What happens when you quit smoking
“What’s going to happen when I quit smoking?” is a question we hear often. The answer to that is important because being prepared for what lies ahead is one way to help you get started on your quit journey. Educating yourself on the side effects of quitting smoking can help you anticipate some of the ups and downs to come. From various withdrawal symptoms to dealing with a relapse, we’ll walk you through a few of the challenges that you may face when putting down cigarettes for good. Read on to learn about what you may encounter on your quit journey and tips to help you along your way.
Withdrawal symptoms associated with quitting smoking.
Fighting your addiction to nicotine can produce several withdrawal symptoms including intense cravings, anxiety, tension or frustration, restlessness, depressed mood, and increased appetite. But don’t fret. That is precisely why we offer aids like Nicorette gum and the NicoDerm CQ nicotine patch, which can help to curb these withdrawal symptoms and increase your chances of quitting. Close
Withdrawal symptoms associated with quitting smoking.
Chances are you’ve heard the term “withdrawal” before when it comes to quitting smoking. In fact, nicotine withdrawal symptoms are very real. Fighting your addiction to nicotine can produce several withdrawal symptoms including intense cravings, anxiety, tension or frustration, restlessness, depressed mood, and increased appetite.
Yes, it sounds stressful. However, there are options like Nicorette® gum and the NicoDerm® CQ® nicotine patch, which can help to curb these withdrawal symptoms and increase your chances of quitting successfully. Quitting cigarettes can be difficult, but it’s not a journey that you have to face alone. Being aware of the potential side effects of stopping smoking and the associated withdrawal symptoms will prepare you for the experience. Making sure to have plenty of help on hand will ensure that you have the support you need during the quitting process
Do people always gain weight when they quit smoking?
Weight gain as a potential byproduct of quitting smoking is a common concern. Some people do gain a few pounds when they quit smoking, so be sure to make a plan if this is something you’re worried about. One way that you can try to minimize weight gain after quitting cigarettes is by maintaining normal, healthy habits like exercising and eating a balanced diet.
When it comes to diet, the CDC recommends an eating plan that focuses on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat or fat-free milk products and incorporates lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts. When it comes to foods to avoid, stay away from saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, sodium, and added sugar.1 Talk to your doctor or a dietician about your daily calories needs so you can make sure you’re feeding your body in a healthy, balanced way. You can make the healthy diet adjustments you need to avoid any unwanted weight gain after quitting smoking
Saying “no” to a cigarette when you’re stressed-out.
Many smokers can use cigarettes as a crutch to combat symptoms of stress. So when you make the decision to quit smoking, you have to be prepared to find alternate ways of relieving those stressful feelings. Life can be hectic and getting stressed out and overwhelmed is something everyone experiences at one time or another.
To avoid the temptation of reaching for a cigarette when you’re feeling stress, brainstorm some ideas of healthier ways to manage the symptoms of stress. For example, there are options such as staying active and engaging in exercise, which can help boost endorphins and get rid of stress. And feel free to get creative! Other activities such as listening to music, doing yoga, or taking a walk around the neighborhood can help beat stress and curb your cigarette cravings.
Another way to keep your stress levels in check is by engaging in relaxation techniques like meditation and deep breathing exercises. Spending time with loved ones is another strategy for managing stress and an important part of leading a balanced, healthy life.2 Close
The “R” word: Relapse.
For many, relapse is scary. However, it’s important to be realistic. Mistakes happen. People slip up. But just because you have a cigarette doesn’t mean you have to start over or abandon your quit altogether. Start back on your nicotine replacement therapy immediately, as it will increase your chances of quitting. Then re-evaluate what it was that made you slip up: what was a trigger? How can you avoid it in the future? Asking yourself these questions can prevent you from making the same cigarette mistake twice.
No matter what happens, be kind to yourself. No one is perfect and we all make mistakes. A relapse can be a learning opportunity and processing your feelings around it can help you avoid more relapses in the future. It’s important to believe in yourself and keep looking forward. And remember, you’re not alone! Many people have attempted to quit smoking and many experience relapses. Try to maintain a positive attitude and don’t let a single mistake get you down.
While there are many challenges that you have to deal with while quitting smoking, there are just as many (if not more) rewards! One of the best ways to stay motivated during your journey is finding your “why,” whether it’s because you want to spend more time doing physical activity outdoors or because you’re a parent and you want to live smoke-free for your children.
When you need help quitting cigarettes and overcoming the side effects of stopping smoking, Quit.com is here for you. Visit the My Quit™ Support Hub to find more resources that can help you quit smoking today. Close
1. Healthy Eating for a Healthy Weight. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/healthy_eating/index.html. Accessed 1/14/20. Referenced text indicated on page 1 in source PDF.
2. Stress management. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress-symptoms/art-20050987. Accessed 1/14/20. Referenced text indicated on page 1 in source PDF.