Nicotine is an addictive chemical found in tobacco products. It only takes a few cigarettes to start building a tolerance, followed by dependence on nicotine. When your body gets low on nicotine you may experience withdrawal symptoms.
Withdrawal symptoms can start just a couple of hours after your last cigarette and may include restlessness, irritability, anxiety and stress, cravings, trouble concentrating, low mood and trouble sleeping.
Think of the above as recovery symptoms. They are the first signs that your body is beginning to heal itself from the damage caused by smoking.
Symptoms are likely to rise and fall over several weeks, so it's important to plan ways to manage nicotine withdrawal and remember all the reasons why you want to quit for good.
Delay for 1-2 minutes and the urge will pass
Sip it slowly
Take three slow, deep breaths of fresh air
DOING SOMETHING ELSE
To take your mind off smoking
To distract yourself, you could also:
- Go for a walk: Exercise can reduce cravings, lower stress and contribute to weight management.
- Keep your brain and hands busy: Catch up with a friend or family member, play a game on your phone, squeeze a stress ball, chew gum or breathe through a straw.
- Find a relaxing activity: Listen to music or a podcast, or try yoga, meditation or deep breathing techniques.