I smiled about 15 a day for 13 years. Since I’ve given up smoking I’ve never felt worse in my life. I’ve spat blood. Had chest pain. Constant headache. Sinus issues. Stomach aches. Pain in my side. Muscle cramps. Cracking joints. High blood pressure. Cold hands and feet. Sore throats. Throat feels blocked. Feel like I can’t swallow properly. Acne appearing on arms shoulders and back. Irregular heartbeat. Insomnia and the list goes on.

Has anyone else felt this bad when they have given up?

I’ve had every blood test under the sun. Coronavirus test. mrsa test. Chest X-ray. Head mri and they all come back clear. The thing is the results don’t make the symptoms go away. Is there any advice from anyone about there? I feel it would be easier to just smoke again!

20 Replies

Please don’t start smoking again. I don’t understand why you are having all these problems but smoking wrecks your lungs as many of us on this site know only too well. If I could go back in time I would never ever smoke a cigarette. I hope the doctors get to the bottom of what’s wrong and you have a smoke free future. Stay strong 💪

I’m the same! Doctors keep saying it’s because smoking cause a lot of issues like restricting blood vessels and flow and that it’s just my body going back to normal. Same with the chest (cilia are coming back to normal and doing there job) it’s just so long and horrible. If I could speak to 17 year old me I would tell him to put that first one down!!

Troilus profile image
Troilus in reply to Asherleymoco

Hi there. I didn’t experience the things you talk about but I understand lots do. I used a website, I think it was called why quit. It has a detailed timeline ( which is what I searched for) which outlines what is happening in your body over time. It is far more detailed than the nhs one and others which just tend to cover the first few days.

Stick with it if you can. It is worth remembering that unless you are going to smoke forever you will have to go through it all again.

Asherleymoco profile image
Asherleymoco in reply to Troilus

Hi thanks for the reply. Do you have a link for the site as I seem to only be able to find the nhs one. That is what’s keeping me going. I don’t wanna smoke forever and I know if I start again I’ll just have to go through it all again.

Troilus profile image
Troilus in reply to Asherleymoco

The site is Once there search for benefits timeline.

2greys profile image
2greys in reply to Troilus

Which is here:

Troilus profile image
Troilus in reply to 2greys

Thanks 2greys

joyce74 profile image
joyce74 in reply to Asherleymoco

It was months before I felt ok having stopped smoking but I stuck to it . I too suffered with lots of different things. I have been an oxygen user for around 5 years which I would not have been allowed as a smoker. Wishing you well.

P.S. ask for a CT scan of your chest/lungs as many things don’t show on an X ray.

It’s seems strange that giving up smoking for 52 days would cause all of those symptoms. Lots of people feel worse with their breathing at first as cigarettes, partly because they contain chemicals that open the airways and because nicotine is highly addictive so you get withdrawal symptoms. Maybe you’ve got a bug. What I don’t understand though it how you’ve managed to get a head MRI test so quickly. I had a head injury last year and didn’t meet the criteria and even though I’ve got some recent symptoms of nerve pain in my face I’ve been told I don’t need an MRI. as my symptoms don’t warrant the risk of having one.

Hope you feel better soon


Hi Corin. Those are my thoughts. And i got one quickly for a couple of reasons - I had headaches daily for nearly a month and also due to what’s going on unfortunately people are staying away from hospitals so they have so many free appointments. It’s crazy how much the body misses nicotine

I believe 52 days isn't long enough to recover from 13 years of poisoning lungs with noxious fumes. Give it a few months. Well done for quitting

Power to you, keep going. I quit 4 years ago now and I just can't understand why I did not quit years earlier, like over 50 years earlier.

Sounds like your body is going through a proper detox, drink plenty of water, eat oranges and lots of fresh leafy green vegetables, exercise for a distraction. I think you need to do the water thing to help the body flush out the toxins, 2 litres a day recommended. I found just peeling an orange had a positive affect on focus and senses. Oily fish good for your joints etc, just eat the foods that are going to help your body repair and heal. Consider taking a good multi vitamin and mineral supplement at this time.

I didn't have a lot of your symptoms, but I recall I did cough up tar going through detox and I stopped with the nicotine patches because for me that is what was causing insomnia. Also I think they were causing palpitations if I remember correctly.

Work on the psychological aspect, you don't need a smoke, you are just craving for one, you can distract from the craving. You can choose to stay smoke free, You are doing this because you value your lungs and your body, you don't want to harm it any more. You have gone, so many hours already without a smoke proved to yourself you can do it, so you can do the same amount of hours again. .. that sort of thing.

The first month is the worst, the first 3 months are not easy but I found it gets easier and easier after than.

Truly its not worth smoking again, it really will affect the quality of, and shorten your life.

Wishing you every success with staying smoke free.

Wishing you the strength and courage to keep not smoking (too many double negatives?) It's not easy but worth the massive effort. I'm sorry it's having so many unpleasant effects for you though. Wishing you all the best.

Dear Asherleymoco

Cor blimey this is an area I do know from personal experience, your symptoms are something in mass that I have never come across.... however NO NO NO NO please do not go back to smoking the chimney poison stacks... your brain will try everything it can to get its fix again, its no more than a fix, a fix of deadly poison which makes you ill, eats into your money, makes you stink badly, and of course takes years of life away. I tried to give up 5 times and was on the mark on the 5th attempt keeping off them now for 14 years.

I can relate to some of the fall out you are having, 54 days is still a very early part of your recovery from the fags. Yes your body will object, complain, some people do feel very unwell. I can only say stick with the battle get past the winning line however one day at a time. I used patches to help ease off the nicotine, took 6 months till patch free yet it was a smoother journey than before. Your brain gets it s fix within 6 or 7 seconds from your first drag of a smoke. If you smoked a lot it will demand a smoke every 20 minutes, if it does not get it, it will start to beat you up until you give way... 54 days is still a fantastic time to be free, so keep going.

The body is a strange thing, the way it reacts is different I guess to each of us in a given situation, it will shred out toxins from the blood, complain when something long term changes, sometimes its really horrible to us. If you take cocaine and how a drug user gets such a bad fall out from stopping use,,,,,,, they say smokes are worse to give up, so you are doing really well.

One last thing I have to say. With my journey I ended up more relaxed, had more money in my pocket, no longer smelt horrible as I did before, you only notice this when you are free and can smell other people who still smoke.. and that feeling of a ball and chain following you everywhere ( packet and lighter) makes you feel free.....

Sorry if this comes over as a bit of a lecture, it is meant to help and support you and sent from a former addict.


Asherleymoco profile image
Asherleymoco in reply to

Hi Pete.

Thank you and not at all does it feel like a lecture. I am trying so hard to carry on the quitting. It does seem that I have ended up catching every single possible side effect of giving up that it can. I assume that it’s because whenever I got stressed I smoked. With the world in this current situation and me working in the pharmaceutical industry I guess it is making it worse. Probably wasn’t a great time to give up but as someone else said if I smoke now then I will just end up going through all of this again. I have already regained some of my senses. This happened fairly quickly (which leads me to believe my body may be going through a faster more intense rehabilitation) I go outside on break and when I smell it - without being horrible to smokers as I was one - the smell disgusts me!

Hi Asherley

I have a lot of the symptoms you have also and I also stopped smoking and reduced my drinking I have had every test under the sun, just waiting to go to a sleep clinic.

A friend has suggested Fibromyalgia as it has multiple symptoms like you have, I am making yet another appointment with the doctor to discuss this. I’m sorry you feel this way but I feel better knowing that it’s not just me that is getting all of these symptoms together, I feel less crazy today after reading your post. Sorry but thanks

Hi scarecrow. It is reassuring that it isn’t just me. I had an endoscopy the other day. They found an ulcer which I’m glad they found because that ticks one off. The others are still a mystery. I’ve been having every test possible and nothing on the others. Waiting for an mri on the neck now and also nerve conduction.

Bless u I'm 7 months into stopping smoking I'm having same problems but people tell me on these sites it will get better I hope so keep up with it like me I hope we end up feeling on top of the world u have made one hell of a effort as have I I hope these rotten side effects clear off good luck

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