Everyone knows that smoking is bad for our health, but that doesn’t make kicking the habit any easier because smoking is addictive, both physically and emotionally.
nicotine is physically addictive
The nicotine in cigarettes is physically addictive because it provides a temporary high by stimulating receptors in the brain that release dopamine that triggers a pleasure response. With time, the nicotine receptors increase and alter the brain’s anatomy. All this means that quitting causes physical withdrawal symptoms and very strong cravings.
On the emotional and psychological end, smoking helps people deal with stress, depression, anxiety and many other challenges and quitting means you need to find a way to deal with these feelings. In addition, in many cases smoking is a ritual ,for example with the morning coffee, driving home after a stressful day at work or after a meal, and that makes quitting even harder.
The only way to stop smoking successfully is to tackle the addiction and the rituals and routines that go along with it. If that sounds like an impossible challenge, we’re here to tell you it can be done. To help you get started, here are some tips that will help you deal with the nicotine withdrawal.
Nicotine Withdrawal Symptoms
Quitting nicotine might not be a long process, but it is certainly very intense. How long does nicotine stay in your system? Generally, your blood will be nicotine free within one to three days after you stop smoking and your body will be completely clear of nicotine after one to ten days. Three to four days after you stop smoking, nicotine will no longer be detectable in your urine.
The potential nicotine withdrawal symptoms include increased appetite, cravings, coughs, headaches, fatigue, constipation, irritability, depression and anxiety. Three days in, your cravings should subside.
Dealing With Nicotine Withdrawal Symptoms
It’s a good idea to contact your doctor before you quit nicotine as they may provide you with prescription medication that helps minimize the symptoms by gradually decreasing the nicotine levels. These medications include two types:
- Over-the-counter nicotine replacements, such as nicotine gums and skin patches.
- Prescription nicotine replacements, such as nasal sprays and inhalers or non-nicotine medication like varenicline and bupropion.
It’s important to note that nicotine replacement medication makes it easier to deal with the symptoms but doesn’t eliminate them completely.
How to over come Nicotine addiction
Nicotine replacement therapy has some side effects you should take into consideration, which include headaches, sleeplessness, dizziness and nausea.
In most cases, the toughest symptoms to deal with are the cravings. The good news it takes between 48 to 72 H. The physical cravings can show up as soon as 30 minutes after your last cigarette and although these will be over within a 2 to 3 days, the mental cravings will last the longest.
The best way to deal with the mental cravings is to focus on the now. Don’t try to figure out how you will deal with your cravings a few days or a few weeks down the line, just make sure you outlast this current craving.
Generally, each craving lasts between 15 and 20 minutes and there are a few tricks that can help you stave them off:
- Give your mouth something to do: chew a gum or snack on a fruit or some other healthy food
- Let off some steam by going for a walk or moving your body in any other way
- Take deep breaths
- Call someone and talk for a while, until the craving passes
- Make sure you’re in a public place where you cannot smoke
- Use herbal cigarettes it will satisfy the mental habit, but will not posh you back to the nicotin