13 Really Useful Tips (including withdrawel symptoms)

This list has been updated to include a more comprehensive and useful description of withdrawel symptoms and cravings.

I found these helped me so far:

1. Always remember, you are NOT depriving yourself, you are setting yourself free

2. Remember, that if you encounter a stressful situation, smoking will NOT help you resolve it (cigarettes just trick you into thinking that). Don't forget that 'normal' people also encounter stressful situations everyday, and they don't rely on inhaling poisonous smoke to solve them.

3. If you can, go on holiday for your first week of quitting. I kid you not, this has been the single best thing for getting me through the really difficult first bit. There are 2 reasons why this is a great idea: (a.) you will be away from all your normal day-to-day triggers, and (b.) you can deal with your symptoms in the way you find easiest - sleep all day if that's what it takes!

4. Even though the nicotine disappears from your system after 48 hours, remember that the psychological addiction still has PHYSICAL symptoms for quite a long time (it can be weeks) afterwards, and this took me by surprise. Don't forget - Nicotine is as addictive as Heroin, so you are proving a million times over that you are a STRONG person when you quit.

5. The physical symptoms of withdrawel are wide-ranging and in my opinion grossly under-publicised (they are probably written by someone who has never smoked and is scared of putting people off giving-up). The TRUE list of symptoms includes: depression (can be severe, requiring medication), anxiety (can also be severe - scared of going out etc.), knot in your stomach, shakes, migraine, difficulty sleeping OR gross fatigue, pathological loss of concentration, tingling and jittery arms and legs, funny taste in your mouth, really sore throat, coughing up gunk for a prolonged period, hot and cold sweats, extreme irritability and/or anger, tense muscles, disrupted bowel movements, dizziness, significant increase in hunger levels, outbreaks of spots or acne, and that is before we even hit the cravings:

6. Cravings. You are trying to deal with the ongoing saga of withdrawel, and on top of that, you also have cravings to deal with. Cravings are different to withdrawel because they are short-lived but VERY intense periods of longing. This is how they work: a) you encounter a trigger situation e.g. a cup of coffee; b) your head starts SCREAMING for a poisonous puff; c) as if that wasn't enough, your muscles tense, your stomach churns and every nerve starts jangling. People say that a craving never lasts for more than 5 minutes but I think that this is fluff. A proper craving never lasts for more than ONE minute (see! good news). Now you understand the physical process, let's look at the rest:

7. Don't look for the Big Bang, i.e. everything will be ok after Day 5, because it doesn't work like that. Quitting is a gradual battle which is won in hundreds of small steps. And everyday, the battle gets easier and easier.

8. Do learn relaxation techniques. Despite being legal, cigarattes are nasty little bastards, and will mess with your head to try and get you to smoke again. This will lead to anxiety and even downright anger. So: Breathe in really deeply, hold you breath, and exhale slowly and calmly. Do it whenever the monsters are messing with you. Another top tip is walking - get your coat on and take yourself on a walk whenever you feel bad. This is a double whammy - a. you take your mind of cigarettes; and b. you give yourself an oxygen hit.

9. Do lots of research so you understand the quitting process. Quite often, you get to a point where you are thinking 'I am sure this is never goint to get any easier'. Go onto forums or quit sites and read what other people are going through. They are thinking the same thing - it's not just you feeling weak!

10. Keep a diary or write a blog. Make a note of everything related to your battle to quit smoking. It is amazing the difference between a week 1 diary compared to a week 2 diary etc. Whenever you feeling like you aren't getting anywhere, go and read your diary and wow yourself with how far you have come.

11. Wash everything. Clothes, cushions, sofa covers, curtains. Get rid of the horrible residue that cigarettes have left over everything. It is amazing how nice it is walking into the house when everything has been washed, and smells fresh and clean. Plus it gives you something to keep your hands busy!

12. Give yourself a makeover. You are now a new person - a non-smoker. Capitalise on your new glowing complexion, and have a new hairstyle, get a new outfit, book with the dentist to have your teeth whitened, maybe go and have a massage.

13. Replace cigarettes with chewing gum. Oh and chew vigorously (don't know what that works but it does). Always have a packet on you, and whenever you feel the urge, get out the gum.

13 Replies

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  • This is the one that should have been posted........ Doh.

  • Brilliant.....................THANK YOU :D

  • No probs.... but I have been having a computer nightmare !!

  • This list has been updated to include a more comprehensive and useful description of withdrawel symptoms and cravings.

    I found these helped me so far..............

    Fair dos DM, it looks like you've been to hell and back.

    I understand that there's nothing but good intentions in your post but frankly reading your text and phrasing clearly shows that you approached it with trepidation and found it to be a tough as you expected.

    I had a grumpy weekend (well that's what my wife says) and i honestly don't think i could describe a crave as they didn't really play much of a part in my quit.

    Knowledge of this habit is truely power.....

    stay strong :)

  • Aw thanks Austin,

    Yep, my quit was pretty hard work, but mind you - I didn't have all the symptoms. I collected them from other people off this forum so that I could put a comprehensive list together. Just so people knew what to expect.

    How is yours going? x

  • How is yours going? x

    Very well thanks for asking... :)

    15 months in and I learn more by the day.

    It is with embarassment that I confess that I've become one of those types that now shouts at the TV when the NRT adverts appear but other than that I've remained relatively normal.

    I knew the moment I stopped that I'd finished with tobacco but I'm proud to say that I still campaign for smoker's rights despite their obvious failings.

    I live in hope that someone, somewhere, with masses of financial backing can present an honest and 'mythbusted' view of this blight that is smoking.

    We have the knowledge available to educate the masses but we choose to be lied to for the sake of profits.

    Unlike poverty, 'Make Smoking History' is a distinct possibility but is alas without profit.

    To quote a wise man, "It is easier to go on believing what you have always been told than to recognise the truth you’ve never heard before."

    ...and you thought I was just going to say.. "I'm doing ok.."

    Stay strong.

    :D

  • Hello Austin!

    I always prefer the honest answer to the polite one........ ;) it makes life FAR more interesting.......

    Plus it is beautiful to witness a passive activist in motion!! That'll be a dichotomy then! The only question I have - why the anger against NRT rather than cigarettes? ummmmm :rolleyes:

    You are doing great with your quit by the way..... !

    DM x

  • The only question I have - why the anger against NRT rather than cigarettes? ummmmm :rolleyes:

    Cigarette manufacturers no longer pretend that their product does anyone any good. Evil companies but still an honest business...sort of.

    The NRT / Snake oil industries, smoke and mirrors, a drug.. hoho, "more addictive than heroin" but freely for sale on a bottom shelf at ASDA and don't forget all those kids in the bike sheds sneakily applying a patch before metalwork or having a crafty drag on an inhalator.

    If you're bored google Eugenics and read up about how many of the worlds leading figures passionately believed it.

    I polished off a box of hard licorice in my first month, still had the stained teeth and fingers, bad breath and it satisfied my hand to mouth habit.

    I reckon Mr Bassett is missing out on a goldmine here..... ;)

  • Legro..... sorry..... a bit late replying..... not sure about the licquorice link? DMx

  • Legro..... sorry..... a bit late replying..... not sure about the licquorice link? DMx

    Not sure...? NOT SURE..??

    It's the perfect fag replacement.

    You can suck on it.

    It stains your teeth and fingers.

    It makes your breath smell.

    It leaves a nasty taste in your mouth.

    If I was Mr Cadbury I'd be running a "stop smoking with liquorice" campaign.

    Incidentally, have you ever noticed..

    Pink Floyd, "I've got nicotine stains on my fingers..."

    Many, "nicotine stained teeth"

    Gibson USA, "Nicotine brown finish"

    when nicotine is a clearless insecticide....

    Makes you wonder sometimes.. :D

  • I have lived by those tips I posted, and am now into my 3rd month not smoking!!! Woo Hoo! Just off to get a drugs habit to compensate.... ! (only joking)

  • Cravings. You are trying to deal with the ongoing saga of withdrawel, and on top of that, you also have cravings to deal with. Cravings are different to withdrawel because they are short-lived but VERY intense periods of longing. This is how they work: a) you encounter a trigger situation e.g. a cup of coffee; b) your head starts SCREAMING for a poisonous puff; c) as if that wasn't enough, your muscles tense, your stomach churns and every nerve starts jangling. People say that a craving never lasts for more than 5 minutes but I think that this is fluff. A proper craving never lasts for more than ONE minute (see! good news). Now you understand the physical process, let's look at the rest:

    Whilst I am not arguing that the actual physical craving lasts longer than a couple of minutes, I have to say that sometimes I get a craving and nothing but nothing I do helps and it can last for a couple of hours, where I can't do/concentrate on anything except for trying to fight the urge to smoke. This is where I am falling down because it exhausts me.

  • Hang On In There

    I just wanted to say that I totally empathise with you. I too have read that the cravings only last a minute or two, mine have exactly the same effect on me as you and quite often if I am at home after work I go to bed early so that I can sleep as it is the only way out for me. But having said that I am feeling so much stronger for having visited this site, thanks everyone. I am 23 days smoke free today and will keep logging on to this site as I want that freedom in the future of being a non smoker without feeling that I am going without in life but gaining everything. Love, JeanxWhilst I am not arguing that the actual physical craving lasts longer than a couple of minutes, I have to say that sometimes I get a craving and nothing but nothing I do helps and it can last for a couple of hours, where I can't do/concentrate on anything except for trying to fight the urge to smoke. This is where I am falling down because it exhausts me.

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