No Smoking Day
2,564 members31,303 posts

My quit symptoms, early stages

Hi all,

I thought I'd post this as there are loads of people starting out on the yellow quit road to freedom at the moment (c'mon the freedom fighters! :D) and some questions are popping up along the lines of 'I've got xyz, is this normal?'

So I wanted to share my list, as at the time I though I was a realtively fit guy, how little did I know! :o And this post certainly isn't advice, just me sharing some personal stuff in case it helps anyone. There are more I'm sure but mine from the early stages of my quit were as follows:

1. About three weeks in, heart palpatations. Ridiculously scary, lasted for about three days during which I really felt like there was something seriously wrong. In reality there were only a handful each day, lasting no more than a few seconds but like a crave they seemed to last forever to me. They came and went.

2. As my bronchial tubes relaxed and breathed a sigh of relief, chest pain about a month in, bad enough for me to go for an X-ray. Thankfully all clear, and this symptom didn't last long either.

3. Oh god the insomnia! :eek::mad: I cut my caffeine intake in half as (and I didn't know this!) nicotine doubles the rate by which your body depleted caffeine. Try it! It helped a bit, but I still had huge bags under my eyes for about a month.

4. The rasping noise which came immediately when I fully exhaled went totally after abouth 8 weeks.

I didn't experience anything dental related but improved circulation is almost certainly responsible for bleeding gums etc.

Finally two things: If you have cold or flu symptoms, you may actually have a cold...or flu...? Consensus is that most stuff is probably quit related but if in ANY doubt don't be silly, go see a specialist (doc, dentist, whoever is appropriate). Lastly for context I quit at 42, none of the symptoms lasted, and within six months I had my football boots back on and played every match in a five-a-side tournament. Never felt better.

Good luck with the quits peeps, looking forward to the success stories, loads around at the moment! :)

9 Replies

good advice and I shall read the 70 tips again and again and again and again.....


good advice and I shall read the 70 tips again and again and again and again.....

70 tips? Where's that please? :)


You know what, sticking the symptoms in a post is an awesome idea. Just from reading the first post there was a few wee scares I had that I can see isn't just me:

So here's mine:

1. tight chest and severe kinda stabbing pains in the left of my chest. Like someone sticking their finger really hard and fast in to your rib cage. Only had them a few times after about 2 weeks and they haven't appeared back;

2. Bleeding gums - only started in the last few days. Suppose I should take that as a positive that things are on the mend;

3. And Ill second the oh my god the insomnia - tired a lot but at night waking ever hour or so without fail. Again only started in the last week (Im just past week 3). Hoping that will settle down soon;

4. Floating poohs - again only over the past few days - seems over the last few days a lot of new symptoms have appeared actually - this being the strangest ;-)

They're the 4 that I notice the most. I take a bad reaction to caffeine so have been avoiding that for years. Haven't seen a lot of irritability or mood swings but Im a calm person at the best of times and at the moment no horrible cough which Im really worried about as I read somewhere that 90% of people who quit go back to smoking because of the cough!!! I also dont drink so thankfully dont have the dreaded temptation of a drink and a smoke to worry about ahah Im sure loads of folk know how that feels.

They also say breathing to smoke is like doing yoga exercises so when you quit and you're not having to expand your lungs as much you get spasms and that's where the chest pains come from.

Obviously any concerns at all and you should see a doc to get it checked out!!!


70 tips

This post is awsum, very helpful reading.


They also say breathing to smoke is like doing yoga exercises so when you quit and you're not having to expand your lungs as much

That is the tip of the day as far as I am concerned! I had never realised that before - when you are smoking you are breathing much more deliberately and fully than normal breathing. I even used to hold it in for longer to get more out of the smoke, and then deliberately blow it out, in a particular direction.

There's nothing to stop us doing all of that, only with fresh air. Almost pretending to smoke.

Day 5 and all's well....


Jolly good idea, this thread. Since I quit, I often think of what OH's mum says (she gave up three years ago)- that she really wishes that there had been someone to tell her that you feel worse before you feel better. I've known several people who have started smoking again very early on just because they felt so physically awful. The more you know what to expect the better in my opinion.

In relation to me, my most annoying symtoms were:

a dry, tickly cough that drove me bonkers (especially at night or when I tried to talk). It started on day 3 and had eased off by half way through the second week. In tandem with this, I had a tight chest (the way you feel when you are going down with a cold) and periodically coughed up all kinds of yuk. That wore off in the same time frame.

Insomnia. Took a few weeks for my sleep pattern to resettle and still get the odd broken night now.

Anxiety. I felt terribly churny, jumpy and panicky with a racing heart and general feeling of dread. I couldn't eat properly for well over a week (that was what kick-started my decision to diet in tandem with quitting :)). I'm not usually an anxious sort of person and I didn't like it at all. The feelings lasted for around 2 weeks and then gradually wore off.

On the plus side:

My skin is heaps better than when I smoked.

My hair and nails are heaps better than when I smoked.

I can breathe properly again! My chest expands heaps more than before, I never cough when I'm laughing and I never get a 'crackle' when lying in bed at night as I used to do.

My teeth are beginning to lose the years of tobacco stains and my gums look and feel healthier.

I have loads more energy.

I smell better :).

My circulation has improved (I can tell that I am more sensitive to hot and cold than I was previously).

My sense of smell and taste has improved.

So all told- it's worth all the pain thrice over. :D


My symptoms (I'm only on day 12 at the mo but look at all the positives!):


[*]Serious irritability for the first few days

[*]Wind! :eek:

[*]Constipation - my digestive system practically ground to a halt for a week or so, so I had horrible stomach pains too. It started to improve from about day 9 onwards and is continuing to get better.

[*]Flu-like symptoms: my nose would NOT stop running for the first 3-4 days. Nose was stuffy, I felt shivery too.

[*]Insomnia: I'm not very good at putting myself to bed anyway, quitting seemed to exacerbate this. I'm on day 12 now and it has settled down but still having some very late nights due to not feeling tired

[*]After the irritability passed it was replaced with a general depressed feeling. I'm still in the midst of that but according to everything I've read it should pass within 4 weeks. I take anti-depressants anyway so I have upped my dose (although if anyone is thinking of doing the same please check with your doc first!)

[*]Coughing up some brown stuff. Not nice, but par for the course.

[*]One bloodshot eye, although that only lasted a day.


[*]The first thing I noticed was that I no longer had to clear my throat all the damn time. My voice has stopped being croaky and husky too. Brilliant :D

[*]I can take deeper breaths, hold my breath longer, and sing better!

[*]My eyes! I have long suffered from dry eyes that itch more frequently than is normal. I stupidly never made the connection with smoking. Since I have quit my eyes feel amazing, they look SO much sparklier and better hydrated. I no longer squint all the time when I'm outside (any wind used to dry my eyes out within seconds!)

[*]My skin is SO SOFT and this was noticeable after only a week. I had noticed in recent years that my skin had become quite papery. I thought it was just normal because I was getting older, turns out I was kidding myself!

[*]My mouth is no longer dry all the time. I used to have a drink next to me pretty much every waking hour of the day to compensate for my mouth being uncomfortably dry. Not any more!

[*]My resting heart rate has dropped to ~60bpm - it was about 80 before. Not bad considering I am overweight and not all that fit!

[*]When I am in bed my breathing is much less 'heavy breather' and my nose doesn't whistle! (I had noticed it started doing that recently and it was doing my head in!)

[*]The daily palpitations I was getting (once or twice a day, but every day) have gone!

[*]I no longer feel like I have a permanent brain fog

[*]When I have been sleeping, I wake up feeling refreshed. This has not happened in YEARS.


I've thought of another thing that I really don't miss one little bit about my previous life.

I smoked rollies so would develop nicotine stains on my fingers, whcih I hated. I had to scrub at them with a pumice every day and the skin on my fingers would often get sore. It made me feel horribly dirty and low-life.

Oh how I love my clean fingers & nails, and how I rejoiced when I put away that pumice! :D


No more singing

My voice has gone very strange since quitting. No change in it for the first couple of weeks then it goes, comes back and goes again. My chest is tight but not like chest infection tight and thus far I haven't coughed up any crud at all and I'm approaching 6 weeks. A speech and language therapist I work with reckons that as a non smoker I'm no longer exercising the muscles either side of my throat - pulling on a ciggie and then blowing out clearly wasn't only exercising my lungs. I almost feel like I'm always on the verge of something more 'productive' but nothing is happening.

Sleeping is a non starter still and I swallow a couple of antihistamines to get me off. With an addictive personality, reckon this'll be the next thing I need to quit!!!

My sense of smell and taste is mega sensitive. I absolutely cannot stand the smell of cigarette smoke and the smell of stale fags makes me want to yack. The absolute best thing is that I'm not having to marinade myself in perfume each morning just because I couldn't smell it!! :eek:


You may also like...