When people use tobacco products on a regular basis, their bodies
develop a need for nicotine. If they don't get nicotine, they start having
nicotine withdrawal symptoms.
Withdrawal symptoms and cravings for nicotine vary from person to
person. They often depend on how much nicotine a person is used to getting. The
more nicotine the body is used to, the more severe symptoms are likely to be.
Symptoms of withdrawal include feeling:
People going through withdrawal may find it hard to:
Nicotine withdrawal symptoms usually begin about 24 hours after a
person quits smoking or using tobacco products. Symptoms are the worst in the first week or so after the person quits. The average length of time a person deals with withdrawal symptoms is 2 to 3 weeks. The craving for cigarettes and increased appetite can last for
Nicotine replacement products can reduce withdrawal symptoms when used by people who are quitting. Use of quit-smoking medicines, counseling or support groups, a nutritious diet, and regular exercise may also help.
July 6, 2011
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & John Hughes, MD - Psychiatry
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