Are you a regular smoker? Have you ever wondered what will happen if you quit smoking? First it is important to understand that quitting smoking is a commendable decision that comes with a range of health benefits, but it can also be accompanied by withdrawal symptoms as your body adjusts to the absence of nicotine. Here’s what may happen when you suddenly quit smoking and some tips on how to deal with the symptoms:
Nicotine Withdrawal Symptoms
According to the National Cancer Institute, You may experience intense cravings for a cigarette as your body craves nicotine. Irritability and Mood Swings. Nicotine withdrawal can affect your mood, leading to irritability, anxiety, and mood swings.
Difficulty To Concentrate
Further, the National Cancer Institute says that some people find it challenging to concentrate or experience mental fogginess during withdrawal.
Increased Appetite and Weight Gain
Nicotine can act as an appetite suppressant, so when you quit, you might experience an increased appetite. This can contribute to weight gain for some individuals.
Nicotine withdrawal may disrupt your sleep patterns, leading to difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.
- Improved Breathing: Shortly after quitting, your lung function starts to improve, and you may notice better breathing and increased lung capacity.
- Improved Circulation: Blood circulation improves, leading to better oxygen delivery to your organs and tissues.
- Reduced Risk of Health Issues: Over time, quitting smoking reduces your risk of various health issues, including heart disease, lung cancer, and respiratory infections.
Tips to Deal with Withdrawal Symptoms
Nicotine Replacement Therapy
According to the American Cancer Society, nicotine replacement treatment (NRT) can begin as soon as you stop using tobacco. You don’t have to wait a set amount of time to apply the patch or begin using the gum, lozenge, nasal spray, or inhaler. Double-check this information with the instructions for your preferred type of nicotine replacement, but there is no need to wait to begin taking NRT.
Consult with a healthcare professional about prescription medications like bupropion or varenicline, which can help manage withdrawal symptoms and cravings.
Engage in regular physical activity to help reduce stress, improve mood, and minimise weight gain.
Keep healthy snacks on hand to manage increased appetite. Opt for fruits, vegetables, or low-calorie options.
Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and help flush nicotine and its byproducts out of your system.
Join a support group, talk to friends or family, or consider counselling to help you navigate the challenges of quitting. Sharing your experience can provide encouragement and motivation.
Practice mindfulness techniques, such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga, to help manage stress and cravings.
To begin something we need to keep ourselves motivated, so it is important to set up a reward system for reaching milestones in your smoke-free journey. Treat yourself to something special to reinforce positive behaviour.
Remember that everyone’s experience with quitting smoking is unique. If you find it challenging, seek professional help and support. Quitting is a process, and it’s okay to ask for assistance to increase your chances of success.