DISCLAIMER: Before we begin, you should understand that we are not offering medical advice. We are not medical professionals in any sense. The article below is based on experience of ourselves and others. If you are seeking advice, please contact a qualified medical professional.
Quitting smoking has many unwanted challenges – often deemed the worst of the bunch is going through nicotine withdrawal.
I’m going to offer you some information about nicotine and how stopping nicotine use can affect you.
Nicotine in it’s natural form is an alkaloid derived from tobacco plants – but can also be found in tomatoes, potatoes and even green peppers!
There is a synthetic version of nicotine that can be created also.
Smoking is generally the most efficient way to see the nicotine into the brain due to the inhalation process being faster absorbed. Patches and gum can take a little a longer, thus having less of an initial impact.
The addiction is essentially your brain telling your body that it wants more – that you NEED more.
Almost every smoker has thought about quitting and the withdrawal from nicotine. But all the stories you hear and experiences you see from those around you who tried quitting and failed, they stick with you.
But let’s take a step back and think about things objectively.
Your goal is to quit smoking.
You know that you will go through nicotine withdrawal, so let’s look at what to expect (Health Line);
- Lack of focus and concentration
- Increased appetite
- Erratic heart rate
That’s a long list of stuff you don’t want to feel, am I right?!
Well, now that the worst has been said I can mention that it is entirely possible you won’t feel any of these symptoms, but the majority will usually experience a few of them from time-to-time until the nicotine has left the body completely.
In case you find yourself in need of a distraction, some have picked up habits like pen-chewing, eating snacks and fidgeting with anything that fits in your hand. We don't advise this, however!
Believe it or not, the first sign of your body withdrawing from the nicotine addiction is: Wanting another cigarette.
Crazy, right? Your heart will increase from the last cigarette you smoke (Tobacco Free Kids Report) . Usually around the 30-minute mark we start to see an decrease in blood pressure so your body is already doing its job to recover from the external influence.
These initial cravings will be where most people quit the process of quitting.
The result is very much worth it.
Your heart might feel normal after the first day or so, but don’t be deceived. Your brain is very much egging you on to go have another smoke. Don’t pay attention, you’re doing great!
The headaches may start at this point.
The irritability usually hits a peak after the first few days as the brain’s desire for nicotine starts to reach overdrive. It’s your brains last-ditch effort to get nicotine as on Day 3 to Day 4 it will have left your bloodstream (Prime Health).*
*Depending on how often you smoked, it's rare but, your body could hold the nicotine for up to two or three months!
Even though your system is technically nicotine-free, your brain still remembers those feelings that came with nicotine use, so it still wants some.
That means the physiological sides should have subsided and the only thing leading you into the dark-side is the habits that come with smoking. Don’t give up!
Now it’s just a matter of maintaining that discipline until those habits have disappeared – all that’s left are smoky memories of dependency.
Keep it up and good luck to you on this journey.
If you're not sure about stopping nicotine entirely there are alternative methods, both medical cessation products as well as alternatives to smoking.
If you want to kick the habits that come with smoking then you may want to look at patches, gum or lozenges.
Either way, you should always put your health first and choose what's going to work for you, personally.
To your health and happiness!