Side Effects Of Quitting Smoking and What Happens To Your Body When You Stop Smoking

The Side Effects of Quitting Smoking

So you’ve quit smoking: You thought life would be better and your health would certainly improve, but not only do you not feel better, you feel worse than you did before, and now you’re wondering how long these side effects and symptoms are going to last.

The risks and side effects of smoking far outnumber and outweigh the side effects you experience after stopping but still, quitting is difficult. Knowledge is power with a nicotine addiction because being able to premeditate the physical and emotional changes your body will undergo will give you an advantage and make it easier to follow through with your commitment to stop.

Knowing how long the side effects may last and what you can do to prevent or alleviate them will give you the information, resources, and confidence you need to quit smoking for good. The information you find below will save you the time and expense of doctor and emergency room visits, plus hundreds of dollars in unnecessary medical tests.

Nicotine Withdrawal: The Basics

Nicotine is a powerfully addictive drug. Depending on how long the smoker has smoked, the body will undergo varying degrees of withdrawal. No matter which method you use, withdrawal will have to happen. As long as any nicotine remains in the bloodstream, the body will keep expecting more.

When will withdrawal begin? The amount of nicotine in your bloodstream will be reduced by half every two hours after quitting. It may take less than an hour for your cravings to kick in.

The first three days are the hardest. Within 72 hours after quitting, 100% of the nicotine and 90% of its ancillary chemicals will have passed from your body.

Day three: This is the peak of the physical withdrawal. After day three, thoughts of wanting a cigarette will gradually decrease in terms of frequency, duration, and intensity.

Within ten to fourteen days, all physical symptoms of withdrawal should be complete although ongoing cravings may continue, and there may be emotional changes that last much longer.

The Symptoms, Duration, and Treatment of Nicotine Withdrawal

Smoking affects the body in monumental ways. Not everyone experiences the same symptoms. Below are some of the most common complaints when a smoker stops smoking.

Digestion Side Effects: Duration and Treatment

  • Acid Indigestion/Heartburn: If you had acid indigestion before you quit, it will get a bit worse during withdrawal, and then it may go away. If you never had heartburn, this symptom can last from three weeks to three months. Try Tums or DGL (deglycyrrhizinated licorice), which can both help with acid reflux. Another name for acid reflux is called Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease or GERD which is a digestive disorder that affects the lower esophageal sphincter.
  • Gas or Flatulence: This may last several weeks. Try to avoid eating gas-producing foods like beans, cabbage, or cauliflower. You can also try Beano.
  • Diarrhea: This can last a few days while the body adjusts to the new changes. Try any over-the-counter remedy.
  • Nausea: You may experience flu-like symptoms that last a week or so. Drinking lots of water or other beverages should help.
  • Constipation: This may last several weeks. Cigarettes act as both a diuretic and a laxative in the body so when you take nicotine away, you may get constipated. You can use an over-the-counter remedy or make a homemade laxative, which is gentler on the body.

Skin Changes: Duration and Treatment

You would think that your skin would start to improve when you quit smoking, but no! It will improve eventually, but not right away.

  • Skin Blemishes: Your body is getting rid of toxins, and you may get acne, blemishes, or a rash after you quit. These will last about a month, and then your skin will begin to look better than it did before.
  • Hives: This reaction can be due to nerves from quitting cold turkey or the quick detoxification of nicotine from the body, and it should go away in a week or so.

Respiratory Side Effects: Duration and Treatment

  • Sinus Congestion: This is caused by a clearing out of the sinuses. It feels almost as if someone has turned on a little water hose in your head. This symptom may last up to two months. Take an over-the-counter medication until the dripping stops or use a neti pot to help clear things out.
  • Coughing/Throat-Clearing: This is due to a cleaning-out of the reactivated cilia in the lungs. Your body is clearing out the debris, tar, and phlegm. We can't get a vacuum down into the lungs, so coughing up the debris is a good thing. This may last from a few days to several months.
  • Phlegm: This is also due to reactivated cilia. It can last a couple of months.

  • Hoarseness: The throat are getting some tender new tissue, almost like when a baby is teething. The tissue in the throat is regenerating, a process that may last several months. Use lozenges or whatever you would use for a sore throat. Hot tea with lemon and honey can help.
  • Gasping for breath: The feeling like you can't get enough breath doesn't go away immediately after quitting. You keep trying to take deep breaths, but it feels like you can't get enough air. This will last about a month before you begin breathing normally again. You have been so used to deep breathing with smoke that you need to give yourself a little time to adjust.

Changes in Breathing when you quit Smoking

Himalayan Chandra Ceramic Neti Pot
Himalayan Chandra Ceramic Neti Pot

It feels almost as if someone has turned on a little water hose in your head. This symptom may last up to two months. A neti pot will help clear things out.


Circulation Issues: Duration and Treatment

  • Dizziness: The dizziness is due to increased circulation of oxygen to the brain, and it should only last a few days until your brain gets used to it. Give your body time to readjust.
  • Stiffness/Leg Pains: This almost feels like those growing pains you had as a kid and is a sign of improved circulation. Remember, you are changing at a cellular and muscular level. Take a hot bath, get a massage, rub on some tiger balm, or just put your legs up to rest. Give yourself a break!
  • Tingly Fingers and Toes: This is also caused by the improved circulation and may last a few days to a couple of weeks.
  • Swelling, Bloating, and Tight Waistband: This is due to fluid retention. But still, help your body flush out the toxins by drinking a lot of water and cutting down on sodium. People tend to gain three to seven pounds of temporary water weight when they first quit smoking. For you men, this is the closest you will ever come to experiencing PMS!

Afraid of Weight Gain When You Quit Smoking?

Aside from the unavoidable and temporary gain in water weight, some people are afraid of gaining weight after they quit smoking. If that's you, then pump up your metabolism, cut out the sweets or other foods you use to occupy your mouth and find some other way to keep yourself busy.

The time to start understanding why people gain weight is before you stop smoking. I have described this in more detail in my article How to Stop Smoking and Not Gain Weight.

Sleep Changes: Duration and Treatment

  • Insomnia: After you quit smoking, you don't go into such a deep sleep as you did when you smoked. It almost feels like you have been up all night. You tend to go into a lighter sleep state of rapid eye movement (REM) more often, usually every 90 minutes. Many new non-smokers are not used to this lighter sleep and feel like they're not sleeping well. Your body will get used to the new sleep cycle eventually but until then, you might consider a sleep aid. Calms Forte is made by Hyland's and it is herbal and non-addictive. It helps you feel rested and not drugged in the morning. I have taken it, have told many students about it, and even had my mom taking it!
  • Dreams: When you quit smoking, sometimes you might experience vivid dreams, maybe even nightmares. Having dreams or even nightmares is a very good sign because it means that you are working out your problems rather than smoking them.
  • Vivid Dreams with Zyban, Wellbutrin, or Chantix: Although is typical to have very vivid dreams when you quit smoking, I have heard that the dreams that you get from taking these drugs are more "over-the-top" and a lot more dramatic than the dreams that you may have otherwise.

Hyland's Calms Forte Sleep Aid 300 Tablets, Natural Relief of Stress, Sleep, Anxiousness, Nervousness and Irritability (Packaging May Vary)
Hyland's Calms Forte Sleep Aid 300 Tablets, Natural Relief of Stress, Sleep, Anxiousness, Nervousness and Irritability (Packaging May Vary)

Calms Forte is made by Hyland's and it is herbal and non-addictive. It helps you feel rested and not drugged in the morning. I have taken it, have told many students about it, and even had my mom taking it!


Trouble Sleeping with the Nicotine Patch?

Nicotine stresses the heart and makes it beat 10,000 more beats a day. This can affect your sleep patterns. You may be on too high of a dosage.

Contrary to what the patch manufacturers or doctors may tell you, you need to calculate the nicotine level of the cigarettes you were smoking to know what level of patch you need to be on, and then you may need to make adjustments.

There are three strengths of nicotine patches:

  • 21 mg (patch manufacturers and doctors will ask how many packs you smoke a day: If you smoke a pack a day, they will put you on the 21 mg patch)
  • 14 mg (if you smoke half a pack a day, they recommend the 14 mg patch)
  • 7 mg (for those who smoke less than half a pack a day)

Does it matter what brand you smoked? Yes. It depends on the total nicotine level you used to use, not on how many cigarettes you smoked. Because every brand of cigarette contains a different amount of nicotine, these generalizations might not be accurate in your case. If you're getting too much nicotine, you may have trouble sleeping, so to make sure that you are using the right patch, look at a nicotine chart to calculate for your brand.

If you used to smoke a pack of Carlton's, that would be 20 x .1 = 2 mg of nicotine, so you should go on the lowest patch (7 mg) and even that may be too high. Or if you used to smoke a half a pack of American Spirits Ultra Lights, that would be 10 x 1.79 mg of nicotine = almost 18 mg total, and you should probably start out on the 14 or the 21 mg patch.

A lethal dose of nicotine is 50-80 mg, and this is why you are warned not to smoke when you are on the patch: That much nicotine is very hard on the heart and could even kill you.

Pregnant women should not take any drugs to stop smoking.

Fatigue, Sleepiness, and Drowsiness: Duration and Treatment

Nicotine is a vasoconstrictor, constricting your blood vessels and stressing out your heart. As a smoker, your heart had to work harder, making your heart beat 10,000 more times a day.

When you stop smoking, your heart rate slows down, thus slowing down your metabolism. When you are not getting that punch of nicotine, you may feel tired, sleepy, and lethargic. You might feel run down, almost as if you have a cold—in fact, some people refer to this feeling as the "smokers' flu" or "quitters' flu." Don't worry, this is only temporary and will only last a few weeks. After that, you will have more energy than when you smoked!

But sometimes it takes longer to get your energy back. Your body remembers running on those shots of nicotine and getting those boosts of energy. When you quit, your body needs to adjust to its natural rhythm and sometimes it can feel like you are more tired than ever. Listen to your body, get rest, and this too shall pass.

Treatment: Take cat naps, go to bed earlier, and drink fruit juice and water. If you have to drive or run heavy machinery, you can drink another cup of coffee or get some lozenges with caffeine in them to help keep you awake and safe.

Remember: Fatigue is the one trigger for smoking, so it is important to get your rest.

There might Be Some Sleep Changes when You Stop Smoking

Emotional Side Effects: Duration and Treatment

Irritability is partially caused by fluid retention, and there are two things you can do: Drink as much water as you possibly can and cut down on foods that are high in sodium. Foods that are high in sodium are soups, pickles, packaged or highly processed foods, or any food on which you can see the salt. Salt makes you retain water and water retention makes you cranky.

Another cause of anger and irritability is that you're having to deal with issues rather than escaping to smoke them, instead. You will have to learn other ways of dealing with your emotions. You'll also need to teach people how they are going to treat you. In the past if you quit smoking they said, "Oh, you were nicer as a smoker." Now, you have to explain that you are going to handle life in a different way rather than smoke for it. Trust me, eventually it will all smooth out.

If you don't know how to deal with your emotions, you'll have to start looking around for answers that resonate for you. Talking to someone who understands, reading a book, or finding other ways to express, release, or redirect your feelings is key now. I really liked a book called Getting in Touch with your Inner Bitch by Elizabeth Hilts. (Sorry guys, there is no male counterpart.)

Is It More Difficult for Men or Women to Stop Smoking?

A new study published by the Yale University School of Medicine suggests why women tend to find it harder to quit smoking than men: Women's brains respond differently to nicotine.

Experts used to believe that when someone smokes, the number of nicotine receptors in the brain (which bind to and reinforce the habit of smoking nicotine) are thought to increase in number. But recent studies show that this is only true for men. While male smokers have a larger number of nicotine receptors than male nonsmokers, women smokers have about the same number of nicotine receptors as female nonsmokers.

This study is important because most treatments involve nicotine-replacement therapies, but these may not work for women. Women may benefit more from other approaches including behavioral therapy, exercise, relaxation techniques, and other non-nicotine-based methods.

For both men and women, however, it takes more than just a pill like Chantix or Zyban to stop smoking. It also takes more than just hypnosis (which is just mental) or acupuncture (which is just physical) to quit. The smoking habit has something to do with nicotine but more to do with habits and with stuffed emotions you've been avoiding. This may be even more true for women.

After 72 hours after quitting, the nicotine is gone. After that, all you are left with are your feelings, habits, and routines. Those are the things that need to be dealt with to quit permanently!

Sore Mouth and Bleeding Gums: Duration and Treatment

When you smoked, you were literally smoking your gums and throat the way you might smoke a piece of salmon. Your gums and tissues built up a crust just. When you quit smoking, that old, hard crust will slough off, and in its place you will get new, fresh tissue, almost like when a baby is teething.

Only about one out of thirty people who quit smoking get a sore mouth, gums, or tongue, but if you are that one, your mouth will feel like it is on fire. A student in one of my classes had to have her dentures relined because there was that much of a change in her gums from quitting smoking.

Don't suffer from this symptom, which may last as long as eight weeks. Before it was discontinued, I used to tell people to try Amosan. It was a soothing mouth rinse that came in a powder that you mixed with water.It is very soothing and relieves a sore mouth. The good news is that there is a generic replacement for called Life Brand Oral Wound Cleanser made in Canada.

Other Side Effects of Stopping Smoking

  • Itchiness: If you are doing a lot of scratching, it is probably just caused by increased circulation, and it will only last a few weeks.
  • Depression: Depression is a common side effect of stopping smoking, in the short and long term. It may feel like grief or the way you might feel if you lost a loved one. They say that quitters go through a period of mourning in the early stages of withdrawal. If it continues, take an herbal drug remedy called Sulfonil by Thorne. You need more than pills to quit smoking—you need to start dealing with the underlying causes of your emotions—but a medication or herb can help. Since depression is also caused by water retention, cut down on salt and processed foods for a few months, start to do a little bit more exercise, and drink a lot more water.
  • Headache: Many quitters experience headaches during withdrawal.
  • Excitement: Your emotions are all over the board. Give yourself some time to smooth out.
  • Hot Flashes: I had hot flashes when I quit. I would have smoked in the shower if I could have kept the cigarette lit. Both men and women experience hormone changes when they quit nicotine.

Hot Flashes When You Stop Smoking?

When you quit, you may experience hot flashes: intense surges of heat that make you sweat and turn your cheeks red. They will only last a few weeks, and you can use a natural progesterone cream to help: Rub a 1/4 tsp. on a fatty part of your body in the morning and evening.

I recommend a natural, over-the-counter progesterone cream called ProGest made by Emerita because both men and women can use it. (It is not hormone replacement therapy or HRT).

Note for men: Don't worry, you won't grow breasts if you rub this cream on! If you have been a smoker, natural progesterone cream will also help with osteoporosis. Smoking is one of the main causes of osteoporosis.

Short and Long Term Improvements to Your Health When You Quit Smoking
Short and Long Term Improvements to Your Health When You Quit Smoking

What about you?

Which side effects of stopping smoking are bothering you the most?

  • My biggest problems are digestive: heartburn, gas, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, etc.
  • My skin (blemishes/hives) is bugging me.
  • Respiration is the main issue: I'm having trouble with coughing, breathing, and phlegm.
  • Circulation issues are the worst: dizziness, leg pain, itchiness, tingling, and swelling.
  • The weight gain bothers me the most.
  • I'm having the most trouble sleeping: fatigue, insomnia, and disturbing dreams.
  • The emotional shifts (depression, mood swings, irritability) are the most troubling.
  • My mouth hurts.
  • I have a headache that won't go away!
  • Other (please describe in the comments section below).
See results without voting

Comments 568 comments

Dee 3355 2 weeks ago

Lela Bryan...I cannot locate your new page do i find it??? or can you send a link??

Dee 3355 3 weeks ago

Art.....I think you need to go see your Dr. ....A year and you feel this bad?? its been 5 months for me, and im not feeling so swift either...But im hoping i start feeling better soon!! Lela?? have you heard of this before???

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 3 weeks ago from Alameda, CA Author


Are you saying that you have quit smoking for one year and you are still suffering? OMG that is horrible.

Art 3 weeks ago

November 1st 2016 will be one year, without anything I quit cold turkey, this is the worst feeling I have ever been in my entire life breathing gasping for air when I bend over because my stomach is as hard as a rock bloating and just feeling under the weather all the time.

Dee 3355 3 weeks ago

MC Butch...I will give it a try!! Thank you~

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 3 weeks ago from Alameda, CA Author


Being dizzy is a normal symptom of recovery and it is temporary. Be careful to get up slowly and take it easy for a while. Your body is adjusting to a new amount of oxygen in your brain. It will go away but I know it is annoying. Soon you will have more strength and stamina but for now take it easy. Lela

Natty 3 weeks ago


I quit smoking a month ago and I am having very bad dizzy spells to the point of me falling down and almost passing out. I went to the doctor yesterday for a regular appointent and they said my blood pressure was 75 over 42 which was very low and my blood sugar was fine. I am really concerned about it. I am making sure to eat, drink plenty of electrolytes, and water and it is still happening. During this time of almost passing out I feel extremely sick to my stomach but can't hurl. Any help would be appreciated. :)

AMIT SINGH 3 weeks ago

Hi Leela,

I have left the smoking before 1 and half month back:

1. I am feeling thirsty throat.

2. I am feeling incomfartibility in my throat.

3. Sometime feeling little bit pain also, but it's not more just sometime and very little.

4. Burning in throat and chest.

5. Initial didn't face these issues now I am facing thse issues.

-I feel dry throat(food pipe) every now and then and feel like thirsty all the time.

-sometimes I feel very minor pinching pain in my throat.(not a major type)

I am very worry about this please suggest me something.

Because of worryness I am not able to sleep.

Please please suggest me as soon as possible. Lela.

Dee 3355 3 weeks ago had no lumps at all...but you should go see your Dr. to see if you have a infection, as sinuses can cause this too..We have lymph nodes all over our body.....Ive been sick with my sinuses now with swollen glands...this could be your problem..Go see the Dr...tell him you've stopped smoking and all your going will be amazed how much help it is, as this page has been to me. I never thought i would be going threw SO much quitting cold turkey, but i did it, and its been 5 months...I will never go back after going threw this HE double hockey sticks!!! ALSO....I did have stomach, Gas issues also...I bought Tums and some nexium...and i watched my diet, no spicey foods.. ....So keep positive and go get checked out.....:)

MC Butch 3 weeks ago

Hi Dee 3355, I drink apple cider vinegar with Honey and it helps me a lot to my sinus problem, 2 weeks drinking of apple cider w/ honey makes my sinus problem disappeared. i'd suffer sinus problem for 3 months ...Now , 4 months after quitting i only have acid reflux and anxiety occasionally. Hope it can help...

Dee 3355 3 weeks ago

@JOHN.....NO..I didn't have a lump in my throat...I had nausea, and trouble swallowing. Had to have a endoscopy, and i was diagnosed with on Nexium now , and GERD diet....this is no fun either. Smoking makes the LES flap at the end of your esophagus to your stomach weak...and SMOKING causes it to be weaker. Im still dealing with this sinus and ear stuff for 3 weeks now, seeing a ENT Dr. tomorrow. I sure will be happy when im feeling good again.....!!! Im 5 months no smoking! :)

john 3 weeks ago

@DEE 3355.. did u also had a swollen lump on neck....? It's hard to's more like a bump on the neck..yes I m feeling like lots of gas is inside me. Having all kind of gastric problems.

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 3 weeks ago from Alameda, CA Author


I'm so sorry you are going through all of this. I am going to be starting a free webinar to answer questions about the side effects of quitting smoking. Sign up for it in the that says nicotine withdrawal in the main body of the Hubpage. It will be held every Thursday.

Jackie 4 weeks ago

I quit 1 yr and 11 months ago. I have never felt so bad in my life, still. So many issues, may be coincidence but I don't think so. I don't want to scare anyone. None of this is common, I'm just a freak of nature, I guess.

I developed Fibromyalgia...constant, terrible pain. I came out of menopause after 4 years, yes, I had reached puberty again at the age of 46. Terrible migraines and acne like I was 15 again. My tongue burns terribly and I get canker sores on my tongue all the time. I gained 30 lbs. I am always tired and I became so anemic that I needed iron infusions. I am also super deficient in folic acid, vitamin D and vitamin B12. I have also developed cysts on my liver and my kidneys. Coincidence, I think not!

How does all this happen? I felt much better when I was smoking. Really!

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 4 weeks ago from Alameda, CA Author

Dee 3355,

Thanks Dee for letting us know about GERD. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is a digestive disorder that affects the lower esophageal sphincter.

Dee 3355 4 weeks ago

John.................sounds like GERD....go see a Gastro dcotor...I have it also, and it feels like a lump in the will be on a GERD diet...medications..and especially no cigarettes.....been there, and its not fun......NONE of the side effects to quitting smoking has been pleasant..I too have suffered as all of you have...but im almost 6 months, NO cigs, and im feeling better everyday....drink as much water as you can...and rest when your not feeling so all takes time, but WE will all get there..........:)

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 4 weeks ago from Alameda, CA Author


A lot of smokers experience the same symptoms of recovery but everyone is so different in terms of how long the symptoms last.

john 4 weeks ago

it's 2 months since I have quit smoking still I am having trouble swallowing and thr is swollen lump on my neck. I also expirence indigestion and abdominal pain. How much time does it take for the symptoms to go away?

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 4 weeks ago from Alameda, CA Author


No I don't think its cancer (that said I'm not doctor) but people do have weird things that happen to them.

kunal 4 weeks ago

Hi lela,

one last question Can it be something serious like cancer??and yes I am having trouble swallowing

I smoked for 3 years.I am having swollen bone like part just below my throat after qutting. it's still present after 1.5 month of quitting. Is everything normal with me?

Dee 3355 4 weeks ago

Lela Bryan....Thank you for your help also....I wanted to address that smell in the nose so others know its normal...but sometimes ends up as a sinus infection...No fun...!! my 6 month anniversary of NO Cigarettes is soon!!! YAY!! and Kudos to ALL who have quit cold turkey!! ~

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 4 weeks ago from Alameda, CA Author

Thanks Dee 3355!

Dee 3355 4 weeks ago

I cannot seem to locate the answers im getting............Anyhow...someone mentioned the awful smell coming from the nose...I have this also....My Dr. said im growing new cilia and developed a severe sinus infection. Been on antibiotics for 3 weeks!! ....quit smoking now, cold turkey for 5 months, and im still not feeling the greatest.but i AM feeling a little better...Listen to all Lela has to tell you as it is the truth. Good Luck to everyone...I am grateful for this forum as its helped me alot........

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 4 weeks ago from Alameda, CA Author


I have never heard of a swollen bone as a symptom... maybe its trouble swallowing? I would wait a couple of more weeks and then go see a doctor. It doesn't typical.

kunal 4 weeks ago

I smoked for 3 years.I am having swollen bone like part just below my throat after qutting. it's still present after 1.5 month of quitting. Is everything normal with me?

Tememi 4 weeks ago

its been two days since my last smoke and i started to feel the side effects on the second day im having a hard time to breath properly and i feel really dizzy but a good thing i had a nightmare witch i haven't had in a loooong time ( weird to be happy for a nightmare lol ) but the most annoying thing is that i feel my ear canal is being eaten from the inside i asked a doctor about it and apperantly it seems because of quitting smoking.

wish you all the best and never give up for the disease we've been putting in our body for a long time!

Lance 4 weeks ago

Hi - woke up 10 days ago with an attitude of "I don't smoke anymore" I didn't really want to quit it just happened and was totally unplanned. Over these last 10 days I have had virtually no cravings, even when other people spark up next to me, the funny thing about that is, now I have a better sense of smell, I can tell the quality of their tobacco, most Turner smells like WD40 and chimney soot, anyways, the only problem I seem to be having is a foul taste leaching out of my badly receded gums, bad breath and my loose teeth are looser - now with blood when brushing. Although it's now apparent I need all my teeth out, my Dentist has been reluctant in the past as my full set of teeth are in good shape with only 3 fillings, mind you, I was warned over 10 years ago that I would lose my teeth if I didn't stop smoking! Smoked for 30 years, started aged 22 - stopped aged 52 :)

Derek Forde Ireland 5 weeks ago

Thank you foir the advice.. Off the cigarettes, 5 weeks tomorrow and I feel awful. No appetite cuz I seem to have constant heartburn/ acid reflux.. will wait a few more weeks before going to the doc

sr 5 weeks ago

Dee 3355 ! 3 month i quite same problem i am facing

MC Butch 6 weeks ago

Hi Lela,,, I quit for 3 months and 2 weeks but i am still suffering for acid reflux associated with anxiety and irritating esophagus... Sometimes it is hard to breath... i take omeprazole but it seems no effect... What should i do? And how long the withdrawal syndrome disappear? Thank you and God Bless

Dee 3355 6 weeks ago

Just want to ask anyone if they Smell cigarettes threw your nose????? Ive quit for 4 months now, and I did have a sinus infection...I use a neti-pot as you said..But im still smelling smoke!!!! isnt this crazy???? lol

Vianca Nel 6 weeks ago

I quit smoking 19 days ago cold turkey if I may add. I am amazed at how amazing I feel. It seemed impossible, but it's all in the head. Thanks for the info :-)

Tracey 6 weeks ago

I quit 6 days ago cold turkey after smoking 10 years this last time. I've smoked well over 30 but have quit numerous times before. This time seemed to be the hardest. I'm not doing too badly except for the headaches but the worst is anxiety and jumpy feeling. Especially in my legs. It's so bad I'm walking around my house at 3 am because I don't know what to do with myself. I know it's going to be worth it in the end!

bernadete 6 weeks ago

The dizziness really caught me off guard, I feel very spaced out and a bit loopy! I am on day three and despite the withdrawal symptoms I am very pleased with myself and delighted that I am finally no longer a slave to these awful things. I took a week off work just to concentrate on getting the first few days right and have the edge taken off before going back to a stressful environment.

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 7 weeks ago from Alameda, CA Author


Your last comment was the best compliment I have ever received!


A Hopfer 7 weeks ago

I quite 8 months ago now and starting on my 9th. I never thought in a million years I would... I smoked for 45 years. In looking back over the past 8 months the physcological withdrawl was the hardest.

I am one of the few .... I had the mouth issues which are almost gone now and am sure my body will go through many more changes as it heals itself from my abuse. I am doing Oil Pulling and that has helped tremendously!

Overall.. I can say I have more energy and I don't cough anymore.. I have gained weight, which for me is a good thing. I still have urges but they are few and far between.

I will say this that some of the physical side effects of quitting I was not prepared for and am so glad I found this page... they really need to make the info on what to expect more available to us... I can honestly see why so many people go back to smoking....

I know that I will continue to push forward and google natural remedies for my symptoms etc... DON'T GIVE UP! You are doing a good thing for your body!

Cate 7 weeks ago

Thank you very much. I really appreciate what you have done here as so many have said. The misinformation from the medical community on this topic seems almost intentional but at the very least totally unhelpful and alarming. Your hub is the only place I have found that is realistic and knowledgable!!!

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 7 weeks ago from Alameda, CA Author


Yes it is possible that the symptoms last as long as 5 months. A lot of the symptoms are the same but I cant tell you how long they will last because everyone is so different. I would say that the most I have heard that the symptoms lasting is 5 months to sometime even a year but that is rare!

It seems to me that you should be just about done with the symptoms (fun! lol)


Cate 7 weeks ago

I quit smoking cold turkey almost 5 months ago. I smoked for 32 years all day every. I have never heard anyone speak about nicotine withdrawn and finding it hard to believe that I feel so lousy. The anxiety and cloudiness followed by panic attacks are the worst. I become convinced something is very wrong with me and this can not be fro,m withdrawal!! And yet everyone here has been through similar. My question is that new things keep popping up . Last week I had leg and arm tingling which has passed but yesterday after weeks of constipation I started having diarreah is that possible after almost 5 months ????? And when might all this fun end


Elaine 2 months ago

Thank you for this info, I was ready to go to the doctor due to the dull ache in my legs thinking I had blood clots since that's what Google said could be the problem. Knowing that it is a withdrawal sympton makes me feel better.

Debbie 2 months ago

I quit smoking in May, I have smoked for 35 years.. I had no problem i only took Chantix for 8 weeks.. I still have the cravings for one.. But i can shake it off pretty easy.. My side effects after smoking is itching, clearing my throat, and my mind stays foggy can't always remember things.Also hot flashes.. And i am having that crude off my gums and throat... And still having stomach problems, but i can cope with it all.. I know my body is going through a big adjustment and i don't know what to do with my time since i smoked outside i have alot of time on my hands...I am so happy that i am a NON SMOKER .. Never thought that i would be.. One thing you got to be ready to guit smoking or it want work..

Linda 2 months ago

THANK YOU!!! I have been sooo drowsy since I quit., being stuck on the couch. In a fog. Even after I took both doses of Chantex in the evening. Now I know this will go away!!!!!!!! Thank You

Nelson 2 months ago

Hello everyone. My name is Nelson, perhaps you won't believe my story, but is that truth.

I've been a smoker for 25 years , one pack a day , and a bit more when I used to drink.

I quit drinking almost 4 years ago , but I kept smoking. Last Friday , July 29th 2016

Decided to back to church after 27 years , I knew that I had to quit smoking to reconciliation with God, so I quit cold turkey. Boy was quite a ride. First day without smoking I started to get desperate and itchy throat, second day was worst, third day I almost went crazy, wanted to jump in front of a car , and starting to have suicidal thought. For those who do not understand the Christian evangelical church , let me tell you that the devil will attack you more at your weakest, but that day I was going crazy , but started to pray since the morning, every hour got worse and worse , around 5:30 in the afternoon , my wife said lets go to Verizon , so you can put your mine somewhere else, but she didn't understand what was I going through, some people would look at me like I was crazy because I was talking to God a little out loud, because I coulnt take it anymore, it was about to rain went to window look at the sky and said: father please help me, I cannot take this anymore , have mercy please help me.

One minute later we spoke with the girl, did not like the plans , and my wife told me to go to Metro pcs, which was about a block and a half away. On my way there , I was driving and praying still. As soon as we got to the parking lot and got out of the car , did not feel any withdrawal symptom, felt happy with a big smile on my face and crying , I told my wife: " I told you he was powerful" this is my 4th day, and feel great, no anxiety, depression what's so ever. If you don't believe me , ask one of your friend that is a Christian , and he will tell you that I'm not lying. Only 3 days and felt awesome without a cigarrette. Hard to believe huh?

Well, is the power of the lord, if you pray and ha e faith, he will answer .

If you have any questions , please feel free to write at :

One last thing? If I hadn't gone back to church and reconciliation with God , trust me , trust me, I would have smoked like 3 packs in about an hour that 3 day.

I'm sharing this story because God is great , and if you believe in him and repent of your sins, he will be your savior , and have nothing to worry about .

God bless you all, kept up th faith fellas.

Done smoking 3 months ago

It's been 3 months for me I used the gum. I only gained 3 lbs. I smoked for 20 years. When I get irritable I pop that gum in my mouth And I'm good to go. Just the headaches and tiredness is killing me ugh! Even though I take sleep medicine it helps but still just feeling tired is awful 3 months ago

i was asmoker with 45 sigarets a day minimum for 30 years.quit Marh 10th onwards.Believe me i had fistulla for last 2 years,and swear it remains disappeared for last 30 days.but stiff neck problem,sleep diturbance,some type of distrbance in the head and wet nose problem still remain. i had a very troublesome 2nd and 3rd month with many other problems.what u suggest to get rid of the remaining problems.I didnt have any doctor's advice or medication for quitting or afterwards.

thank u


kbear 3 months ago

this is my 4th day and the muscle cramps around my lungs and in my legs are horrible.

george 3 months ago

that is a great article. I quite 90 days ago and since quitting I have had muscles twitches, at first in my legs then arms and now lower back. it is driving me crazy. everything else has been pretty easy as once I decided to stop I stopped. I did use nicorrette cool drops until 3 days ago starting at 15 a day for a few days before reducing all the way down to one up until last week. I think I would be feeling great but these twitches are crazy. I've been to a dr, my blood is normal, I have had an Mri on the back and head after visiting a neurologist who says it doesn't appear sinister....... has anyone else had anything similar going on?

Ant 3 months ago

Like most posts, I am so glad I came across this site..definitely needs to be more information available!!! I have been on and off again for the past 6 months because I struggle with the symptoms. I feel like I've shaken it this time, been 3 weeks and I don't have the intense cravings like before...the shortness of breath and sore chest is the worst!

Colin Dixon 3 months ago

Thanks you so much for this site. I gave up just over 5 weeks ago, using a vaporiser. I was a an ultra light cigarette smoker so am using the lowest nicotine fluid available. For the first couple of weeks I didn't really notice any symptoms but now i have incredibly painful legs, even after just 10 minutes or so walking they burn like crazy and don't stop even when i am resting. My other symptom is feeling like i am stoned all the time! i feel very depressed, irritable and find it increasingly difficult to concentrate on anything at work. Its been reassuring to read here that others have experienced and got over similar symptoms but my question is shouild i be experiencing these if i am not actually giving up nicotine? My idea now is to stop with the vaporiser but i'm scared the pain and depression will get even worse. thanks for any thoughts.

Rishi 3 months ago

Thanks for this wonderful and informative article. I am on my third day, having a little heartburn and lethargy. Every time I get those bad crave, I take a banana instead, and trust me it really help to get over it.

Oahusurfer 4 months ago

Thanks Lela for all the reassurances. I quit four months ago and have been visiting this site regularly since, because I was suffering heavily with the stuffed dry sinuses, tight lumpy throat, and worst of all--the tight, dry, slightly wheezy "short of breath" chest congestion that freaks out so many people after they quit smoking. I even went so far as to finally call my doctor yesterday, and they said to come in for X-rays, breathing tests, and possibly a low-dose CT scan of my lungs (more powerful than normal x-ray). But I must say--last night, about an hour before bed, suddenly all those dreadful, panic-inducing symptoms just "melted away!" I couldn't believe it. It's been so long, I'd forgotten what "normal" felt like. But I went to sleep cautiously, knowing that I could very well wake up in the morning and the tight chest wheeze and the rest of the symptoms would still be there. But lo and behold, they were NOT. My lungs this morning felt clear as a bell, with just a slight "wetness" and productive movement when I forced a cough. My sinuses were totally normal, not thick and stuffed as they'd been the past four straight months. Same for the lump-in-throat that made me clear my throat every five minutes, all day every day. Gone. Normal.

I don't know why or how it all went away. And of course, perhaps these frightening symptoms might return. However, I still feel very good now, more than 24 hours later. This "window of freedom" is enough to convince me that there is light at the end of the tunnel, even if the symptoms DO return. Because right now I'm basking in the feeling of "normality." Thank God!

Bobbey 4 months ago

I quit 7/24/15. I am 45 and had smoked almost 30 years. I had a lot(almost all) the symptoms. In 2 months the swelling/bloating/pain started. Gained 20 pounds the 1st month, even with dieting and exercise. Now, the swelling has come back, the indigestion is so bad now that I have to have Rx, and the weight gain has not stopped. in 10 months, I have gained 60lbs and it is not stopping. All blood work shows that I am health as a 20 year old. Are you sure, this will go away?

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 4 months ago from Alameda, CA Author


Yes having a sore mouth and tongue when you quit is very common. I recommend a product that you can rinse with called LifeBrand Oral wound cleanser. It is made in Canada and you have to order it.

Brooke 4 months ago

Hi Lela I just quit smoking on Sat May 28 have noticed that my mouth and tongue are sore so you say this is common ?????? Otherwise I'm doing ok have a headaches now and then very tired !!

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 4 months ago from Alameda, CA Author

D Shannahan,

Thanks for the nice words!

D Shannahan profile image

D Shannahan 4 months ago from Everywhere Man!

Wow, what an in-depth hub. Very good information thank you.

Bluchow 5 months ago

Hi Lola,

It is very important that you get a full thyroid lab done. It could very well be your thyroid causing you lots of problems since you have quit. Hope this helps you out. Hang in there. If you are not happy with your Dr. GET A NEW ONE. Very important. If you can find a Functional Dr. I believe they will help you the most. Especially if this has anything to do with your thyroid levels. Good Luck

Cindy 5 months ago

Thank you, Lela

I'm on day 5 now.

Thank you so much for this website. Gosh, so many withdraw symptoms. Everyday it's something new!

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 5 months ago from Alameda, CA Author


The muddleheadedness is caused from getting more oxygen to your brain. It takes from 2 to 3 months for your brain to adjust to the new complement of extra oxygen.

Do lots of deep breathing, drink water, try to take things slower and try to be as organized as you can. You will feel like you are loosing it but it is only temporary and will go away!

Cindy 5 months ago

Great information! I'm on day 3 and I feel great, but I'm in a fog! I'm very lightheaded. I've smoked for 25 years and I cannot believe that I do not want a cigarette - I used the cold turkey method. When will the lightheadness go away? I love that I am so calm now.

cs 5 months ago

am on day 3 of not smoking and am working through the withdrawals and anxiety, but after 18 years of smoking i would rather die a non smoker than the alternative. Stay strong all the people trying

Lolo69 profile image

Lolo69 6 months ago

Hallo again Lela. Will tell you that I have mailed you now. Thanks again .:)

Lolo69 profile image

Lolo69 6 months ago

Hi lela! Many thanks for you answer. It means very Much.

I have medecin for the water in my body.but that not help me so much.

My doctor is not so god at this. Dont know wath to do.

If you want email me, I'll be really greatful. Like I said before Im from sweden and Im not so good at english, but I'll try my best. Really need help. Thanks again Im so greatful.

Venkatachari M profile image

Venkatachari M 6 months ago from Hyderabad, India

Very much informative and in-depth dealt article. You have gathered a lot of useful information to help the quitters of smoking.

I hope that quitting the smoking in a gradual process, in a step-by-step manner, may not trouble that much as is done by cold turkey quitting. I am asking my son to gradually reduce his quantity of cigarettes. But, he is not thinking of quitting as yet.

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 6 months ago from Alameda, CA Author

Hi Lolo,

Would you private message me and tell me your age and I can't tell by your name if you are male or female. That might help me understand what you are experiencing a little bit better!

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 6 months ago from Alameda, CA Author

Hi Lolo,

Wow 8 months is a long time to suffer with these side effects. You are doing everything that I normally suggest. I usually tell people to use over the counter methods and it will go away. I think with you I would suggest going back to the doctor to get a temporary prescription for depression and take some diuretics for the water retention because it looks like the natural methods aren't helping.

Seriously I rarely suggest going to the doctor to solve the side effects of quitting smoking but I would say do whatever it is going to take to keep your comfortable. It will go away but with you it is taking a really long time. Sorry you are going through all of this.

Jeff 6 months ago

Hugs to you, Lolo!

Lolo 6 months ago

Hallo My name is Lolo and I am from sweden. I stopped smoking for 8 month ago. After 32 year smoking. It has been a very,very hard time for me . Im still depressed and collecting a lot of water in my body. Especially in the face. I suffer very,very much cry everyday and dont want to go out. I try every thing. Usinng very little salt, drinking much water, eating parsley ,lemon water melon etc. And my doctor has giving me medicin for it. Nothing helping me. And I am so sad..... Please help me when Shall it stop. I dont want this anymore..... So greatful for help.... Please,please help.

andy 6 months ago


i quit cold turkey 26 days ago. I was a heavy tobacco smoker for 13 jrs, no filters, just rolling paper and raw tobacco. before i quit completely i was cigarette-free for 8days and then smoked again. The first 8 days were the hard ones, my throat hurt and my lungs had the sensation like there was broken glass in there. then my fingers and toes started burning. I was in pain, at one moment i was worried about the pain so much i tought i was sick and it was to late. But then stupidly i started smoking again. I dont get myself, i was angry for giving in and the anger is wat pulled me over to quitting completely now. SO, 28 days ago i quit on april's fools day. And i did not feel the same pain, except for the first week i did not feel any negative withdrawal symptoms. I just gained some kilo's and my throat is tickeling i also feel my blood pumping and my lips (face) are tickeling too... all good signs i guess


Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 6 months ago from Alameda, CA Author

Kim James-Veinott,

It will a couple of weeks to a couple of months. Drink more water, use less salt and processed foods. you will retain water and that is why you feel like you are PMSing. It is temporary and will pass. Try finding some fun things to do.

Kim James-Veinott profile image

Kim James-Veinott 6 months ago

Congratulations to all who have quit smoking!!! What a journey. I am 24 days smoke free and have really learned a lot from reading the article and your posts. It has been a challenge and although I am better today for the past two days I was very emotional and trying to find things to depress me. It was definitley PMS like however I am way past PMS'ing. Just wanted to know if anyone else experienced this and how long I could expect it to last. Like I said much better today and have a handle on it but wonder for how long I can expect reocurrences. Thank you for any advice you may have.

A Hopfer 6 months ago

I am now 3 mos smoke free. The moth issue comes and goes but still here as well as the digestion issues. I have changed my diet and am eating healthier now to help my body heal itself. I suppose after 45 years of abuse it is going to take a bit more time for the side effects to go away. I have found other sites and they tell people these side effects are NOT related to their quitting smoking.. but I tell you as one who is experiencing them that they are. I did NOT have them before I quit and they started appearing after I quite. Not all at once either but gradually. I know in time they will ease and disappear.. in the mean time I have found chewing gum helps with the mouth and Tums with the indigestion. The flatulence is more of a nuisance than anything an it too will pass.

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 7 months ago from Alameda, CA Author


You are wondering if after you quit smoking for 3 weeks if a clicking sound in your throat is caused by quitting smoking. I haven't heard of this before but my guess is that if it started after you quit, it will be around for a while and then just go away. Your body is going through a lot of changes.

If it lasts more than 6 weeks then go to the doctor.


Rhon13 profile image

Rhon13 7 months ago

Hi Lela

i was searching for the side effect of quitting smoking , and i landed here at Excellent Hub .. im looking for other effects and i cant find anything regarding about my problem . i just want to ask that after i quit smoke on march 11 2016 almost 3 weeks after i quit . i experience this kind of annoying clicking sound at my throat every time i swallow some saliva but if i put my head on left and upward or drinking or eating some food there's no sound its not painful at all .. is this also a side effect when you quit smoke ?? i hope you can help me with this issue .. thanks and God Bless

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 7 months ago from Alameda, CA Author

Way to go Justin

Justin 7 months ago

4 days now without a cigarette. I had quit for 5 years before but started again about 2 years ago. I do not want to start again!

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 7 months ago from Alameda, CA Author

You go Joseph

Joseph 7 months ago

Nicotine free, and just a message to everybody... stick with it. Sure, everybody will experience it differently, but, one thing is for sure, we all share the end result - freedom from that nicotine shit.

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 7 months ago from Alameda, CA Author

Hi Anne,

I'm glad you found it helpful!

Lela Bryan

Anne 7 months ago

I am so glad I found this site! I have many of the side effects you mentioned here! No one prepares you for what is to come. I smoked for 45 years and quit cold turkey. My body went on tilt and the tongue was the most irritating and concerning of my side effects. I wish they would better prepare us for what to expect. Maybe more people would stick to quitting! I have no intention of bailing out but will now move forward knowing that his is merely part of my body healing itself! Thank you! ps.. I am smoke free now for 2 1/2 months :)

Anne H 7 months ago

I am so glad I found this site. I quite smoking in Jan. I am heading for my 3rd mos and still experiencing alot of these side affects! I have the sore tongue, acid reflux, and hot flashes. At one point I thought .. geesh.. I felt better smoking.. but now after reading this realize that these will all go away. I am thinking my symptoms are longer and more sever than some as I smoked for 45+ years so my body has a LOT of detoxing to do! PS chewing gum helps with the tongue issue!

Mujeeb 8 months ago

Thanks a lot for sharing info on this site.

Its a relief after reading the symptoms and comments posted. I am from India and I quit smoking cold turkey way. Its been 11 days since I did not smoke. The only problem I have is heart burn and gas and some times sensation in throat.

Black like substance is coming out of cough, which I again guess is a good sign.

After reading this article, I guess I need to wait and watch for a little while. Was really depressed after quieting !!!

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 9 months ago from Alameda, CA Author


My guess is that you used to use smoking when you wanted to cry. Crying is an emotional release and a true emotion. The crying is temporary and will even out!

KELLY 9 months ago

I hate the crying. I cry for days. Then I cry some more because I am so angry at myself for crying. It feels like genuine grief and I burst into tears and don't stop. Not to worry. Am going to try again very shortly and ignore the tears and finally... push through :)

Anne 9 months ago

Marlboro Reds for 50 years. Stopped 3 months ago. Thi sis the only site that actually lists the physical symptoms that have bothered me. Thought I had some serious medical finding all of these things are pretty common was rewarding. But the do last longer depending upon what strengeth cigarettes you've been smoking. Bothers me the most is blurry vision.....which I found on another sight is also a symptom. Second to that is horseness. Lasted about 2 months but finally decreasing now. It has been SO hard. Also want to get past the Chocolate obsession. Anyone else have these problems???

Mich 10 months ago

I quit smoking 2 months ago on my birthday. It wasba present to myself. I quit cold turkey no drugs or anything else and suprisingly I had no adverse emotional reactions, no anxiety or cravings or change in attitude (most people seem to get very cranky from the withdrawal). Unfortunately I have been having skin problems. I did have throat problems the first month, which was expected (2 years ago I quit for 6 months and my throat and some acne were my only side effects), but I still have the skin problems. The acne isn't completely horrible but I've been getting red patches on my face and rashes, the skin on my scalp is peeling off horribly and itches like crazy, even after having a shower. I changed my products 2 weeks ago but it still hasn't helped. My eczema, which is usually very mild and shows up rarely with a small patch or two on my legs or feet has gone crazy with multiple patches on my lower body, more than 10. I've used my eczema cream to help clear everything up, the rashes and red skin are easily manageable... it's the itchy peeling scalp that's bothering me! I hope it goes away soon.

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 10 months ago from Alameda, CA Author

You are welcome Allinee! Good luck

Allinee 10 months ago

Thank you for this page thank you for all your posts now i know i will be ok thanks im on day 4 gor a while to go still but im going to stick with it i wish i could let the 13 yr old me read this and i never would have started smoking this detox suckss why are ciggs legal? Lol retorical thank you all so so much this page and toue posts have helped save me and prolong my life hopefully :) peace

Suzq88 11 months ago

I am soooo happy I found this page!!! I was searching flu like symptoms with crushing headache after quitting and found this.

I am on day 17 , after smoking 1/2-1ppd for 30 yrs. Halloween was my last drag wahoo….. I have been using the patch I chose to start at step 2 (14mg) and it is doing very well, I noticed pretty bad cravings on days 12-15 but I try to remember why I quit, take deep breaths and suck on mints. So far no backsliding!!! I walk daily now at work on lunch instead of smoking and it helps.

My biggest problem is around day 10 I became very congested with a severe headache, the worst I’ve ever had along with facial pain and neck stiffness, I truly thought I had a sinus infection as I suffer with year round allergies already. It settled a little on day 13-14 but ramped back up and now I have all of it again plus ear pain and pain in my eyes along with dizziness and… Well the best way I can explain it is kind of like a zap in my brain from time to time.

I have been taking my Rx allergy mess, sprays and nasal washes plus 3 ibuprofen along with 2 tylenols 2-3 times a day and it barely makes a dent in the headaches and am not sure what else to do?

Anyone else experience this intensity? Did you find something that helps?

I am in this for the long haul, and will NOT fail, but a little relief from the headache at least would help for sure!!

miko1234 11 months ago

Hi lela,

it has been over 7 week since I last had a smoke,(I smoked 6-8 cig. for the last 7 years) initially I didn't knew what was happening to me and I was scared and after internet searching I came across ur page which has helped me a lot to understand what is happening to me.

now my question is after 4 week I have been facing some issues with my throat like

-I had problem in swallowing with was I think was due to my tonsil which went away after I look medicine for it. so is it normal for people to face problem which tonsil which are largely due to allergies ?it lasted for 10 days.

-I feel dry throat(food pipe) every now and then and feel like thirsty all the time.

-sometimes I feel very minor pinching pain in my throat.(not a major type)

It will be very kind of u to help me on these issues and how long can throat problems in quitters like me can last.

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 12 months ago from Alameda, CA Author


If you quit smoking nicotine and using caffeine at the same time your body will go through a lot. Withdrawal from from caffeine usually only takes about a week and the headaches should be gone.

It is better to quit smoking and caffeine one at a time and let the body adjust. The worst is over you should be fine. The side effects are temporary.

Kelly 12 months ago

I quit smoking two weeks ago and i also quit caffiene at the same time because i was having problems with my blood pressure being too high now it's the complete opposite it feels really low and I've been getting shaky, headaches, and feeling like i can concentrate. Had any had dramatic blood pressure changes from quitting? Maybe i should not have quit both at the same time.

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 12 months ago from Alameda, CA Author

to Nothin,

In rare cases people will experience swollen lymph nodes as a side effect of quitting smoking. This is temporary and will go away. Your body is going through a lot.


Nothin 12 months ago

Can quitting smoke can lead to swallen lymph nodes ?

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 12 months ago from Alameda, CA Author


The pain on your left side could very well be a temporary symptom of quitting smoking, but I am concerned that everything is only on the right side. I usually say that symptoms are temporary and will go away and dont go to the doctor but you might wait a few more days and if it doesnt change go to the doctor to get it checked out.

Most likely it is a symptom of quitting smoking and will go away.


rahulk9 12 months ago


I quit smoking a week a ago coz i felt a pain on the left side of my lung and heart. That scared me to quit and i felt really bad after that. I gave up on smoking on the same day and its been a week now. But my major concern is .. that i have a pain on my left side with keeps fluctuating all the time. My left shoulder feels numb and my left leg calf feels funny as id i have less blood circulation. I am just scared and i want help. I just wanted to know if this is a part of withdrawal.

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 13 months ago from Alameda, CA Author

Hi Lauren,

One of the side effects of Wellbutrin is a rash and itchiness. Also many people feel itchy because of increased circulation.

The good news is that it is temporary and it will go away. Either slowly go off of the Wellbutrin or get some medicine to deal with the itchiness.

LaurenRebmil 13 months ago

I am on day 5 and I have horrible hives! It started with an ichy scalp, then neck, suddenly I had ichy hives up and down my body. I haven't been using any nicotine replacement but I was put on welbutrin about 3 weeks ago to help quit and boost my mood. I went to the ER becauae it was so intense and they want me to stop the medication. I cant find a lot of info on hives and nicotine withdrawl. How common is this? I really dont want to stop the medication because it is helping so much.

Dolayne 13 months ago

Ok so, about 3 months ago I stopped (I never say quit) smoking for 3 days cold turkey, I could NOT stand the burning in my lips, it drove me insane!! Nothing I did could stop it.. When I had my cigarette,on the third day after I could not stand the burning one more second!! it miraculously ceased.. yay.. Now I should say I've been smoking since I'm 12, I'm now 56, I've stopped multiple times for lots of different time periods, once for 12 yrs, once for 5 yrs, for different times of 1 and 2 yrs.. I've just never been able to STAY stopped. I don't recall this problem ever before? So anyway back to my issue, the burning lips. Last nite I had a bit of an asthma attack,, I should say "another" one.. I've been having them all to often lately, so I thought, tomorrow, I won't have a cigarette, and so far today I haven't.. but again with the burning lips,, its not even been 24 hrs since my last smoke.. I don't really feel a massive craving, but the burning is enough to make me have one!! Does ANYONE have any suggestions as to what I can do?

Sam Snead 14 months ago

I quit smoking 8 days ago. I started when I was 11. Its been 24 years. I am doing it cold turkey. Pretty sure I am going to die from itching. Good to know its common, thought I picked up an allergy to my wife for a minute there.

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 17 months ago from Alameda, CA Author


You asked about feeling run down after quitting smoking. Yes it is common and I am going to go back in and add it. It even has a name it is called "smokers flu" or "quitters flu".

You used to get a punch of nicotine which made your heart race and speeded up your metabolism. Even though it has been 4 months since you quit your body remembers that punch that it used to get from the nicotine and it feels like you are run down.

Eat unprocessed foods, get exercise (even though you might not feel like it), drink lots of water and be sure to get enough rest.

Listen to your body. You do need rest because your body is returning to natural way of maintaining not just that punch of nicotine.

Warren 17 months ago

I am going or have gone through each one of these symptoms and more. Stopped smoking about four months ago and have noticed the symptoms slowly getting better. One thing though, my body feels run down, like just before I am about to catch a cold, is this normal? used to be constantly feeling like this but now it comes and goes and the time between feeling like this is getting larger and larger. This is not covered in your list and was just wondering if this is a common attribute of smoking cessation. Cheers

Roberta Metalious profile image

Roberta Metalious 17 months ago

Don't expect many of these side effects to go away too soon! I quit in 2008 (7 years ago) after one week on Chantix and still suffer from horrible itching, still miss smoking, still irritable, get sinus infections all the time, gained 50 pounds that I can't get rid of, go through depression, have become a diabetic, etc., etc. If cigarettes weren't so expensive I'd definitely be back smoking. I felt so much better then!!! I have turned to vaping (without nicotine), but it's just not the same.

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 21 months ago from Alameda, CA Author

Hi Kim,

I have heard of this before where things keep smelling bad after you quit. I am going to put it out there and see if others have experienced things smelling bad after they quit even after a long time after quitting. This is uncommon because most people think things smell better after quitting!


Kim H 21 months ago

I had to quit cold turkey on November 17, 2014 because I had to have a foot/ankle fusion after a very hard fall, I broke 8 bones in my foot and 5 breaks of the navicula. Because of the surgery, I could not use anything to help me get through it. It has been an utter nightmare, someone might get slapped if they get too close to me. I got through the sleepless nights ok and horrible night sweats but what continues is the horrible taste in my mouth and everything still stinks to high heaven. Things either taste like BO smells or occasionally, I will get a very sterile taste in my mouth. Everything smells like BO to me. This makes me not want to eat because of the horrible tastes and smells and I am constantly putting something up to my face so I can try to smell something else besides what I am smelling. I am brushing my teeth like crazy and using mint Listerine but it don't give me relief for very long. I would have already started back up but I refuse because of the healing after my surgery. I had a surgery on the same foot in September 2013 but because I was a smoker, I had a non union and didn't heal at all, screws began to migrate out because I wasn't healing because of the smoking. I just had the other surgery and am healing much better and with less pain because I quit. Is anyone else still suffering with bad tastes and smells? After quitting 10 weeks or so ago, I have been told and would think that things should taste and smell different by now but they don't. Any advice or thoughts??

Anil 22 months ago

Hello lela....i want to know the status of those who quit four years it possible to shoot them an email and ask them how are they?? Specially those who were on acid blockers...are they still taking acid blocking drugs??

i quit three years everything is fine with me. but the hyper acidity making me think i have done wrong by quitting smoking.. without acid blockers its so painful to swallow food..And i can feel the sour taste of acids while burping..but if i am continuing acid blockers then there seems no issues.

But is nt it bad to take acid blockers regularly?? I would like to request all the commentators to post their present status so that it help us understand long term effects of smoking. Thanks

Shagnoleum 22 months ago

In addition to the 'menthol' sensation in my mouth, it seems to be throughout my sinuses, even causing my eyeballs to feel like they are mildly being exposed to Vicks VapoRub chronically. Anyone?

Shagnoleum 22 months ago

I've been about 35 days quit cigs cold turkey. Before I quit, chronic pain in my back, mid torso, lungs, kidneys, wasn't sure. Struggled with OCD, anxiety, panic for 30 yrs. between chronic pain and anxiety, I decided to quit. Don't feel better at all. Chronic back and neck pain. Panic nonstop all day every day. Hard to breathe. Another weird unusual problem is that when I breathe, it's as if I have a mentholated cough drop in my mouth. This is freaking me out . I rarely smoked a menthol cig., but it's as if I have a permanent menthol source in my mouth. Also, I've seen no mention of FSC cigs on here. I'm convinced that these have taken my problems to a new and different level. Can anyone relate? Thank you for this hub, Lela, and to all who have contributed.

pandatron 23 months ago

Is there anyway I could talk to lela, i cant see new posts from her. Badly need her help and im way too far (ph).

Olivia 23 months ago

I quit smoking cold turkey: and when I say cold turkey I mean I gave my last two packs of smokes to a co worker and didn't touch them again. No patch no gum no e cig. Nothing! 3 weeks in- I feel like I am going to die. i have a combination of all with drawl symptoms on the list. I Have good days and bad. I can't wait to cough up all this shit, it's taking longer for that part. The irritability and anger only lasted a week, that was good because any longer and I'm sure someone would of took me out. I know the good will outweigh the bad, patience is not my strong point. I hope that someday I can go all day without thinking about smoking! Worst part is the sense of smell, everything smells bad to me I really hope that evens itself out!

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 2 years ago from Alameda, CA Author

Thank you!!!

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londonaccountants 2 years ago from London, UK

Some great information here, thank you!

Bella 2 years ago

I also have an itchy scalp, I never attributed it to quitting smoking. I have had severe vertigo for the past two months so I quit smoking almost three weeks ago. My heartburn is worse, sore throat, I had leg pains too. I quit for a year or so and then one day I'll just start again, I always feel so much better when I stop. I smell better and food tastes better. The heartburn kicks my butt though. I think this time I have been scared straight with my health and will quit for good.

nagen Bradycardia 2 years ago

i am 32 /M , smoked for 12 years /10 in a day, quit smoking 3 months ago

i came to know this side effects from quitting smoking by you. A GREAT THANKS TO YOU. here i want to know how many months it takes to get

my normal heartbeat from slow heart rate and low blood pressure.

joraffe5555 2 years ago

Great info..however my problem is the itching is in my skull. It feels like my brain is itching. It eventually gets to much to bear, and i smoke again. Please...any suggestions. .would be appreciated. Thank you in advance.

Kiran 2 years ago

I quit smoking past 3 months.........

I was very very depressed had major anxiety thinking I had a terrible illness / cancer. same like matt...

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Lela Bryan 2 years ago from Alameda, CA Author

Prasanta Adak,

don't worry this is normal. Your body (throat) is getting rid of some of the crusty (smoked) skin and what you are left with is a sore throat or almost like when a baby i teething or (new skin) that is very sensitive.

This will take a while for the new Non-smoked skin to toughen up but it is temporary. You can gargle with warm salt water or buy something called Amosan (it used to be called that now made in Canada) I think you can order it from Ebay. and that is a rinse. but don't be scared it will go away.

Prasanta Adak 2 years ago from Calcutta, India

HI..i just quit smoking..i am 23 year old male from Calcutta, India. I smoked for 3 year but last week i quit..but since then i am experiencing pain in my throat. Only the pain exist with a little dryness and itchiness all the time and no more symptoms. Is this normal.? having it since the last 7 appeared 4 days after quitting.. i am scared , please help me friends

Wrightjess 2 years ago

Hi I've quit smoking for two weeks now I did it with e cig only used it for a few days and weaned myself off it all together. I feel like crap bloated, head feels like it's going to explode and got thrush in my mouth. Bit worried now after reading all these comments as I did suffer with panic attacks a few months ago which lasted about a year and really don't want to go back to that. Any way to relieve these symptoms? Also is it possible for people who live with you to feel withdrawal symptoms too if you have smoked around them for years?

MickeyNBG 2 years ago

Hi everyone,

Just wanted to check in after 6 months of going cold turkey. Apart of 10 kilos gained, i feel great. I managed to control craving for sweets and spring activities are more than welcome. It is strange to say that i have a feeling that i have never smoked in my life ( and i DID for 25 yrs, 2 packs a day). I feel comfortable with people smoking around me - to be sincere - I don't even notice unless it's indoors so I can smell of tobacco. What I do notice is:

* feeling fresh when i wake up

* discovering a whole new world of smell and taste for food (like i am eating completely different food)

* more free time

* more money ( in six months i have saved more than 3 000 EUR)

* most important - I am free!

For all of you who just quit smoking, hang in there - benefits will amaze you.

For all who plan to do it, do it today! Don't be a slave, freedom is priceless!

I am sorry for my English is not perfect but I hope you understood my main points.

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 2 years ago from Alameda, CA Author

Hi PBowen,

Yes that is one of the downfalls about quitting cold turkey on the patch. It does seem to have a delayed reaction with some people.

since you know it is nothing else go to the doctor and get some medication for anxiety. You will not need to stay on it for very long but you might need some extra help with your symptoms. You probably will only need it for a couple of weeks just to get you through the rough spots.

That is the reason that in my program, Nicotine Solutions i have them smoke for the first 6 weeks and change their habits before they quit and then the symptoms are not as severe.

I'm sorry you are going through this but it is temporary and it will go away. check in with me in a couple of weeks ok?

PBowen 2 years ago

I quit smoking two months ago using the patch. I did use a blu ecig. It's been two weeks since I've smoked the ecig or a cigarette. Only smoked half a pack during the first month and a half.

I started on the 14mg patch, and felt good for two months but now all of a sudden my Anxiety is off the charts, feel like i have infection. Run a fever of 99.5 and sometimes body temp is 95 when I wake up. I feel like I am literally about to die. This started with fatigue and anxiety, heart racing when I get up and move around, now I feel like I can't eat, nothing tastes good, not hungry but eat anyway. I've actually lost 8 pounds. I haven't coughed up phleghm but got a sore throat and was given antibiotics then this stuff started. I've been to the ER and they did multiple blood tests, EKG, etc. All came back fine. It's taking all I can do to make it through work. Hot and cold sweats. Is this normal for quitting smoking while on the patch? Like I said I felt fine for a month and a half. Now my Anxiety is crazy high and I'm so confused. Feel like I can't remember what I did yesterday. Please calm my nerves :)

xxamilliaxx 2 years ago

I quit smoking cold turkey four days ago. Funnily enough I haven't craved a cigarette since, but I have definitely been going through these side effects. In particular flatulence/gas, skin blemishes on my face (dry patches of skin) Gum changes, Mood swings, depression, itchiness, hot flushes, bloating (water retention) sleeplessness. I am so glad I found this page because I wasn't sure if these symptoms were due to stopping smoking, or related to something else!

yiyo22 2 years ago

I had to stop cold turkey , it was not easy I was always in a bad mood,everything irritated me. I did not use no drugs or patch to stop the doctor scare the crap outer me and made stop due to my health condition, 5 yrs nicotine free and counting thank god .

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tuesdayom 2 years ago from California

This is the best information page on the effects of stopping smoking that I have seen. I have quit smoking (just a few days ago) but am on the 7 mg nicotine patch, and was searching to see if heartburn was an effect of quitting. There are non-smokers and there are anti-smokers, and I have to say that the latter have surely increased the time it has taken me to quit, because they are mean and dishonest. They have always been an incentive to me to keep smoking, so I feel good that I have begun my non-smoking journey in spite of them. This honest site is a breath of fresh air! Thank you :D

paranoidandroid 2 years ago

Almost 3 weeks smoke free...and almost wish I'd never quit! Stomach pains/aches, dizziness, sinus pains, red/ itchy watery eyes, random aches and pains just about everywhere...extreme anxiety attacks...constantly think it's something much much worse. My only solace is that I can trace all these issues back to my quit date(except the anxiety-that's been around for years), and of course reading that so many people experience the same things! I can't tell you how much it helps!

nick 2 years ago

I just celebrated one smoke free year

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Lela Bryan 2 years ago from Alameda, CA Author


Always nice to hear from you!!!

Shabsough 2 years ago

Dear Lela / my friends , I wish you a Happy healthy new year ...and please don't give up ...

Hishy 2 years ago

Seems i spoke too early on tests. My doctor says cbc results are generic. He said cold turkey symptoms do not last more than 2 weeks :(

I am very confused....the symptoms you mention here and what i experience match. But doc says my symptoms could be very likely viral infection or something worse...some kind of virus made worse by stress :((

Can i have been so mistaken on what i have been feeling for past 5 months...stopped smoking, black coffee, alcohol...

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 2 years ago from Alameda, CA Author


Wow that is amazing least you know.... it will get better....

Hishy 2 years ago

Thanks Lela.

Had blood tests done. Nothing abnormal found...

Still finding unbelievable, all this pain due cigs..


lisa 2 years ago

I quit smoking 10 years ago

Matt 2 years ago

Dear Gretchen hang in there it is hard at the start was easyer for me as I had my first child 3 days after quitting im male by the way so was in the hospital for a week with her 'so help me a lot It was once we got home it all started when I had time to thing about it what ever you do don't google side affects it makes you freak out and spike your anxiety just stick to this Paige I have read this Hub top to bottom about 5 times so if you have problems and are worried just write on here makes me feel so much better talking to people that are going thru what I am my partner and family don't understand hang in there keep strong drink lots of water and eat sweet food for cravings worked for me I don't crave now :)

Matt 2 years ago

Dear shabsough thank you for your reply you give me more hope I get so scared some days and cry for no reason also have stated to heart populations probably cause of the Health anxiety man I hope this doesn't last to much longer thank you again

Gretchen 2 years ago

I bought my last pack two weeks ago and had my last cig 3 days ago. Thank you for this article. I am having horrible anxiety attacks, pain in my knee and leg. Right now it is easier to breathe through the mouth than the nose. Occasional lightheaded. I smoked for about 20 years. The hardest symptoms to deal with is the difficulty breathing through the nose and the anxiety. This has also seemed to halt my weight loss, probably the water retention. This is rough but reading this gives me hope and helps reinforce the determination to quit. Thank you for the article.

Shabsough 2 years ago

Dear Matt , i quitted before 14 months and all the withdrawl you mentioned i got through , so just relax drink water breath deeply and all these withdrawl will go away trust me .

Matt 2 years ago

Hi Lela I would first like to say thank you this hub makes

Me feel so much better and hello-to all you smoking recovers I quit 1st of November 2013 I am 21 years old and I have smoked since I was about 11. Right we're do I start . The first week was easy then two days after my fist daughter was born week 2 of quitting smoking I stated to get very fatigue I mean I couldn't get out of bed this lasted a week tummy cramps when I woke up feeling of going to be sick in the morning also after eating I would have very loud tummy grumbles and diarrhea also had a very horrible taste in my mouth I had numb arms very weak . I couldn't eat just had no app tight then I was just forcing my self to do things I was very very depressed had major anxiety thinking I had a terrible illness / cancer. I'm now in week 5 I'm starting to shack very blurry vision dizzy feeling starting to get headache sore cheat 'pain down my left arm comes and goes and pain down my leg I've been to the doc and had blood tests blood pressure and every thing and normal I am drinking lots of water and taking a multi vitamin so I'm putting it all down to nicotine withdrawal I was a very heavy smoker about 30 a day if there is anyone out there who has had these type off side affects please reply cause I would like to help people that feel the way I do and people to help me as I feel alone and nobody I know understands :( I just want to feel how I did before I quit just not a smoker

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Lela Bryan 2 years ago from Alameda, CA Author

Mr E

No I am not kidding! We are both right. You are giving the textbook version of why depression and irritability happen and my comments are based on 36 years of empirical observation of teaching smokers how to stop smoking.

Irritability is caused by water retention.

Women that have their period every month experience irritability due to water retention as well.

Geoff 2 years ago

I will quit tomorrow! I have smoked for more than 40 years and now is the time. I gave up for 5 years a while back, but, took it up again. I can't re-call the post effect symptoms everyone is stating, but I'm sure they are there. Blessings to me from all you good folk :-) F&^#k cigarettes!

Mr E 2 years ago

Water retention causes depression, and irritibility when giving up smoking? You're kidding right? The irritibility is directly caused by withdrawal, and the depression is caused by the reduction of dopamine that the nicotine stimulates the release of when you smoke. This is why it's usually a good idea to take up some light exercise when giving up smoking as exercise releases those feel good chemicals and this compensates for the ones smoking used to supply.

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Lela Bryan 2 years ago from Alameda, CA Author


Yes the things that you mentioned are typical of people quitting cold turkey.

Hishy 2 years ago

Hi Lena,

First of all let me congratulate on your efforts to help people on a topic where it is difficult to get answer.

I smoked for 17 years at rate of 12-15 ciggies per day. Some 4 months back I stopped smoking cold turkey. Needless to say I have suffered enormously due to lack of knowledge on impact of cold turkey. My pains started 3 days after stopping.

inner lining of mouth burning (had before but not as bad), stiffness sensation lasting for week

severe stomach problems (bloating, cramps lasting up to 8 weeks), diarrhea for a of day, inability to hold onto food, the more i stressed on symptoms, the worse were my stomach problems.

dizziness for few days, shivering feeling for 1 week,

nausea, stress, anxiety for 2-3 weeks.

After about 6 weeks, I started getting my sense of smell, taste back. Around 2.5 months, I could run on treadmill. During first 8 weeks, I have gained almost 8kg since I am constantly wanting to eat sweets.

After almost 4 months, I am relative ease although sometime stomach issues crop (mild). My daily routine of 30 mins in gym is helping.

I am not sure if what I have experienced is normal...or something to be concerned off.

For those planning to quit or have not give up!!!


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Lela Bryan 2 years ago from Alameda, CA Author

Tammy, Yes those symptoms are common and temporary! They will go away

Tammy 2 years ago

I quit smoking cold turkey 8 days ago just some things I am going though that I want to know if it's normal little chest pain doesn't stay, night sweats, dizzy, and no energy my body just feels weird

dave 2 years ago

I smoked 40 hard years. Owing to a nasty upper respiratory infection, God granted me two days of no need to smoke (probably the only way I could quit). I choose to keep the course. I've experienced large weight gain (30+ pounds), shortness of breath, and swelling. Copious swelling. I've been to the ER twice and have had a cardiac catheterization done. It's now November and I quit in July. The only good that came out of quitting was the smoker's hack that quit. For all the world it appears that I have cardiac hypertension or diastolic heart failure when just a few months ago I was just as normal as the next guy. I have never felt worse, for so long, in my life. Modern medicine keeps coming up empty and the doctors can't seem to let go of a heart problem though every single test says it's not a heart problem, or a lung problem. I'm not gunna start smoking to go through this again. I just hope that my lungs heal before damage is done to my heart, because that would just be pointless. Sometimes things are just cruel.

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Lela Bryan 2 years ago from Alameda, CA Author


Thanks for checking in!!

Shabsough 2 years ago

Dear Lela , I hope that you are in good health , dear friends , am here now to enocourge the new quitter , I quitter smoking cold turkey since 13 months and I get through all the issues you are feeling now , quitting smoking is not an easy thing to do , it is needs strong people , and am sure that you are , whenever you feel down read this page again and again it will help you a lot , good luck

MickeyNBG 2 years ago

After 25 yrs times 2 packs per day I quit smoking 3 weeks ago. This is my first time and hopefully the last. It seems to be less difficult than I expected. I am not using any medical aid 'cause I don't want to trade one bad habit for another one :). It might look harder in first few weeks but final benefits outweigh this sacrifice.

We are all different and respond to addiction differently. So, I decided to focus on physical changes and difficulties that I'm going through rather than psychological. The first ones are more tangible and easier to relate. Also, if we can learn to listen to our body we can learn to listen to our soul as well.

Anyway, list of my torments in the past 24 days:

* I slept 20 hrs/day in first 3 or 4 days

* I was really feeling lack of strength to do the easiest tasks. This tends

to get better after first week

* Craving for sweets, all the time, especially during high risk

situations (morning coffee, after meals, sex, know the

usual triggers)

* Enormous quantity of gases in my body (i have slim/athletic build

and I never had this problem before). It's quite embarrassing

because the smell is unbearable and it's not related to food

* Sore gums and swelling

There are some good side effects as well - my sense of taste and smell have been altered and multiplied by a gazillion. Coffey tastes completely different. I can sense layers of taste and aroma completely unknown to me in my smoking era. I also see and hear better (to an annoying point of a bat). I am constantly sniffing and hearing something. Somehow, everything is heightened.

Well, this is short preview of my first 3 weeks without cigarettes.

What is your experience?

Matt 2 years ago

Also not been hungry at all force feeding myself scary cause iv always been a big eater

Matt 2 years ago

Hi ever one well were do i start telling you about my nightmare day 14 for me cold turky im 21 yesterday iv been smoking 9 years and i was about 30 a day when i gave up and man have I had a ruff weeknight sweats feeling sick when I wake up in the morning iv had the runs till today very nauseous now I'm constantly tiered all day every day I mean on the couch all day bad anxiety Thinking Iv got a bad illness I have just had a newborn so not getting the same sleep as I was not craving at all since I gave up Also heavy arms tingly fingers and a numb right leg with tingles but I do have a slipped disc but never had numb leg till I gave up seen my doctor and he said anxiety well just want to no if any one else has my problem doctor clearly does not understand also when I read this hub my god did it make me feel alto better I just wish this nightmare would end

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emielucas 2 years ago from Hull. United KIngdom England

Hi Lela.

My name is emma, and i first wrote on this hub 12 months ago. I quit cold turkey and had quite a few problems ie, palpatations, anxiety attacks, and my emotions were all over the place. I had a chest x-ray, ECG and an MRI scan of my brain because of dizziness, thank fully all came back ok. I can honestly say this was all due to stopping smoking and not realising what my body was going through. You have to be mentally strong but i was quite weak thinking everything was wrong with me. 12 months down the line and im feeling fantastic :) i am so glad i chose to quit and i am very proud of myself for sticking to it and not once relapsing. I want to say a huge thank you for starting this hub Lela, as when i was feeling insane i would come online and read everyone elses comments , which put me at ease. Thank you again. And to everyone out there, you can do it , no matter how your feeling now , one day you will too feel great :) xx

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 2 years ago from Alameda, CA Author

Tammy, Anxiety and panic attacks are pretty common. It will get better!

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 2 years ago from Alameda, CA Author


Anxiety and panic attacks are pretty common. It will get better!


Tammy 2 years ago

Hi all,

I am 46 years old I have been quit 5 days now been smoking 30 years of my life. Wow its been tuff & I hope and pray it gets better. A few problems I am having is: I feel like Im having panic attack, cant sleep, and heart palpitations have alot of anxiety. I hope this goes away soon ? I feel like I could climb a wall like spiderman wow I hope it gets better!!!! Anyone know or had these issues?



Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 2 years ago from Alameda, CA Author


It is normal but what I would suggest is to go to a doctor to treat some of your symptoms so you are not miserable

Your body is going through a lot.

These symptoms are temporary but may last a while.

lloydjave 2 years ago

Hi, Leia!

Thank you for this article! It really helps a lot.

I was a smoker for 17 years and I quit cold turkey 15 days ago.

Lately, I've been having an on-off fever. depression, high levels of anxiety, and the urge to throw up every morning for the past 5 days. If I do throw up, they're just stomach acids..

Is that normal?

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 3 years ago from Alameda, CA Author

Hi yaaaay,

Keep up the good work

yaaaay 3 years ago

Hey :)

I'm 18 and this is my 3rd time quitting in 4 years. I started smoking when I was 14 (and god I wish I didn't). 1st time lasted probably 1 month, 2nd time was 3.5 months so if all goes well this should be the last time I try to quit. The first two times were cold turkey but I've found that I couldn't deal with the physical symptoms (headaches, muscle aches) this time so I purchased some nicotine patches to wear while I was still smoking, they help you cut down. I was smoking the equivalent of well over a pack a day with tobacco pouches though, I needed to cut down first. I eventually got down to 0-1 a day on the patches. Last patch I wore was on Tuesday and it's now Thursday, I've got barely any smoking cessation symptoms and I haven't had a cigarette since Monday.

Feeling really happy with myself :D

aman 3 years ago

I quit smoking ( cold turkey ) more then 2 month.I smoke more then eighteen year. Now iam filling Dizziness, Headache,Vomiting,Body and Muscle pain and My Breath is have these symptoms i fill 3 to 4 times a day in last couple weeks. These are common symptoms.

shmelly 3 years ago

you got a problem bud "Ill quit smoking but ill never quit drinking" lol ... your livers rotting away ... my dads friend was told hes got 2 years to live from drinking ... idiots might as well keep smoking.

Nir 3 years ago

Hi Lela

I'm Back!!!! thanks for your response and I've been doing well with no smoking!..

but as I had written in my last post, I had issues with my throat/neck. I did went to the doc, diagnosed with high BP and then with diabetes. but still it was in early stages. one of the docs I visited prescribed me hell lot of medications but the other said you can control it without medication as my HbA1C was 8.9% and also for that particular week my sugar level came down.

I am monitoring the same on weekly basis for the last 3 weeks. and this week it went up again. didn't do much exercise and was little lenient with my food (didn't go for sugar but carbs!), I will constantly monitor and take precautions.

One thing I wanted to ask you is that is it normal to get diabetes after quitting. I didn't gain weight and nor I have any other kind of diabetic symptoms. sometimes I feel dizzy.

for 3 months I will be in observation and only if needed medications will start. Now I want to know if naturopathy / homeopathy is suggested since I dont want to depend on medication life long.

What is your experience and whether you have got such cases and what was the best thing to do.

I know its too long but I'm writing you after a long long time!!! hope you're doing well and you can reply me soon.

bertha 3 years ago

i quit cold turkey its been four months now and reading everyones post helps me to understand what im going through and whats to come so thanks to everyone if you have young ones like me tell them how it feels to quit how bad it is sometimes i wish i never picked up the smoke

Sandiesp 3 years ago

Hello from Greece!

I also found this page by googling insomnia as a side effect of quitting smoking cold turkey.

I went through most of the symptoms and on the second day of quitting, I thought I was going to have a heart attack due to the difficulty in breathing and the weight I felt on my chest! I'm so glad I found this website, as it made me feel so much better knowing that everything I was going through was because I had quit smoking! I smoked for about 16 years and now it's been 3 months cigarette free! The comments I've read from everyone have also been very helpful. I have a better sense of taste, of smell and I breathe better. I still feel a bit stiff at times in my legs and arms on my left side.. not sure it's a side effect still or something I should check out at my doctor. Whoever has just quit, hang in there... it's soooo worth it!!!! Thank you for the tips and information. They have been a great help.

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 3 years ago from Alameda, CA Author


That does not sound right. I would go to the dr to have it checked out.

Better safe than sorry

Ryan 3 years ago

Hi Lela,

First of all, I want to congratulate you for doing a great job. I also want to thank you for helping others to stop smoking. This page really helped me. I've got 1 question though, i'm almost 2 months of quitting smoking but my left arm are still numb. Is it normal??

Thnk you and hoping for your immediate response...

StevenLB 3 years ago

Lela, All I have to say is thank you so much. I quit smoking three days ago and am in pain in my stomach area. I was so worried that something is wrong, but now I feel much better after reading this . Thank you for such a great page. Keep up the great work.

r a y 3 years ago

Oh by the way lela wanted to let you know I really like this site lots of help and great info

ray 3 years ago

Hi I have stopped smoking now for two weeks and its been hard to say the least I have a lot of side effects but been some better the part two Dayton thank goodness! I wanted to comment about the girl who said she just found out she has c o p d .my mom has c o p d its hard to see her go through that.stopping is hard but least its a choice before it comes to that it is worth it 100% im gonna Leeds going good luck to everyone

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 3 years ago from Alameda, CA Author


Thank you for a wonderful comment

It is for people like you that I wrote this hub page. Good luck on your job

Nadia M 3 years ago

I would like to thank you for the real no nonsense and supportive advice. I quit in the last two weeks and started a new job at the same time. I thought I was getting sick and developing a serious illness with night sweats tiredness sleepless nights breathlessness heavy legs n prickly feet but I am so relieved to know its part of the detox process. I relied on cigs because it helpedme get over a break up but it became a dangerous vicious cycle. I chain smoked and it stopped me moving on. I like not smoking it really is a wonderful liberating feeling. Though I won't quit alcohol red wine is lovely in small doses and less damaging then my fake friend cigs. Thank you for this site saved a lot of anguish. :)

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 3 years ago from Alameda, CA Author

I'm so glad it helped

Shabsough 3 years ago

Dear Lela , really thank you for this page , today I went through the bad mood with the bad thought but when I read comments from others I felt good , really this page helps a lot and give motivation to continue ,,so my friend please continue posting so that others can get the benefits of our posts ,,,,,

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 3 years ago from Alameda, CA Author


So good to hear from you again

Shabsough 3 years ago

Dear friends , this is my third post here , I quitted smoking since 7 months now , I went through almost all the side effects however I feel good now , I gained one weight but I will lose it soon , the only thing bothering me until now , I got in bad mood all the sudden with bad thoughts and I continue for almost a day ,,,I have to keep my self busy always , I am sure that I will get better i am posting now to encourage all the friend here to move on,,,,we will make it,,,,

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 3 years ago from Alameda, CA Author


This seems a little long for your symptoms. I think checking with the doctor would be good.

Thanks for checking in!


emielucas profile image

emielucas 3 years ago from Hull. United KIngdom England

Hi lela

Hope you are well. Ive not been on here for a while.

Been feeling rather low for the past few weeks :(

Suffering with dizziness now for a month or so, waiting for a hospital appointment next month to see if its anything to do with my inner ear canals. Really quite scary and frustrating at times, im constantly panicking thinking it could be something more sinister.

Ive been stopped smoking now since October of last year and had every symptom possible, some slight some alot worse, but this dizziness is the one that has knocked me for six, it really interferes with my every day life. Is this normal to e suffering with this after being stopped for 6 months nearly? also has any one else had this and now ok as at the moment i feel like i will always have this.

Emma x

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Lela Bryan 3 years ago from Alameda, CA Author


I LOVE your comm

Johnone profile image

Johnone 3 years ago from United Kingdom

Great post, good to read the detail. It's so good that someone can explain things the way they are, not like the TV ads that make it look so easy

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 3 years ago from Alameda, CA Author


Glad my hubpage helped

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 3 years ago from Alameda, CA Author


Thanks for the compliment!

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 3 years ago from Alameda, CA Author


Nicotine solutions is international . We meet by teleconference . In fact we name our groups and the last group named themselves the Globe Stoppers.

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Lela Bryan 3 years ago from Alameda, CA Author


I don't know about teeth yellowing after quit

Kathy 3 years ago

My teeth seem to have yellowed since quitting (it has been 4 weeks). Is this possible?

Fatos 3 years ago

Hello Lela,

Just Idea, you can go international with this, I really enjoyed this. I have been in couple of third world countries, and honestly there is no smoking/quitting education at all. I would say that 70% of the population smokes on these places, and quality of the cigarettes is not approved or inspected by anyone...

You do not have to share this...

Fatos 3 years ago


I just want to thank you for great job you did with this website, I will save it as my favorites and share it with my friends.

I like it the way you broke down step by step everything we need to know about smoking...

Greetings from Kosovo (Europe)

JanineB 3 years ago

Hello, I feel so much better after reading this article. I'm on 10 days today, Its been going great during the day and I have no cravings at all. BUT I have been suffering from night sweats, sore joints and nightmares. This is the first article that explained that all 3 is normal and it will go away :) Thank you!

sean 3 years ago

After smoking for 30yrs and trying many different ways to quit I finally found chantinx and it worked for me.

However after having quit for five months now I am still experiencing these problems:

shortness of breath

insomnia (treated with ambien right now)

breaking out (acne)

These symptoms where supposed to go away but I still have them after five months, What can I do about this?

What also puzzles me is that I never had the cough to expel all the lung phlem. I was really expecting that to clear out my lungs. Is that normal.

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 3 years ago from Alameda, CA Author

Mike ,

What do you want to know?

mike 3 years ago

im just trying to talk about my smoking but dont know how to do all this my name is mike so to post something i have to go thru all posts? i just to ask about things happenning since i quit

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 3 years ago from Alameda, CA Author

The Allen Carr method covers how you think about smoking.

Nicotine Solutions covers all aspects of the smoking habit. You will learn how to detoxify.from nicotine, Deal with stress,

.deal with emotions, regulate your metabolism so you don't gain weight, how to complete things, what to do with your hands and you have the support of a live instructor (me) and you go through a live group teleconference with up to 8 other people while we support each other and hold your hand.

A new feature at nicotinesolutions is my new 3 part video series where you can learn about the program and try out a free lesson.

So to answer your question, Allen Carr has a book that deals with one dimension which is the cognitive or thinking about the habit and Nicotine Solutions is a live, interactive, accountable, supportive multifaceted 8 week program where you smoke while you are learning to quit because it takes at least 21 days to change a habit.

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 3 years ago from Alameda, CA Author

If you go to and I now have a 3 video series that explains the program and gives the tuition

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 3 years ago from Alameda, CA Author

I don't understand your question

iceburg910 3 years ago

i quit smoking 29 days ago am i doing this right

Necrodiemos1 profile image

Necrodiemos1 3 years ago from Kerrville, Texas

I would just like to say this is a very good article and it has helped me out a lot to understand the symptoms of stopping cold turkey. The one I have seen the most is the Insomnia one. I am still getting used to the REM where I close my eyes and then wake up often to be up for awhile but like it explains you feel refreshed :). I have noticed the change in my digestion where the cigarettes helped me go to the restroom, so my eating habits right now are changing. I see myself drinking more fluids instead of eating a lot of food. I also have seen the circulatory of mine act weird as well. My body will jerk sometimes but not often and I still feel anxious but that will go away soon as well. So I leave with this, 4 days and counting. Best thing I have ever done. Breathing better and knowing I will be more healthier is a great motivation. Good Luck Everyone!! :))

carole garrard 3 years ago

this has helped me so much ....3 weeks on the elec cig but having all the symptoms of cold turkey still ...reading this site has helped me so much thanks guysx

Johan Daniels 3 years ago


I've quit smoking twice now in about a year and am now about a month nicotine free. I've done it both times by going cold turkey and as all smokers know going through nicotine withdrawals is crap but if you can tough it out for three days you over the worst. Three days torture for a lifetime of relief is a no brainer, so exercise, drink plenty of water, snack, massage anything to keep your mind occupied over this three day period and you'll be over the worst.

Keeping it real,


I've tried all the other methods and

emielucas profile image

emielucas 3 years ago from Hull. United KIngdom England

Hi lela

I hope you are well.

I just wanted to ask you a question to put my mind at ease.

Ive been quit from smoking since October 2012, the thing is ive started feeling dizzy again is this normal after such a long time? also a personal question, i had sex with my partner and afterwards felt dizzy and nauseaus for the first time, the sex was different ( kids were not here so could be more noisey ) is this normal do you know?. Sorry to ask such a personal question.


murder 3 years ago

i have 14days sofar no problem i fill nothing only running stomac

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 3 years ago from Alameda, CA Author

Mehlisue Sue,

I would say to quit slowly not cold turkey. My program has a free preview you can try out to see if it a good fit for you.

Mehlisue Sue profile image

Mehlisue Sue 3 years ago

Excellent reading and well covered in answering just about all my questions. I have one area I did not find much to be helpful in and you may be able to direct me or have the answer. I have developed high blood pressure from chronic pain and has left me left heart ventricular chamber enlarged. I have been put on medication to help keep this heart swelling down, but the Blood pressure is still a major issue. It is not stable in that it has extreme of high and low. Increasing the medication makes it so low I start to pass out on standing or physical movement. High points are so high that it is causing noticed changes in my eyes and how they are effected as well, dizzy, head pain, sickness and weakness happen at this time. As I said, it changes rapidly threw out the day so there is not permanent change that can be given as it is short lived. I am sure the amount of smoking I am doing is adding to this. As I quit smoking, I have noted that the symptoms increase and it seems obvious to me that the medication I take becomes stronger as I decrease. What is the best course to quit for me?

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 3 years ago from Alameda, CA Author

Hi Nir,

I am stumped. It doe not sound like something that is all that common. I know you are not wild about doctors but I think I would get this checked out by a doctor. Better safe than sorry

Nir 3 years ago

Hi Lela,

Its me again!

This site had helped me earlier and I am really thankful to you for all those wondrous information you have compiled.

But, lately I have been experiencing something strange, since the phlegm is coming out, I started getting this strange pain in my throat but the pain is not when I swallow food or liquid, nor I am having difficulty in breathing, there is a constant mascular pain and also a little numbness in the front of my neck right below my chin. I visited a homeopathy doc just to ensure that if there is any treatment. the Doc gave me some med for pain and to comfort from the irritation. and my BP has gone to 160/94 the doc says it must be due to tension. I also had some sleepless nights when I was feeling too much numbness in the neck. even now I do have but its not much. I also constantly feel as if my throat is choked. Is there anything to worry about and visit a doc or its normal.

Hope you can answer me. Im usually damn scared of docs, injections and all those strange and weird diagnosis. thats why I visited a homeopath doc.

pls advice

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 3 years ago from Alameda, CA Author

Stacey go girl

Stacey M 3 years ago

I quit smoking three weeks ago and have been suffering from symptoms you describe on your website. I want to thank you for posting this information, it has helped me feel better about what's happening to my body. Keep up the good work.

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 3 years ago from Alameda, CA Author

I have a program named nicotine solutions that has a 90% success rate. The program is NOT cold turkey. It is an 8 week course. Of course I would love for people to take my course and quit calmly, comfortably and forever.

However this hubpage was designed for people that have already quit and for whatever reason do not want to take my course, then I can help them where they are st because of quitting cold turkey they are having with all these symptoms all st the same time.

I am helping them cope. That is all

shreyas 3 years ago

Hi this is an interesting article. But instead of telling people how difficult it is to quit and what are the harmful effects that they will encounter if they quit, it would be nicer to let smokers know how good they feel and how great life is going to be without smoking. If this is one of the site that just promotes substitutes for nicotine then this article is very well written but if any smoker who reads this article is highly unlikely to quit !!

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 3 years ago from Alameda, CA Author

Yes Nancy it can be from quitting smoking and it is temporary and will go away. try to deal with each symptom as it comes up and know it is temporary and will go away

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 3 years ago from Alameda, CA Author


When you are in a room that you can smell smoke it might be wise to get yourself out of that atmosphere. You are not going to harm your body by being around smokers but it might be better to stay clear of smoky environments.

I am finally moved in so I can answer questions more quickly!

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 3 years ago from Alameda, CA Author


When you are in a room that you can smell smoke it might be wise to get yourself out of that atmosphere. You are not going to harm your body by being around smokers but it might be better to stay clear of smoky environments.

I am finally moved in so I can answer questions more quickly!

Shabsough 3 years ago

Dear Lela,,are you ok ? There is no new posts since 16 days .

Nancy 3 years ago

I quit smoking 5 weeks ago cold turkey and have never been this sick.

I have been to 6 Drs. and had every test done . I never connected it to quitting smoking until today. I have acid reflux, chest pains, headaches,

trouble breathing. break out in sweats and feel miserable every day. I

smoked for 52 years. There are days I feel like I might die. Could all this be from quitting and how long will it last? Thank you for any advice you

can give me.

Betty B Loredo 3 years ago

It will be 8 years in April that I smoked my last Cig.I quit cold turkey with the help of JESUS.I prayed an ask GOD to help me quit and turned around had my church and friends help me by remembering me in prayer.God answered my prayers and he will yours too.I had smoked for around 30 years anover a pack a day.I dont remember any side affects.But chew on tooth picks,Keep suckers,and chewing gum at all times.I kept a pack of Cigarettes in my pocket for over a year and my last carton in my dresser drawer till i finley threw them away about a year ago.Thank God for answered prayers.Good luck and God Bless all of you!!!!!!!!!

shabsough 3 years ago

Dear Lela , warm regards ,whenever i sit in a smoking room or i smilled the smoke of the cegaret i feel that my body will suffer again from the begining , is that right ? do i have to be away from that autmosfire ?

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 3 years ago from Alameda, CA Author

Try or or

jameses profile image

jameses 3 years ago

I dont think so I have looked but cant find anything so I will just have to ride it out. This burning mouth is annoying to say the least and is making me quite anxious but fingers crossed one day i will wake up and it will be gone. I have already seen the doctor last week and i will see the dentist this week to check it, maybe he can recommend something until the burning pain subsides.

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 3 years ago from Alameda, CA Author

Can you order it on ebay

jameses profile image

jameses 3 years ago

Im not sure we have that here in the UK but I will look out for it or something else that is equivalent. I cant wait to get rid of this mouth pain, im not eating, im tired all the time due to stress and anxiety and thinking the worst. I know I dont want another cigarette I just want to feel better, hopefully I will do soon

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 3 years ago from Alameda, CA Author


The best thing to try for your sore mouth is Amosan. It is a powder that you mix in water and it is very soothing. Try it it will make your mouth feel much better.

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 3 years ago from Alameda, CA Author


The best thing to try for your sore mouth is Amosan. It is a powder that you mix in water and it is very soothing. Try it will make your mouth feel much better.

David 3 years ago

I gave up smoking 6 weeks ago and i feel terrible, my mouth is the main sympton the right hand side of my mouth is causing me lots of pain/soreness i cant wait for this to go and then i can go back to leading a normal life, Im currently falling into a state of depression but im also determined so see this through as i know i will be better afterwards. Im glad i found this site to see im not alone.

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 3 years ago from Alameda, CA Author

Good for you

Mitch 3 years ago

I am so glad to have found this site. I quit smoking 9 days ago - I'm 42 and have been smoking regular since I was 14. Yesterday the withdrawal was so bad, that I grabbed one of my partners cigarettes and smoke it. Best thing I ever did -- it was awful! Tasted terrible, felt terrible, yuck, yuck, and yuck! I'm still getting lots of symptoms - trouble breathing, headaches, insomnia, hack up gross crud, etc. I just know it's going to get better - so I'm gonna go with the flow. Thanks for this site - I learned all these symptoms are normal and I'm not dying :-)

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 3 years ago from Alameda, CA Author


You are funny! Good for you.

Keep up the good work

Heather Plant 3 years ago

i quit smoking 5 1/2 months ago i just wanted to let u all no i felt the way u felt the chest pain the shortness of breath the anxity feeling tired all the time i am finally feel better i feel like my old self only better so it is true wat she says it all soes go away im not 100% yet but im close the only downfall is i smell everything and my friends have to smoke outside in the cold but i just laugh from my nice warm smoke free house good luck to all of u

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 3 years ago from Alameda, CA Author

I would say don't substitute food for the habit and about the exercise be gentle on yourself if you are feeling chest pains but do keep up the exercise. Drinking lots of water and cut down on processed foods and salty foods

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 3 years ago from Alameda, CA Author

Oh my gosh Shaw South! How wonderful of you to ask! I have moved and I have packing boxes every where...trying to get settled

Shah south 3 years ago

Dear Lela , warm regards , I noticed that there is no new posts since two weeks so I want to check if you are ok..

Gil 3 years ago

Hi Lela,

I have been smoking for almost 30 years (20 of them smoking almost a pack a day). I recently (3 days ago) had to have a molar extracted, therefore being instructed by the dentist to not smoke for at least 72 hours. This is the first time I have ever went longer than 18 hours without smoking. Tomorrow marks the 72 hour timeframe however I am thinking of just quitting all together, cold turkey. I've read through your articles (which are great) and through the comment sections of each (which is also great and educational).

In the past 3 days I have experienced some of the noted side affects:

- insomnia: I haven't been up all night but have been awake later than the norm.

- food craving/substitution: I've been fighting this off by drinking water because my current diet sucks due to the tooth extraction (2 more days then I can eat more healthier SOLID food.

- sweats: I've woken up the past 2 nights in the middle of the night sweaty..and stay awake for at least an hour before I fall back asleep.

- anxious/antsy: I find myself pacing at times.

So far I have been able to overcome the craving periods by deep breaths and drinking water.

I am somewhat of an active person (I have a dog so I walk at leat 3 miles a day) and I do 4 mile hikes about 3 times week. I fear of gaining I read from another person they started packing the pounds. This has always been one of the reasons why I didn't want to superficial of me. :

- Anyway, do you think I should up my activity?

- If I experience the chest pains, shortness of breath etc should I still push myself?

Oh...and one last thing to being day 3 and shockingly it is much easier of a day then the last 2.....could be because I am now more knowledgeable of the affect thanks to your site/articles.

Thank you...& hope to hear your opinion on the questions I asked.



lee 3 years ago

ive been smoking e-cigerettes for a week now, it literally elminated my cravings for cigerettes. however e-cig does contain nicotine, how long should i smoke this till im comfortable to get off it?

Nick 3 years ago

Celebrating 2 weeks today of not smoking!

Dahryl 3 years ago

hi mam Lela,

Its been month, I think, that i quit smoking. I visited the diagnostic last week and had an x ray. the radiologist found out that there was a small granuloma in my upper left lobe while other lab test seems to be alright except from the high cholesterol level. About the granuloma, is this something that I have to worry about? is this the result of my smoking? what should i do? and by the way about the side-effects and anxiety, i have been able to cope up/relieve with it because I usually read all the comments every time i feel theres and anxiety attack.

thank you

Alamotte 3 years ago

There is no date yet for the wedding. Still trying to get situated and get moved to TN. I am trying to finish up my degree in Criminal Justice, BUT I have run out of financial aid and I am not eligible for anymore, and I am also unemployed at the time so that's adding to the stress.

I checked out your website. How much are your classes?

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 3 years ago from Alameda, CA Author

Time for both if you to both go smoke free

When is the wedding

Alamotte 3 years ago

Hey there. Thanks for the quit response! ;)

He used to smoke years ago (he's actually 2 years younger than I am) but he quit. He will have an occasional cigar and had one the last time I was visiting him in Tennessee. (I stayed in GA to finish my degree).

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 3 years ago from Alameda, CA Author


I'm glad you found this site!

It's not cancer.. there are a lot of things that your body is going through right now.... Since you did start smoking again try out my free information meeting at and I can show you how to quit smoking forever comfortably.

planning a wedding is stressful for sure..does your fiancé smoke? Just curious...

Alamotte 3 years ago

You have no idea what a relief it was to find this page! I keep going onto Google to find out what the symptoms were of quitting smoking and this popped up and I am very impressed. Here is my story:

I am a 34 year old female who had been smoking since I was 14-15 years old. On December 1, 2012 I got that horrible strain of the flu that had been going around. I had a friend of mine who basically said that I shouldn't smoke while I had the flu because it would make it worse. SO I took the advice of my friend (Who is a doctor) and after laying in bed for nearly 2 weeks, I had quit smoking and was finally over the flu. I went through the chest pains, and being really grouchy, etc. I will tell you it was the best feeling in the world!

UNFORTUNATELY, 4 days ago I fell off the bandwagon and I am smoking again. I am going through a highly abnormal amount of stress in my life right now. I am engaged and trying to plan a wedding, I am also trying to get moved to Tennessee where my fiance lives. I currently live with a roommate and his mother and the roommate is constantly on my rear about asking me when I am moving amongst other things that he continually complains about. So I picked up the habit of smoking again. I have probably had 10-15 cigs in the past 4 days. I am going to try and go all day tomorrow without having one because I am having some really crazy side effects of starting the smoking again. I feel lightheaded and can't stand up for a long period of time. This evening, my head started itching and kind of feels like it is burning a little. I won't say that I am dizzy because the room is nowhere near spinning. I feel tired and actually took a 5 hour nap today (Hence why I am writing this at almost 11:30PM I feel like I have a sinus headache trying to develop, but I have managed to deal with that by taking Advil.

All these things I have, I found here on this website. With all the other results that I have found online, this really hit the nail in the head. The itching scalp, fatigue, chest pains, etc were all what I experienced when I had quit, and now that I started smoking again, it's like going through the detox but reverse. I am going to stop smoking again. It's been just a couple of hours since I have smoked, but I do not like feeling lightheaded, and crappy all the time. I felt fine after getting over the flu and then stress hit and I went back to probably the worst thing that I could ever do. so I am done smoking! I'll still have to deal with my 2 roommates smoking, but we are going to have a talk about them going outside to smoke so that I don't have to smell it or inhale their residual smoke!

What really scares me is the other results that I was reading on Google and Yahoo search. They were all suggesting cancer and other scary diseases that cause these same symptoms. I mean I was literally flipping out because I felt like I was going to die and even made me almost cry and text my fiancé and tell him that I loved him (I still do love him. lol)....I am so GLAD I found this page because it has answered a lot of my questions and is truly great to know that this is all normal conditions of quitting smoking!


Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 3 years ago from Alameda, CA Author


I think you are doing great. Everything you mentioned is normal. Do whatever you need to do to handle the heart burn and just be a little slower when you get up.

Be gentle with yourself and you will make it through this... It will take time.

Nir 3 years ago


I have stopped smoking for more than 33 days now, some of the things mentioned about (side effects) have occurred with me but not during the initial time-frame. Like, I have dizziness past 10 days when I move swiftly I feel dizzy (getting up from bed)

I also feel burning sensation in the middle of my chest past 4/5 days and yesterday had mild pain on the sides of my chest (right and left) I feel lumpy in my throat at times and I get this thick mucus from my throat sometimes it it brownish in colour. and all of a sudden I get this tingy feeling in my legs and hands (today as I am typing this)

haven't done any medical examination yet. I stopped smoking all of a sudden when I had a sore throat one and a half month ago. sore throat last 4 / 5 days and I felt I should stop smoking. I didn't go gradually it was all of a sudden stop. I dont feel like smoking. I feel as if I never smoked and I dont even remember how it feels when smoking (this is my inner feeling) I really wonder at times how did I smoked.

My smoking history is 17 yrs and recently around 10-12 sticks a day.

Is there anything I should worry about and need to consult a doc.

Please guide.

truebluewriter profile image

truebluewriter 3 years ago from Manila, Philippines

That's a lot of info (lot of bad stuff too lol). Good thing I never really got hooked on smoking. Most of my friends are pretty heavy smokers though.

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 3 years ago from Alameda, CA Author

Hi Shabsough,

It is for sure more than just a mindset that you go through when you quit smoking. So you are going through some real physical changes and the fact that you got this checked out and everything checks out fine means that this will eventually go away.

With that said it might take a few more months for your body to adjust but don't worry you will get through this and if you are like me, it should make you feel better to know that this is common and temporary.

Check back with us later to let us know how it is going.

Shabsough 3 years ago

Dear Lela , thank you dear for our prompt response , I forgot to tell you that I went to the doctor and made the necssesary tests and all of it were normal and he old me live our life and try o forget, I am sure it is a mental issue ,,,,I will do my best to focus on he positive sides,,this site helped me a lot duing he first two months,,,thanks a lot..

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 3 years ago from Alameda, CA Author

Hi Shabsoughh,

When you quit smoking for about the first month or two a lot of people get something that is like a heart attack or shortness of breath or a feeling like high anxiety or like you can't catch your breath.

It is temporary and common and it will eventually go away. Take deep breaths and this is your just your body adjusting.

So it is common and temporary and it will go away but I know that at the same time it seems scary.

On the other hand if it persists see your doctor!

shabsoughh 3 years ago

Dear lela, warm regards and thank you for this site, i am 42 years old, i quited smoking since 3 months cold turky, i have been smoking for 20 years , i have suffered most of the mentioned effects , but the most annoying one for me is that i feel from time to time that i will have heart attack, this idea kills me and makes my mood horabble, please advise me how to get ride of this panic,,i am afraid of death now,, is this normal, if it is normal when i supposed to get ride of it, awaiting for your advise, thank you in advance

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 3 years ago from Alameda, CA Author

The dizziness is from getting more oxygen going to your brain. Some people also get muddleheaded and forgetful.

The dizzy feeling from quitting smoking will eventually go away but it will take a few months or longer but it will go away.

emielucas profile image

emielucas 3 years ago from Hull. United KIngdom England

Happy New Year to everyone :).

Well im happy to say 16 weeks down the line i am feeling so much better :). I dont suffer with acid as much as i used to and the dizziness did go for a week or so but has come back again :( just wondered if anyone could please tell me if this is normal ( that it can come back ) if so will it ever stop? it seems to be the only thing i cant cope well with, i dont like feeling dizzy, its not constant but i could be washing my pots then my head goes a bit funny, doesn't happen anymore when i go to bed :) ( used to feel like i was drunk when i closed my eyes). Any how enough of my goings on. Hope everyone is still doing great....:)

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 3 years ago from Alameda, CA Author

Relax Dahryl ,

These symptoms are just temporary !

Dahryl 3 years ago

I quit last 2 weeks ago cold turkey. I feel depressed, anxiety, heartburn, panic attack, thinking that I have cancer or other serious ailments. But I am glad i happen to read all the comments because it is really comforting knowing that this are just side-effects hopefully.

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 3 years ago from Alameda, CA Author

You can try this method but there is a lot more to the smoking habit than just cutting back on nicotine.

I have free preview class that you can sign up for at

mcnonoy 3 years ago

hi can you help me?? im try now. to quit in smoking in just 18 yrs old. and 7 yrs in smoking and i can smoke almost 30 sticks a day. but i want to stop smoking. please help me! maybe you can help me with my problem thanks

day 1 = 10 sticks

day 2 = 9 sticks

day 3 =8 sticks

day 4=7 sticks

day 5= 6 sticks

day 6= 5 sticks

day 7= 4 sticks

day 8= 3 sticks

day 9= 2 sticks

day 10= 1 stick

day 11=0 it would be effective if i do like this one??

lenadelios 3 years ago

I have been searching for a forum for a very long time . I finally have found one that gives me insight to the real PAIN i feel ..I too am trying to stop smoking. I gave up with my partner, however i have fallen many times. I get to the 48 hour mark, cold sweats, acing legs, anxiety, chest pains the lot... All i know is all this will be worth it. The amount of harm smoking has done in 30 years, im sure i will one day kick this vile habbit.. Please help.. i need it..

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 3 years ago from Alameda, CA Author

Do this gradually the vertigo is about something changing in the body too fast!

Pakistani 3 years ago

Thanks admin for at least making me feel better to know about the effects...

I was addicted to drugs like (hashish, weed) putting them into cigerates and rizla papers mixing with tobbaco and having this from last 12-15 years ... spent lotsa money and offcource health... suddenly i left drugs and came to cigerates only and it started dizzinness and vertigo in me... which lasted for at least 4-5 weeks and it was awful. and i wanted to get rid of this vertigo thing... and now i have decided to leave smoking and decreasing it day by day... and same depression and dizziness is again taking over but this time i am not afraid and ready to fight with it....

So thanx alot for guiding me about the side effects... and do pray for me so that i can get rid of it....

Nomoresmokingever 3 years ago

Thanks so much for this article it put clarity on alot of side effects I was having.

I decided to stop smoking for health reason that I started having. At 42 years of age I was diagnosed with Atrial Flutter, Atrial Fibulation, mild case of COPD. Although I was not sure if smoking cause the first two problems I am sure it doesn't help. So with lots and lots, I mean lots of prayer ( and I haven't been to church in 10 years or more) I stopped smoking. I decided to ween myself of cigarettes, I told myself no matter what for the first month "NO SMOKING at WORK", (and I avoided my smoke buddies; you know the ones you huddle with in the pouring rain) so that took me down to a half of pack daily. The second month I decided I would only smoke on Friday night and all day Saturday and maybe one or two Sunday morning . Whatever was left went in the dumpster, then by the third month I said this is crazy just say goodbye and let them go and I did. (oh, I didn't tell anyone that I had quit because I didn't want any pressure from anyone)

nina 3 years ago

happy christmas everyone

am in to my second week off not having a fag . iam on nicotine patches .

iam 62 years old female .

was smoking a 50gram pouch of tobaca every three days

iam feeling ok but my knees are swelly up and iam blowing around my stomac my ribs are tight ;. i feel i could fall out with everyone xxx hope this will soon pass as my partner has stopped smoking as well he seems to be coping beter than iam

thank you

Haiko 3 years ago

Its has been two weeks, cold turkey. I m suffering the same symptoms people. Cancer sticks are out and a breath of fresh air is in. Its tough i know, but i smile more then ever because i know im going to feel a lot better in the future. The name of the game is patients at this point my friends, so lets tough it out and beat this stupid habit that kills us and hirts our pockets.

More power to you all, God gave us a healthy body lets keep it that way.

Remember to LOL its just another journey

EkramGaleti 3 years ago

Dear Lela Bryan,

First of all thank you so much for your article on post effects of smoking.

I have been smoking for last 8.5years. And I have recently quite smoking and had 15 doctor appointments. I did not stop in Cold Turkey way but I quite it gradually(first quite attempt). To be frank I quite twice in my life in a period of 4 months. The first I quite I just had problems with Sleep and it got really better after doctor appointments.

The biggest challenge I am facing now is after quite smoking(second attempt) in a cold turkey way. After I quite smoking in first attempt I used to smoke socially and I was about to get back as a regular smoker. I found it ASAP and I have to quite in Cold Turkey way. Since that day I have facing a lot problems such as Sleep, Constipation, Stiffness in whole body, headache's, cold like feeling, neck un-relaxation, and most importantly weight gain.

For past 1 year I worked so hard to reduce my waist from 34'5 to 31'5 and have a flat stomach and my manly boobs disappeared. But after this second attempt to quite smoking forever I feel my manly boobs are appearing back and I feel all my hard-work to quite smoking is vanished. I am so depressed and desperate again to redo my basics and change my life ambitions or postpone few of this. Most importantly, none of my friend, family understands the way I am going through right now. Especially with stiffness, very bad sleep, constipation and weight gain.

But god's grace, everyday I am improving a lot. Recently doctor has suggested me Mirtazapin tablet but it is just giving me more trouble, just like pendulum put in the brain.

But, thank you for such a nice article and happy holiday season.

3 years ago

I finally quit smoking after picking it up my college years. I began getting really bad headaches & feeling lightheaded. I contracted an upper respiratory infection and this led to my quitting. I have never coughed up so much gunk in my life. I have noticed every once in a while..i have to stop & catch my breath and I will begin having hot flashes where i break a sweat. It really is crazy the effects smoking has on our bodies, but obviously it's all terrible for I am thankful I finally opened my eyes to see how truly horrible smoking is and threw my last pack ever away. You all can do it too, just have to stay strong & want to quit.

Lisa 3 years ago

I haven't had a cigarette for 7 weeks now following a Subarachnoid Brain Haemorrhage. I have been experiencing pain in my left lung area when I breathe in and x-rays are clear.. Could this be a symptom of giving up? I haven't had a cough or anything.

emielucas profile image

emielucas 3 years ago from Hull. United KIngdom England

Hi there

Im feeling so restless today and annoyed!! :(

Hate this feeling so much....

Had to make myself sick again today as i keep feeling nauseous (only the past 2-3 days ) and dizzy and earache too. Why now when ive been quit 7 weeks?? .

Just want to feel normal again.

And the bone between my breast feels quite tender is this normal also?

one more thing, how come i have not coughed at all or brought up any phlegm? does this mean im not clearing my lungs???.

Sorry for always asking questions, just puts me at ease when i get a reply knowing this is normal ( if it is ). Just wish i had some one i could talk to, all my friends still smoke, even all my family :(

Emma :)

percilla21 3 years ago

its been 3 1/2 months i think wat make it worse is that my husband still smokes in the house so my throat is always irritated i just wounder because it seems to be worse when i drink cold or hot drinks or foods with a lot of spice

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 3 years ago from Alameda, CA Author


It is hard to answer this because I don't know how long you have quit smoking. If it a few weeks then yes you might need to five you throat a while to rebuild tissue. Think of your tissue in your throat as having been burned (or smoked like a smoked fish) and now your throat is shedding the old burned smoked skin and rebuilding new baby tissue and sometimes people need to be gentle for a while with their hot and cold temperatures until you are used to it.

BRIDGET 3 years ago

My worst was the acid indigestion and the itching!!! that was real bad I have now gone through 3 months but still feel like sh**.

I must say though my asthma is much better except my coughing which is awful and sounds hoarse and dry' cant wait for this to go away.

percilla21 3 years ago

wounder if this is normal my throat seems to be sencitive to hot or cold drinks its feel like it swells a little and if this is normal should i keep drinking hot and cold drinks to get my throat used to it or let my throat heal from not smoking

Emma 3 years ago

Thankyou so much for your response it has really helped.

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emielucas 3 years ago from Hull. United KIngdom England

Its strange how you get so many crazy symptoms through stopping smoking. Does anyone know how long these symptoms can last? 7 weeks this wednesday (21st nov 2012) i do feel so much better than i did at the beginning, just sick of the acid reflux, if i bend down i feel this strange feeling in my chest like something moving, anyone else have this? and my breasts are so tender all the time is this due to the acid reflux, starting to put me off wanting to eat, as seems everything i do causes pain, im forever belching lol. I am on a tablet so when its finished in 3 weeks time i hope the acid reflux goes with it. Somedays i feel on top of the world , but others i feel really down and ratty with everyone around me :( Ive read that sometimes symptoms can last as long as 1 year.....i read a post from another girl named emma, and felt exactly as she did, i really thought i was going to die (im not as young im 38) , One thing im certain of and thats i know i will never smoke again. I love coming on this site when im feeling low as after reading other peoples comments i know im not alone in this and that so many people have /are suffering the same.

Thanks for such a great site :)

Rajendra 3 years ago

Whenever I want to quit smoking is increased....thanks for your information.Hope they will help my quiting cigs.

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Lela Bryan 3 years ago from Alameda, CA Author


The good news is you are not dying from quitting smoking at the ripe old age of 25!!

Shortness of breath is that you are finally breathing deeper... before you only did deep breathing with smoke and now it probably seems like you can't get enough air and that just means that you are breathing more deeply and that will even out.

Your muscles are are changing (6 months seems like a long time but every one is different in terms of quitting smoking) so changes in muscles at a cellular level is common.

Bloating around the waist is common and there can be a 3 to 7 water weight gain. Start getting out and walking or exercising more than usual and also cut down on processed foods like canned soups and anything that is highly processed. Stick to basic foods that are not salted for a while.

Itching legs is a good sign...better circulation. maybe take a warm bath at night.

I had hot flashes when I quit. Not sure about the chest pains but you are young and I know that if everything comes back ok you will be fine.

You are doing great ....really I think you are going to live a healthy life and I'm glad that you came to this site.

Really these symptoms will go away they are late in coming and I can't explain why but all of these will go away and you will be a happy, healthy non-smoker!

emma 3 years ago

hi there, i really need to know if all my symptons are from stopping smoking...i stopped smoking around 6 months ago npow and the first id say 5 months i felt great and had no problems bu t now im getting shortness of breat, have stiff muscles especially my breath, have a lot of bloating around my waist, im constantly scatching my legs because they are prickly especially on a night and the worst is that when i walk into a shop, especially a supermarket i get hot fluhes, palpatations and feel like im going to faint until i get outside in the fresh air, i also get chest pains more on an evening and when i breath in and out. Ive had GP appointments, ECGS etc and all come back fine. I constantly feel like i have a ball of flem on the back of my mouth also. Is this all because of stopping smoking? it will be reassuring to know if it is and not that im dieing at 25!! thnks

Valerie 3 years ago

I went through almost everything listed on this post! I quit smoking COLD TURKEY! after smoking since I was about 14 or 15 i'm now 41.. Thanks Given will be my 6th month, I Think of smoking once in a while or dream about it, but don't want it ...... I suffered with my habit badly but it's the only way I could do it I tried gums and patches but thats it that was 10yrs ago it last for 2wks maybe and i was smoking again now i dont have the urge but you'll need to be stress free to do it, although i wasn't ... I was DETERMINED, I had started smoking Black and mild cigars 2years ago and something had to give....

Valerie (Good Luck Everyone)

N.L. 3 years ago

Oct. 1,2012 I started using Tar Bar .After 4 weeks seeing what was going into my lungs I knew I had to stop smoking. So Nov.1, 2012 I got the electrical cigs and started on the lowest dose of nicotine , Now at week three I am on the 0 nicotine. i will not go back to smoking.I bought a vicks inhaler for my stuffy breathing i get out of breath.i feel achey.tired ,retaining water , but reading all this i know it will pass.cheers :)

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 3 years ago from Alameda, CA Author


I am glad you found this site too!

I'm sorry you had to go through all of that

emielucas profile image

emielucas 3 years ago from Hull. United KIngdom England

Hi my name is emma, from the UK ENGLAND

I stopped smoking 6 weeks ago by going cold turkey, this is the first time i have quit smoking and am so proud of myself. But like so many people on here i have suffered so bad, at first i really thought i was going crazy, i had palpatations, even went to hospital on an ECG machine , all ok :). Had all my blood tests done all ok too. Felt so emotional at times, cried for no reason, tingles in my left arm (which made me think yet again it was my heart ) still have dizziness but not as bad as when i first quit. Now suffering with constipation and acid indigestion :( . Been to my Drs so many times i think he must have thought i was going crazy, even my partner commented one weekend " will i have to take you to hospital this week" and a friend said i may need counselling (she still smokes) really made me feel like i was going crazy, but now through reading other peoples comments and symptoms i know im not crazy and just experiencing the effects of the nicotine that my body craved for 19 years leaving my body. Would love to hear from anyone else who felt this way. Good luck to everyone and well done too.

onemmouse 3 years ago

Thank you for this site,I was about to go over the edge with all the symptoms. One always thinks the worst. Into day 3 cold turkey my daughter is into day 2 of quitting chewing. Hair loss... oh boy and I do not have all that much to loose. Twitching in face ( eyebrows or very annoying ) very dry skin especially my feet.

Thank you again for helping ....

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Lela Bryan 3 years ago from Alameda, CA Author


I am so glad you feel better knowing that the feeling of not being able to catch your breath is common when people first quit smoking and that feeling will go away!

D'Arcy 3 years ago

Hi there. So glad I found this forum..maybe I'm not dying?!?! I have tightness in my chest and a feeling of not getting enough oxygen. This leads to panic and I feel I'm losing my mind. I want to go to the doctor and get an ECG just so I can feel better but I am pretty sure it is just some type of anxiety. I quit smoking about 2 months ago with Chantix but had to go off early because of the palpitations and shortness of breath ( thought the drug was the cause but been off of it for about 3 weeks now and still no change) I think I just assumed all the symptoms would be gone in days or a week or two.

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Lela Bryan 3 years ago from Alameda, CA Author

Oh my gosh

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Lela Bryan 3 years ago from Alameda, CA Author


I'm crying reading your post.

Thank you, Lela

Amitav 3 years ago

A recommendation to all my friends who is trying to quit, Pls bookmark this site and go through this again and again, as we do with our favorite book. I might hav read this article 15 times..... u know this motivates me so much. with side effects like hoarseness, sore throat, phlegm etc etc. you feel sick of urslf and get upset of your condition. and reading this again and again helps you keep your motivation level at the highest by the way of self explanation, that all this bad things are happening for a good reason. and this is when you put your self much stronger in your decision to stay quit and live a better life. Its my 10th week of cold turkey and i realllly respect you Lela, You have unknowingly helped so many ppl live a better and healthy life.




Aggie 3 years ago

Hello Again,

I forgot to mention a couple other symptoms that I have......Bloating & swelling, hands, feet & stomach. Chest pains particularly at night when I'm laying down. Usually shifting my position in bed helps. Ohhhhhh the heart burn let me tell ya. Doesn't matter if I eat a certain food or drink a certain drink I have it even on an empty stomach. Like right now I have heart burn :(

I do believe that is all......You all have a fabulous day & again thank you for everyone's input.

Aggie 3 years ago

Hello all....I'm so glad to have found this web site. I was a smoker for 30 years & I'm going on 7 weeks smoke free cold turkey. I as well as you all have concerns of the side effects of quitting that nasty habit. Who would think quitting smoking you could feel all these side effects. Well I can tell you I have most of them: Bleeding gums, tingling of feet & fingers, itching (better now), sleeplessness (better now), weight gain ( 15 lbs), heart palpatations (90% better now), dry skin, breakouts on face (improving). I do think that my teeth are deteriorating a little because one tooth on the bottom front is now loose & I've become sensitive to drinking cold things whereas before that didn't happen. I can say I no longer have a smoker's cough. I've been waiting for my lungs to cough up the nicotine & tar but so far nothing. Also food still tastes the same to me no changes on that. My main complaint is I am very, very grumpy & irritable at times. Little things bother me & I fly off the handle & than of course I feel tremendously guilty of my choice of words that I use. Of course I take it out on the people closest to me my family. They have been totally understanding as I explained to them this was one of the hardest things to do. I do find that the longer I go without cigarettes the less I think about them even with another smoker in the house, whom I might say has slowed down a bit. I think the worst thing out of all the symptoms is the depression you experience. LOL, I would even compare it to breaking up with the love of your life or losing a loved one, but this feeling too is decreasing little by little. That nicotine is a very bad, bad addiction that is very hard to break, but you just got to stick to your guns & keep telling yourself "I don't need that cigarette, I want to feel better, look better & be proud of myself".

Well for all you beginners in the fight to quit, it will get better!!! Just hope you have family & friends who will understand your anxieties & they encourage you to keep it going like my family does. GOOD LUCK!!!

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 3 years ago from Alameda, CA Author

Oh Percilla21,

I am so glad this made you feel better about quitting smoking! Let me know if I can answer any questions

percilla21 3 years ago

i cryed reading this page i thought there was something wrong with me to and yes cancer always come to mind first this site made me feel so good i quite 3 months ago and i to feel like its not worth it sometimes but this site has changed my way of thinking i can not thank u enough i was so scared i would cry myself to sleep at night it is true that doctors should no more about the side effects so they can help us thro this i was going to go to the doc and after reading all the test they put people thro for no reason i would have totally freaked out with anxite when all it would have took was a site like this thank u again

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 3 years ago from Alameda, CA Author


Thank you for sharing this hub with people that are quitting smoking! It means a lot because you are a nurse and wonderful writer!

kelleyward 3 years ago

Fantastic Hub Lela! I'm going to share this my with friends who are trying to stop smoking! Take care, Kelley

Joshua T. Frank 3 years ago

Hello I was wondering if you had any tips for continuing habits without nicotine, I quit cold turkey 2 weeks ago and I find that I cant do anything im used to doing because it makes me want some nicotine so ive just been sleeping and eating all during my free time lol I've gained probably 15 pounds since I quit and thats at the very least.

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Lela Bryan 4 years ago from Alameda, CA Author


The only thing I can think of for blackened lips is to keep your lips lubricated with a lip balm and soon the old dry skin will sluff off

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 4 years ago from Alameda, CA Author


Thanks for submitting all of your symptoms!

RYMON 4 years ago

(2012 comment ) 18 years of smoking (B&H) 10 a day in month 5 cold turkey.......

sleep problems (lasted 2 months)

sleep for few hours at a time with the lamp light on (lasted 3months)

heart turbulence ( lasted 1.5 weeks)

palpitations ( lasted 1 week)

shortness of breath (lasted 3 weeks)

Tingly fingers ( lasted a week in month 4 )

pins and needles ( odd times on going)

I have had 4 ECG'S ( normal)

24 hr heart monitor ( normal)

13 doctors appointments

heavy heartbeat sound ( 6 days)

(No tar coughing as of yet) in month 5 apart from the ciggy smell I miss smoking .............................

I do once a week have a shisha smoke at my local bar

good luck to all keep fighting

Amitav 4 years ago

Hey! Am 27yrs old from india, this makes 7 weeks of quit. i went cold turkey, and am determined not to take this habit again. i wanted to know abt my blackend lips since i was smoking for the last 12 yrs continously approx 10 cigs a days. i wanna get my pink lips back. HOW? any remedy? or it will happen naturally? though some portion of my lips already discoloring and i can see baby pink color lips immerging through the dead skin. but its at the area where both the lips touch each other not on the outer part.

Pls help with this answer and the worst problem the i faced during my quit is sore throat.... this is juz terrible and dont seems to be leaving me.

joseemanuel 4 years ago


I'm from Portugal, 40 years old smoked from when I was 15 up until I was 33, then I quit for 5 years, and when my father died 2 years ago I got back into it, just couldn't help it, at the time it was very conforting because my father was a smoker himself, died at the age of 80 and was a haevy smoker since 15 years old, last days of his life was like smoking 4 x 20 cigs a day = 80 , died just because he was 80 years old, doctors were surprised he had no problems in his lungs, his heart just couldn't go any longer(obviuosly gigarretes didn't help) but he was happy and that's what matters, well my story is what matters, just thought it would be interesting I shared my father's life to you as he was a heavy smoker, so now I quit smoking again for 2 months, cold turkey, all those symptons you mention I had them all, just one that doesn't go away, it s depression, feeling sad all the time, how can I overcome this without going into anti depressives, If I had to I would smoke again, Is this normal feeling so sad, will it go away

thanks emanuel


SEan 4 years ago

okay, thanks so much for posting all this, I really appreciate it because I feel like I am going F'ng nuts. Not much more to add other than I am quitting cold turkey for two days now and getting much F'ng worse. Any body else feel like what the F is the use? how bout some help here. would love to have a life free of smokes, but damn, how do I make it through the first few days.

need some help, please

Dave4841 4 years ago

Great article. I quit 4 weeks ago and all is good. My main concern is a sore throat but now I understand why. Other minor symptoms for me have been light sleeping, diarrhea and tingling. I used Chantix a year ago and quit for 5 weeks. This time cold turkey and feeling great. I could write a novel about the social downsides of smoking but not now. The key is to get your life balanced and head straight and quitting will be that much easier. Good luck to you.

mec 4 years ago

I remember my father smoked for about 50 years and quit when he found out he had lung problems. Didn't have any problem with it or never mentioned any. I smoked- mainly a pipe for the same amount of time not inhaling- or if you don't believe that- not inhaling very much. I had no respiratory problems but quit because the dental hygienist started voicing alarm about changes in my mouth. I stopped smoking immediately and the mouth cleared up in days. I never had any of the usually listed withdrawal symptoms and the urges to smoke grow less frequent and, in any case, are easy to dismiss.

Either all the talk about nicotine being as addictive as heroin is just puritanical hype or opiates are not very addictive at all. I do not believe there is any excuse for the industry that has grown up around smoking cessation, the chemistry associated with it or eastern ooga-booga like accupuncture, hypnotism or the like.

Samantha Creel 4 years ago

I have tried to quit before and failed. This time I have taken a different approach and decided to cut back everyday. I would smoke almost a pack a day and have cut it down to about 5 a day in the beginning and tomorrow will make the day I will have 0. I have had chest pains and it's below my breast and a stiffness in my neck. I have also had one swollen tonsil. Is this common from cutting back so fast and the beginning of quitting? I have thought about make a Dr. appointment but I don't have insurance so I have been putting it off. Any information will be helpful. Thank you

Robin J. 4 years ago

I would like to thank Lela,Jenn,and Jenn L.I appreciate your information.I get really down in the dumps and scared at times.I woke up this morning feeling like I was short of breath and weezing.I have not smoked in 5 weeks and 4 days now,but out of the clear blue could not breath well and I have used my inhaler all day every 4 hours due to having breathing difficulties.I am starting to wonder if I am too late quitting and that I will only get worse or what is going on.I cough up bits of yellow with lt.brown dots in it or just light yellow mucus.It is really thick.There are times it is like small pieces of mucus kind of shaped like a pencil eraser.I just wish I could get better and move on with my life.I am 46 and have had Rhuematoid Arthritis since I was 25 yrs old and I have been short of breath when I walk or I do any physical exercise.i am really scared.I am so happy I found this site though,because I have been much more at ease since I found this site and heard everyones story.I just keep praying that things will get better.I also wish I would stop gaining so much weight.I will not be able to walk with all this weight gain if it continues,because of my Rhuematiod Arthritis.I will keep in contact with everyone on this site.I am going to continue on with quitting smoking and keep praying that this will all get better for all of us.Thanks everyone.

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 4 years ago from Alameda, CA Author

Thank you Jenn L

Jenn L. 4 years ago

Robin J.

I just read your post and I can't even begin to tell you how familiar your story sounds. I quit four months ago and still have issues. Mine started with constipation. I was terrified I had cancer (which is an ongoing anixety at this point). I hadn't been "irreugular" since I was a kid. I found this page and was so glad. It took a while but I think that has actually subsided. Now, I am dealing with bloating, fluid retention and strange pains in my intestines and gut. I too have heart burn all the time, a strange pain in my throat that comes and goes (sometimes, I can feel it up into my bottom teeth), pain in my large intestines that goes into my hips and legs, my arms hurt periodically, my breasts sometimes get shooting pains in them, my hormones have definitely changed, my back hurts, and sometimes after eating, I get pain in my chest that radiates into my back. I was terrified that I had pancreatitis or pancreatic cancer. I have had several medical professionals tell me that I don't have either. Since quitting smoking, I have had a pelvic ultrasound for the lower abdominal pain and leg pain, I have had several chest x rays and x rays of my thighs and torso to look for bone abnormalities and possible tumors. The only thing the x rays showed was arthritis of the middle back, a curvature of the spine and issues with my neck. I have had two CBC's run and some other blood work done. The values on the CBC's have been normal. My cholesterol came back high but I read that can be common after quitting. I am beginning to suspect that I may have celiac's disease and that I am still detoxing from smoking for over 12 years. I also want to mention that since I quit, my anxiety has been through the roof. I have seen other sites where people have commented about having all types of digestive issues for months after quitting smoking, some people reported the pains and aches months and months after quitting smoking, while others reported a spike in anxiety, some people have lost weight due to the lack of appetite brought on by the digestive issues and so on and so on. One woman actually suffered terrible constipation for almost 9 months. I have actually lost weight because of my anxiety and digestive issues. It is very frustrating, but, just know that you are not alone. I have been to several doctors since I quit to the point where I think most of them think I am crazy. Quitting is a process and our bodies have to learn to live without the poison we were giving it for years. I seem to be having all of the symptoms listed above but they are staggered. I didn't have any issues after quitting until I had quit for a month! My best advice is to try and stay calm. Listen to your body, post your thoughts and feelings on this site and talk to Lela. She is really a good person to talk to. I check this page often and would be happy to compare notes with you as we continue on our quitting journey. Don't feel alone! We are all in this together.

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Lela Bryan 4 years ago from Alameda, CA Author

please email me at

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Lela Bryan 4 years ago from Alameda, CA Author

Thanks Steve!

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Lela Bryan 4 years ago from Alameda, CA Author

Wow Jen thanks for the input ....are you ok now?

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Lela Bryan 4 years ago from Alameda, CA Author

Interesting thanks Jen!

Jen 4 years ago


You may want to have the Dr. test you for Hypothyroidism and Hypoglycemia.... I have been through almost exactly what you have been through... my symptoms have included problems swallowing, my tongue feeling swollen, dizzyness, feeling foggy, short of breath, diagnosed with Acid Reflux and Anxiety attacks, unable to sleep, numbness in my arms and legs, achiness of my muscles and joints... all are symptoms of both hypothyroidism and hypoglycemia... and hypothyroidism can be triggered by stress... I.E. quitting smoking... which can lead to major hormone changes!!!! All the while the Doctor made me feel like I was losing my mind (I was yelling at people around me, experiencing bouts of manic depression)... I have been on thyroid medication for 3 weeks and can tell a difference already. I hope this helps cause I know feeling like losing your mind feels like CRAP!

hendy66 4 years ago

Hi Ive been quit for 4 weeks now,started feeling dizzy and light headed yesterday and today all the crap is coming out.As I blow my nose I can feel my head and ears clearing.My legs have also been feeling weak, I was worried about this but after finding this web site im not. Steve

Pavan 4 years ago

Hi Lela,

Felt relieved by seeing ur web page...I have left smoking 7 days ago...i have been going through the regular symptoms as head aches,coughs..etc...But one unique symptom which i am going through is shivering...My body shivers in time intervals (1-2 hrs). Is it normal..? Please reply back, i am really concerned abt it..

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 4 years ago from Alameda, CA Author

Robin J,

Oh my gosh! This is by far the most interesting and alarming comment I have ever read! Would you email me personally, I would like to interview you for my new ebook. There is no way you should have had to endure all of the things that you went through at the hospital. please email me at

Robin J. 4 years ago

I am so thankful I found this site.I quit a month ago and I went to the ER several time as I felt pressure in my chest,lower rib cage and like I had tightness in my chest and throat.It would always ease up after I burped several times.I would also feel like I was having trouble breathing and the ER would tell me I was breathing fine and that I was having a panic/anxiety attack .They would give me blood test,EKG'S,x-rays,cat scan of my throat,ultra sound of my liver and gallbladder,stool test,X-rays of my heart,lungs and abdomen tons of steariod shots and antibiotics due to them saying I had Bronchitis.They gave me 5 rounds of antibiotics,before they decided it must be viral.I then got this sore mouth and throat that they said was pharyngitis They gave me zanax for anxiety and told me to wait it out.My sinus's are all stuffed up and my ears hurt,but the Dr. says my ears are not infected and to take some zyrtec.Due to all the gas and heart burn I am on Prilosec .They say I have Acid Reflux.All my joints and muscles are sore.I have trouble with my legs jumping while I try to sleep.I am lucky to sleep an hour,before I wake up with dry throat and having to urinate.I have to steadily drink water all night long.I have tingling in my hands and feet.I feel like I am losing my mind at times.I am just now getting to where I don't have as much gas and no more heart burn.With the gas going away it is stopping the feeling of pressure and tightness in my chest and under my ribs and in my throat.I still have it at times,but not all the time like it was for at least 3 weeks of this.I have even been told I may be going through menopause because I have hotflashes.I have had off and on dizziness,blurred vision and floaters and Doc says I am fine.I am so happy that I have found this site,cause all the symptoms I have gone through are on this site.The doctors treat you like you are going crazy,cause they can't find anything.Now I know I have to deal with this stuff maybe as long as a year(I sure hope not).I was wondering if anyone has had tightness and tingling in the back of their neck at times,mainly if you yawn or stretch unvolentarily?It is not as bad as it was the 2nd or 3rd week.I wish I would have found this site awhile ago,cause I would have quit gradually rather than cold turkey.Well Good luck everyone and I will keep on with out smoking and pray for less of these side affects that I have been having.I want to be able to go for a walk without getting out of breath or dizzy with floaters.I quit because I was getting short of breath and feeling really bad and I want to be around to see my grandkids have kids!!! I smoked for 31 years and the urges to smoke have not been near as bad as I would have thought it would be,but the side affects have been a nightmare for me,but thanks to all of you on this site I think it will be much easier on me knowing I am not alone and that it most likely has to do with side affects of smoking.Well I bookmarked this site,so I will be checking back with everyone.Thanks and once again goodluck to all!!!

dm 4 years ago

Can someone tell me if I should be coughing up mucus after having quit a month ago and having smoked for 40+ years? I would think that I should be coughing up mucus by this time but would appreciate if someone else could tell me when their lungs started to clear out all of the junk from smoking.

Thank you

bethie 4 years ago

This site was very helpful! Love it !

james 4 years ago

Lela your method seems to be the same as Allen Carr's "the esy way to stop smoking". What is the difference between your method and his? I have been smke free using his method for 3 days now and I find it is amazing. Do you offer something more?

Niranjana 4 years ago

I quit cold turkey since 13 days. So far nothing..On day2 and Day3, I took one Nicorite, then...all far so good.

drink a lot of water...prayers..silent chantings help me and fill me with mental strength. Hope I get EX-SMOKER zone!

dm 4 years ago

Quit smoking cold turkey after smoking a pack a day for 40 years. I had quit once previously for about 7 months and remember coughing up huge amounts of mucus, however this time nothing. It has only been two weeks but expected I would be coughing up mucus again.

albert 4 years ago

this ssite it great makes me feel loads better been to three hospitals in they tell me theres three different thing rong with me. but i look on here and yall all are havin the same exact issues as me so thanx hang in there im day 4 of not smoking nd i feel like shit but all is good

Jared 4 years ago

Hi Lela,

Im on day 4 of quitting and im getting a few symptoms (headaches, irritability, loss of appatite ((weird worst one is the VIVID and ENDLESS nightmares at night.. i wake up at least 3 times in the night because of them since the first night.. i dont even want to fall asleep because they are so real and terrifying. Any ideas?

Warm regards,


Kingsley 4 years ago

i have quitted smoking for almost eight months,but ever since i stop,i have een experiencing a lot of cough with a very dark muccour coming out as result of the cough,constant cataarh,wich always block my nose there by inhibiting my free flow breath,hearth pains is the order of the day,please in as much as i love how i stop cigeratte smoking,would i continue with all this discomfort?it has been very long,over 7 months,please tell me how to solve these prolems.this is my private email

jessica gibbon 4 years ago

trying to quit smoking cold turkey today i am sick of the chest pains and the really shortness of the breath i am only 34 but i feel like i am going to need an oxygen tank or i have Emphysema i scared, i also have anxiety problems which is not good. when you quit will i still have the chest pains and breathing issues? mind you i am smoking 1-2 packs a day and i had my first cigg at 12 yrs old. i did quit once for 6 months wish i had the will power to stay quit this time i need too. i stress way too much so i was smoking so i am just hoping things will get better for me i don't want to die.

debbie 4 years ago

hi, i need to unload all the ailments i got from quitting. it's been about 5 mos. i have constant heartburn,, my throat is sore, can't sleep, cranky and plain ole bitchy. gained weight, and very depressed. i can't even leave the house, iam that depressed. i am now going from 1 dr. to another . sleep studies, depression clinic's , gp's. therapys. i really opened a can of worms with this, but i will give it another month, if not better, i will smoke again. i just can't have my family living thru my turmoil too much longer, and i can't either. anyone else having this hard of a time too?

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 4 years ago from Alameda, CA Author


The symptoms will last between 1and 2 months

Charles 4 years ago

I hope these symptoms don't last too long. I quit smoking 1 week ago and I have almost all these symptoms. Especially congested, sore throat, hot flashes*******. Actually I feel like I have a really bad cold! It's horrible but I determined to not touch one ever again!

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 4 years ago from Alameda, CA Author

Yes the 3rd day is the worst because it take about 3 days to get all the nicotine out of your system. but if you are still smoking e cigarettes then you have not quit smoking... (unless you are smoking the no nicotine types. )

With e cigarettes there are high med and low and zero nicotine. So a sore throat and all the symptoms like sinus that you described are very common and will last a few weeks to a few months.

kim 4 years ago

I am 39 hours of not smoking..with the help of E cig..I am only taking a puff here and there throughout the day...I am now experiencing a sore throat and nausea along with discomfort in my ears..My sinus seems to be acting up out of no where..I am guessing this is normal, I am hoping I am not getting sick and this will pass soon..I am almost at day 3 , I was told the first 3 days are the worse..Is there anyone out there that has used the E Cig?? Would love to hear from someone that used it

jlove418 4 years ago


I quit smoking about 9 weeks ago and at first, it was OK. After about 4 -5 weeks, I became so incredibly constipated that I believed I had rectal/bowel cancer. I have had a pevlic ultrasound and numerous x-rays because I am so convinced I am dying. I have been trying to drink extra water and add fiber to my diet, but, I have also been suffering from heartburn and indigestion. I am still suffering from all three of these ailments. A chiropractor told me that my back is completely out of line and likely contributing to these issues. I smoked on and off for over 15 years and drank during those years, too. Now, I am crying constantly, I wake up feeling like I am having surges of adrenline and anxiety, I can't focus at my job because I am so consumed with thoughts of pancreatic cancer and other types of cancer. I am falling apart. I never want to smoke again but never imagined I would feel so horrible. Your site is the only place I have found that lists some symptoms similar to mine. Can you please give me some encouragment and reassurance? I have a 10 year old daughter and a husband who need me. I am just so afraid of cancer, it is unreal. Thank you for any help you can provide.

Rob Powell 4 years ago

I have been smoke free for 2 months and I don't feel any better for it! I just went cold turkey as it is the only way I would stop. Gradually I have felt worse and worse I feel fat, depressed, have the most annoying blocked nose which impairs my normal functioning in my job, my mouth feels really odd, I'm irritable, not sleeping very well which is something I have never had an issue with, nightmare...makes you want to smoke again!

ashely 4 years ago

ok so i have this uncle who smokes like 2 packs a day and he has to stop because we celebrate ramadan and for ramadan to happen he cant smoke ciggrets so he has been realllly angry and mad i know it because of the smoking but i just want to know how to stop him from being obssed with this hole smoking.

sourav 4 years ago

hey i just started smoking 3 months back . Its hard to leave . i have .... back pain , headache, chest pain , gastritis, stomach pain .... when i dont smoke . i dont feel like getting up from my bed and cant travel for long distances . 4 years ago

im all dried up - like my screen is all dry and red and i got tons of dandruff after quitting smoking..this is my 3rd week. Is this normal?

Colin Davies 4 years ago

I stopped smoking 5 Days ago using champix , i have noticed a taste change in certain foods and beer tastes different.

my parents were heavy smokers and smoked 40 - 60 day and stopped together 15 yrs ago, my mother is now getting over lung cancer and after her operation i promised her i would stop.

After seeing the scar left by surgery and the long recovery it gave me the push i needed to stop, not had any cough yet but know its coming.

awsomeboi1 4 years ago

hi my name is nick im 21 and ive been smokin sense i was 15 and i want to quit right now i haven't had a cigerette for two days and ive been having bad stomach pain could it be because i haven't had a cigerrete or could it be something else

Aaron Joe profile image

Aaron Joe 4 years ago from Burnt Church, New Brunswick

been done with smoking for 12 days, been smoking for 4 years, last week my throat was itching and in pain,(thought it was from the dry cough) wish i woulda seen this hub that day because i had a smoke out of choice, a test to see if something was actually wrong with me, not out of a craving, which is why im still not smoking a week later. almost lit another right now to cough up the rest of my phelgm, because when i smoked last week coughed real hard all day and the next day was almost no coughing but now its a very dry cough keeps me up at night, although i get 7+ hours of sleep per night. to help coughing i go to a "wet" or steam sauna and it really helps the lungs, just bring with you a "spitty" cup lol also helps ( i believe) for detox, sweat out all the badness from smoking. im a very srong willed person... but these nightmares about smoking just get to me, because a "nightmare" about smoking is just terrible, hilarious almost

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 4 years ago from Alameda, CA Author


Email me at and tell me what time zone you are in, what is your direct email and we can talk further

Jay 4 years ago

Hello i recently quit smoking and i just hsvent been feeling right..its been almost 2 not having just feel very very weird ive looked up and down for someone to post something about how im feeling as a symtom but i just cant find feeling very slow almost if im high in a not comprohending what im seeing right away nd certin parts of my body feel almost like there numb but not really...i haven't been eating since this started 1 because im nervous and 2 its hard to chew and swollow because my mouth feels numb in a very scared and depressed and just want this to go away but really really dont want to smoke to stop it..can anyone please please give me any sort of advice??

steveo 4 years ago

ive quit smoking for about a week or 2 now gradually weening myself off even though im doing it gradually im still noticing several of the side effects, tight chest, achiness , getting a llittle chubbier and also getting very depressed and paranoid, im just glad to find this website it really made me feel better about a lot of this, im gonna hold off and be better. just wanted to say thank you

Jackie 4 years ago

I have stoppeed smoking now for 3 and half months. I used the patches for 8 weeks then finished them - i went by myself the rest of the weeks. I found it really easy to give up even when people were smoking around me. I just keep telling myself that i used to smell like those people that are still smoking - its disgusting. I don't know why i smoked for 25 years - i must have really smelled - yuk - disgusting. Keep going if your stopping smoking , its well worth it. I have loads of extra time to do stuff i couldn't be bothered doing - its brilliant. I love it. Suffering with a few pains at the minute but im putting that down to my body adjusting without nicotine. Woo Hoooooo im a non smoker and loving it. Keep going. x

Lu 4 years ago

I am in my 7th week of quitting smoking. I battled the first week with cravings, emotions etc., but NOW I am so bloated, I have gone up 2 jeans sizes - can I take a water tablet?? I almost feel as if I need to do a cleansing everything feels a bit sluggish?

Karen 4 years ago

I gave up smoking 18 days ago. I went cold turkey, I had tried patches in the past but found that giving up was almost symptom less. I eventually took smoking back up after using the patches. Going cold turkey is going to work for me as the withdrawal symptoms were something I will remember every time I have the urge to have a puff. For the first 3 days I had headaches, nausea and diahorrea . I feel so much now and friends have told me how fantastic I look, my skin is starting to have a lovely glow again

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 4 years ago from Alameda, CA Author

I will contact you by email

ghon 4 years ago

Hi! Lela I'm planning to stop smoking 13 years smoker. Your HubPage is great, lots of information very interesting. I do hope that I can overcome the stages that I will face in stopping smoking. is my email much appreciated if you can give me advice. thank you & more power.

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Lela Bryan 4 years ago from Alameda, CA Author

Megabee so true!

megabee123 4 years ago

Wow there's some great tips on here guys, feeling alot of positive vibes. I have recently stopped (12th June 2012) and today is 1st July, it's my second time stopping... I am going cold turkey method, and I feel a lot stronger this time.

One tip I would share with you guys is there is no such thing as one cigarette. I got sucked back into smoking the first time I quit because I was on holdiay and my friend (who doesn't normally smoke) decided to smoke whilst on holiday - i fell for it and was straightaway addicted again.

I am never going to smoke again so help me!

Manuel 4 years ago

Hi Lela , thank you for the reply . my throat is aching is this a good sign or not? today is my 6th day of rehabilitating my self to a new non-smoker life. any pain reliever to advise or medication.

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 4 years ago from Alameda, CA Author


Everyone has their own way of quitting. Do what works for you . I am happy to help with any specific questions.

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 4 years ago from Alameda, CA Author

The dizziness will last up to a month. Take things a little more slowly until your body adjusts to its new level of oxygen in the brain. It is like your body is a construction zone and everything is being redone.

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Lela Bryan 4 years ago from Alameda, CA Author

An ammonia smell when someone stops smoking is rare but it does happen.

Some things that you can are drink lots of water cut down or out red meats and high acid foods, eat more vegetables.

This too shall pass , take lots of showers.

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 4 years ago from Alameda, CA Author

Sometimes people get acne from quitting smoking. The body is getting rid of toxins

Manuel 4 years ago

Hi lela, i need your help please answer my question . i used to smoke for 7 years . i am in 5 days of quitting smoking today i just want to ask if its okay to stop smoking directly unlike the others they said they used to lessen the stick they smoke each day . I want also to add that i am not using any alternative or pain reliever nor anything that will help me not to feel the pain . Lela please tell me if its too dangerous my way of STOPPING SMOKING COLD TURKEY. ill be wait for your response thank you in advanced.

marisa 4 years ago

Hi i quit smoking 2 months while i was in the hospital with a c-section. It seemed like an oppertune time with no way to smoke. Now 2 months later i am miserable to people. My boyfriend tells me everyday how mean i am, i dont even realize im being that way. I'm also gaining weight and having HORRIBLE ACNE! i've never had acne not even when i was a teen. I cant stand it. I read that quitting smoking can cause this.

janie 4 years ago

I lost my best friend to stage 4 lung cancer. Upon learning of his death my S/O stopped smoking. He is 57 and has smoked since a teen. He is now on his 5th day. I am 58 and thankfully have never smoked. I know he is wanting one worse than anything but he is hanging on without.

I need help to get him thru this. Sleep is rare, cranky is abundant, he lacks motivation cept for watching porn on the puter. His body reeks of an ammonia smell. Have any of you had an experience with this smell? It is overwhelming despite his showering. He took a shower about 2 pm today and is sleeping. I can't because of the overwhelming odor. Its as if a dozen cats pee'd on him. I am very proud of him becuase he is doing this. I only say, "were going out" and he walks with me when it cools down in the evening. Help!!!!????

Derek Schlesinger profile image

Derek Schlesinger 4 years ago

i have quite a few set backs making me eery. first is the vertigo that has been created by the o2 levels retaining themselves.

2nd the tingling sensation through my hands and feet is making my anxiety spike causing me to have panic attacks.

the chest pains aren't too bad the main thing is with the legs it sucks.

how long should i expect this feeling to stay?

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 4 years ago from Alameda, CA Author

I could never have quit everything all at pnce

TomT 4 years ago

Just want to add my experience of quitting, "cold Turkey" three weeks ago after 45 years of a pack a day. I also quit drinking alcohol & coffee the same time. I have not had any cravings at all except maybe for the coffee but I stopped all three because of hypertension/high blood pressure (155-186/100, etc. kidney problems and the feeling that SMOKING was causing most of my problems...My blood pressure dropped to 132/80 within days after stopping all the above. I've even lost weight so I'm now able to wear pants I couldn't put on for the last 20 years (waiste size now 33" down from 36") I sleep alright and exercise. Still a bit plugged up in one nostril and still some pain in the calves after walking about 1/2 mile.....I suspect it will take some time to fully recover....good luck to all of you who are trying to only regret is not having quit long ago...

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 4 years ago from Alameda, CA Author


Keep yourself busy, do a lot of deep breathing and view the other smokers with no envy

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 4 years ago from Alameda, CA Author


If you want you could attend a free informational meeting with nicotine solutions.I give one of the assignments out that will help you with the quitting and it is not cold turkey!

RachelB 4 years ago

I quit cold turkey just a little over a week ago. I have tried to quit multiple times before and I always came up with excuses to start back up. But I realized the reason why I never fully committed to quitting was because I didn't actually WANT to quit. I was getting pressured by others mainly. Unless you, yourself actually want to quit, there's no point in trying.

So I set the date. I wanted to wait after Memorial Day weekend and I was going to have my last cigarette on Monday. Tuesday rolled around and I just got into my car and went to work. Stayed away from the people in the shop because they all smoke. I got my teeth cleaned at the Dentist a week before that, so I got the grossness out of my mouth. I got my car detailed last friday and I even had beer this weekend and for some reason I haven't had any urge at all. I don't need toothpicks or gum or mints. It's as if a switch just turned off inside me. I realize this may be because I decided that I Wanted to quit for me and for no one else. It's about time. It's a gross habit with a terrible smell and created burn holes in a lot of nice things of mine, and I finally decided that it's just not worth it!! I already feel like I can do anything now. I have bad knees, but I know if I could go running, that I would love it and not huff and puff anymore.

The only thing I'm worried about is the fact that I just started a second job, so I will be working 7 days a week and it's in the food industry. That's where a lot of smokers are and I hope I can hold on to this grip I have right now.I am doing great and I can't be more thankful that it's been this easy so far. I can not wait to get to the 1 month mark and then the 3 month and then the rest of my life mark! It's an exciting adventure that I can't wait to experience smoke free!!

Mark304 4 years ago

After smoking for 24 years,quit for close to 3 months now.I now realize how delusional smoking cigarettes on a daily basis makes you.Its not that quitting makes your life suck,it makes you realize that it sucked all along.

Mangoni 4 years ago


So if quitting Cold Turkey isn't recommended, what is?

I stopped smoking "Normal pre-rolled" cigarettes 11 years ago, and moved to "roll my own with a filter". The ones i roll are about 1/3 the size of pre-rolled. Anyway, interestingly, back then when i switched i went through withdrawals for about 3 weeks, even though i was smoking the rollies! But now, I'm trying to quit the rollies too. I have to say, I'm not going 'cold turkey' but doing it 'my way'. That is, I'm bum puffing them, to satisfy the 'oral addiction'. I'm not having any cravings either. I'm hoping that over time i can then lessen the oral addiction to the point i don't need them at all. I do suffer anxiety normally, so am very aware that i don't want to give up in one big hit, but ween myself off slowly. What do you think?

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 4 years ago from Alameda, CA Author

Rick H,

Yes Quitting smoking is very counter intuitive .. It seems like I am doing something great for me why do I feel worse.

Your body needs time to repair and adjust just hang in there!

Rick H 4 years ago

Day 14 of Quitting:

Ironically, my aerobic capacity has slightly decreased. I gauge this on the track and in the pool. I imagine it's some kind of short-term, peverse adjustment within my cardio system. However, it is counter-intuitive.

Quitting is quite the challenge.

james 4 years ago

I give up smoking 60 days ago, but I could have a cigette now, but I no i'm better of not having one. I no if i tryed just 1 more cig, I would never pack it in again

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 4 years ago from Alameda, CA Author


Well, the sore throat is very typical when you quit smoking. but the ear infection would be something to make an appt with your doctor.

Kimbercool 4 years ago

Hi Lela,

It's been 11 weeks now since I quit smoking. I've been expirencing a sore throat on and off and also a slight post nasal drip. I smoked about 6 years no more than 3 to 4 cigs a day. Do you think the sore throat is from quitting? Also how long does this generally last? I also, had an ear infection about a month ago. I'm usually never sick nor have I ever had an ear infection is this related?

Tomissan 4 years ago

I had my last, one cigarette on May 21st, five days ago. I started smoking at age 13 and am now 61. I quit 'cold turkey' knowing that smoking was causing more problems than they were worth. I guess it was a psychological turning point as I don't want to even put a filthy cigarette near my mouth. Just the thought of the smell turns me off...I seems to have some side effects from stopping such as headaches and a bit of dizziness, otherwise, nothing. I'm not eating anymore than usual and I will wait a couple months to see what other side effects come into play.....My blood pressure is down to 131/86 instead of the usual 159-189/90..and no chest pains anymore. In fact, they stopped almost immediately. I had lots of heart muscle pain that's is completely gone now.....amazing...time will tell if I can manage to stay away from those lousy, health deteriorating sticks....

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 4 years ago from Alameda, CA Author

try Hylands over the counter for nerves for the anxiety and calm forte for sleep (I don't have stock in Hylands I just like their peroducts) sore tongue try amosan. It is a powder mix it with water and it will be very cooling and feel really good.

You are making new baby tissue and the old tough "smoked skin" is being replaced by new baby tissue and it is almost like a baby teething.

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 4 years ago from Alameda, CA Author

It can be much easier if you don't do it cold turkey.

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 4 years ago from Alameda, CA Author

I tell my students that have quit smoking with Nicotine solutions and have sleep issues to use Calms Forte made by Hyland, rather than Melatonin just because it seems to be more effective. Melatonin does work for some people!

Matt 4 years ago

Hey everyone,

Hope all are doing well in the oh so pleasant adventure of quitting smoking!

I am 20 yrs old and just quit smoking cigarettes and marijuana cold turkey 2 weeks ago, after smoking regularly since Grade 12, and it has been complete hell.

After reading this, a sense of alleviation surged through my mind, knowing that there are thousands out there in the same boat as I am (Minus the Mary Jane). Take the pain people, it is only temporary. I'd rather have pains now, than be in the hospital on life support, wishingI hadn't taken up this poor habit of smoking in the first place!

You can get through any obstacle, providing you have a mental capacity of some sort.

SUFFER NOW, and you WILL ENJOY LATER! - Wise words from a great grandfather who died of lung cancer.

PS. Looking for a natural assistant? Try melatonin. IT WORKS WONDERS! I know I am only 20, and not a Dr., but please consider my opinion/suggestion!

fafaafaf 4 years ago

stop smoking its hell

lenny 4 years ago

well its day four, been smoking for 6 years im 22. The symptoms im getting are anxiety, sore tongue and throat like a burning feeling, and cannot sleep ha....but itll be worth it in the end.

melanie 4 years ago

ive quit nearly 5 weeks ago and the main symptom now is being tired ,i dont want to get up in the mornings is this normal,i smoked for about 40 yrs

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 4 years ago from Alameda, CA Author


Yes it really surprises some people that think that they will immediately feel better from quitting smoking and then they feel worse than they did when they were a smoker. But that does go away.

AnnaMarie 4 years ago

I quit smoking a little over a week ago. Got sick immediately. Didn't know that was a good sign tho. This sitr has alot of good information I never knew. Thanks. Best of luck to everyone!

alanrammel profile image

alanrammel 4 years ago from Whitby, North Yorkshire, United Kingdom

I'm over 20 weeks into quitting, strangely I have started dreaming about starting smoking again. Three times in the last week! Even though it is a relief when I wake up, it is quite disturbing and starting to make me worry.

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Lela Bryan 4 years ago from Alameda, CA Author


It is interesting because the chief cause of smoking is fatigue and when people quit smoking they have a hard time sleeping.

Smoking makes a person sleep deeper go into a coma like sleep not getting enough high quality REM sleep.Smokers get used to this low quality coma like sleep and then when smokers quit smoking they sleep lighter and get more REM but it feels like they are almost awake and so it feels like they are not getting any sleep at all.

Eventually you will even out and it usually takes about 3 weeks to a month for the sleepless nights to go away.

The body is no longer trying to escape the nicotine (poison) and allowing a lighter sleep and more dream time or REM (rapid eye movement) which is a better quality of sleep but doesn't seem like it when you are going through it!

High in there it will get better.

Kitkat73 4 years ago

I'm on day 5 cold turkey had a horrible night hardly slept! I'm irritable and moody!

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 4 years ago from Alameda, CA Author

Hi Alero,

Cutting down on cigarettes will just make them into a reward! Let me give you an example. If you normally smoke 30 a day and you let half of them burn up in the ash tray and cut down to 10 what will happen is they will become like a reward and you will be thinking about them all day

and they will be on a little velvet pillow and precious.

If you had someone that smoked 30 and let half of them burn up in the ashtray and then someone who only smoked 5 but they were very precious to them ....

who would have a more difficult time quitting smoking?

Yep you guessed it the person who cut down and felt they were depriving themselves.

I would like to invite you to a free informational meeting and show you some of the assignments in Nicotine Solutions and in that class you can smoke while you learn to quit and not feel deprived. I think that would be the best for you.

Then you will be able to quit for good NOT just when you are pregnant ad then light up in the delivery room!

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 4 years ago from Alameda, CA Author

When you quit smoking the reason you feel dizzy is that you are getting more oxygen into your blood and you are not used to it and in a couple of weeks to a month that will go away.

the blurring of the eyes has me worried. never heard of that before maybe wait for another week and if the vision problem does not go away check with an eye doctor. Lets face it everything in your body has been affected by your smoking and it takes a while to fix things.

As far as feeling like a zombie... that is what I call muddleheadedness... it is also from oxygen in your brain and that will even out too in about 2 or three more weeks.

alero 4 years ago

hello lela ,

wow thanks for all the list of side effects. its only been two days that i decied to stop smoking, have been feeling dizzy and the heart burn. have been smoking for over 8 years now am 33 and planning to have kids with my partner so i was told by my dr that the first step to that is for me to stop smoking. finally two days ago i decieded that am ready to quit smoking. i normally smoke 20 to 30 a day but since two days ago have only had 10 in total pls tell me if am making any progress i just need some to talk to about it.

tracey wilkinson 4 years ago

i stopped 9 days ago have had severe headaches evry day and vision is slighty blurred cant explain it but feel like a zombie its wierd ..not starting again but will this feeling go away x

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Lela Bryan 4 years ago from Alameda, CA Author

John Martin,

Even when people quit without nicotine patches some people will have pimples or zits on their face. It is caused by the body getting rid of impurities and toxins from the nicotine.

A question that I have is that you said that you have quit smoking for 4 months but you are using the nicotine patch.

You should only be on the patch for 3 months and no more. Get yourself down to the lowest level 7 mg and get off of the nicotine as soon as possible.

Nicotine is a poison. A lethal dose of nicotine is between 50 and 60 mg.

So hopefully if you are still on the nicotine you can get off of it , but the skin outbreaks are not from the sugar in the gum.

John Martin 4 years ago

Ihave been a non-smoker for 4 Months now and I am coming up in zits on my face. I feel like a teenager again. Has anyone else had this problem? I am using nicotine gum, could this be due to the extra sugar?

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Lela Bryan 4 years ago from Alameda, CA Author

Wow Jenny,

You need to get the GI acid reflux under control. It sounds like you have had this maybe before you quit smoking and the smoking was masking it.

Even though you don't like or want to take drugs (Pharma) Take whatever you need to help with the anxiety and the acid reflux to get over that and later when that is healed

then you can gradually go off of those drugs!

Like I have said over the over cold turkey is hard on the body but you been able to get this far get a little help from the drugs to get over the anxiety and acid reflux.

You can't leave that untreated.


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Lela Bryan 4 years ago from Alameda, CA Author

Hi Vamc,

Blood in the mucous when you stop smoking is from irritation. It could be that you are sloughing off old "smoked" skin or mucous and it will go away.

For years you have been doing the equivalent of smoking your nasal passages like you would smoke a salmon.

Now that you have stopped smoking the body is sloughing off the old layer of "smoked" skin and leaving new baby tissue. Growing the new baby tissue may at first be irritating and maybe that is why the mucous has blood in it.

I don't think it is anything to be concerned about.

Your nasal passages could be dry and irritated and then you might try Vaseline or a netipot or saline rinse.

Your body is like a big construction zone with yellow tape rebuilding itself and sometimes it gets worse before it can get and feel better.


Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 4 years ago from Alameda, CA Author


Everyone is different and I guess cold turkey worked for you. How long have been a non-smoker? I agree with you that there is no need to substitute nicotine for nicotine

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 4 years ago from Alameda, CA Author

Hi Jenny,

Many people feel like they have a smokers flu. The heartburn will get worse before it gets better. Any pharma that you take to deal with the anxiety or the heartburn would be better than being a smoker.

So I would get through this rough patch with something that is going to cure the GI tract and smooth your anxiety and then down the road you can gradually get off of those drugs.

You really don't want to just not do anything and hope it goes away cause it may not without some help.

I know it is discouraging when you quit smoking and then a bunch of other things that seem worse.

Don't worry this too shall pass and you wont have to be on Prevacid for the rest of your life.

Like I have said over and over cold turkey is difficult on the body.

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Lela Bryan 4 years ago from Alameda, CA Author

Hey Kevin,

The best way to get over the withdrawal from Chantix is lots of water, lots of deep breathing and Exercise.

The symptoms of Chantix can stay in the body for quit a while.

The fact that you are getting migraines doesn't surprise me because Chantix does change brain chemistry.

I don't know if you are metaphysical at all Kevin, but some people say that symptoms of sinus are being annoyed with someone that is close to you.

Did you used to smoke when you were coping with people that might be annoying and now you have to cope in a different way.

On a physical level sinus is just a clearing and dumping out of mucous.

Jenny 4 years ago

Hello Lela...

Need your advice please. I quit smoking one month ago after 18 years although it was unintentional. I had a stomach bug I battled for a couple of days and the thought of a cigarette disgusted. By the time the symptoms of my bug cleared up, I realized I hadn't smoked all those days while I had the bug so I figured I would continue not smoking. Well...I have many of the symptoms listed above but the most troublesome for me is the heartburn, anxiety and insomnia. I thought the stomach bug was still lingering so I took myself to emergency to get checked out. They sent me home saying I have anxiety issues and I'm anxious to get over the stomach bug. The heartburn was constant for the next several weeks and really bothersome. I made an appointment with my family doctor and she sent me for an ultrasound which came back normal, then we did an upper GI series which showed I had Large Acid reflux. My doc then prescribed Prevacid and said I should take it for 3 months. My experience with heartburn throughout my life has been very minimal. But this heartburn after quitting has been killer. I'm not sure what I should do. I'm not big on pills from pharma and worried that I will never be able to stop taking Prevacid if I start or should I just tough it out and see if it goes away on it's own after a few more weeks of not smoking? Can you please let me know what you think. I'd really appreciate it.

kevin kizer 4 years ago

thanks for the quick response..the nauseau isnt too sever..just the dizziness and feeling of being slightly confused..these seem to be possible migraine or sinus/tension headach symptoms..I did go to my doctor and he does not believe my symptoms are related to the said these symptoms do generally clear up and each person has a different timeline..any suggestions on what may lesson these symptoms during this withdrawel process..i really believed the day i quit smoking i would feel great and be able to run a marathon!!..i had no idea what my body would go through..i even laughed at my mom who said i may be withdrawel!!..of course after finding this blog i may owe her an apology!! ..thanks lela

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Lela Bryan 4 years ago from Alameda, CA Author

Hi Kevin,

Sinus is typical it is a letting go of debris and being light headed is caused by more oxygen going to your brain and that should start to go away by now but everyone has a different time line.

The fact that you still have nausea after 6 weeks sounds like it is from the drug and you might want to go to a doctor for that symptom. Everything that you asked about is normal except the nausea.

Hope that helps. Let me know how it goes!

kevin kizer 4 years ago

Hi there..i am smoke free now for 6 weeks..yay!!!..however i did it witht he help of chantix and am not sure if the symptoms i have now are normal or possibly side effects from the drug..anyways..i am experiencing major sinus pressure and dizzyness..nauseau as well but i assume that is in association to the it normal to have these types of symptoms this far along in quitting?? any response would be great!!

vamc 4 years ago

I quit 2 months ago... Previously had a sensation as if some thing was struck down my throat, constantly. It is gone now but there's new odd thing, more scary I have to say, that I'm observing. Now when I brush in the morning and clear my throat, I see a tiny amount of blood in my mucus. Is it some thing to worry about?

Stan 4 years ago

Today is my 31st day without a cig after smoking a pack a day for 40 years. So far so good

Raj 4 years ago

I went Cold Turky. It was cool to supress the crave... but the effects have been crazy. I never looked in to side effects of quiting before I stopped smoking.

Went thru dizziness, gas issues, and constant headache... I am now able to with stand all. May be I am getting ued to it or may be my body is getting used to excess Oxygen and more bload circulation.. In addition for some reason I read eatting raw garlic improves the immune system. I know they don't go hand in hand... but it helps... I am now success fully running 4 weeks. I share with everyone I know and I try to influence the Smokers to quit.....

Good happened to me....

Not sure how? why? but one fine day I had the last one and I said to my self this is my last one..on the 4th of April 2012 at 9:10am PST.....

Sonic 4 years ago

I quit smoking back in 1981, cold turkey. It is the only way to quit. As for all the crap you go through, well hang in there, your body is detoxing and cleaning out all the crap in your system. Every thing you worry about, complain about, feel bad, mood swings, sore mouth, headaches and the list goes on are all part and parcel of your body detoxing. Once you quit DO NOT START AGAIN for the next time you try and quit will be 10 times harder.Every time you do that it will get harder and harder. Remember you are an addict to nicotine and every other stuff that is in the cigeratte. You will always be an addict. Once you get that figured out in your head, because addiction can screw with your mind, you will be able to be in better control of quiting and staying quit. You must change your patterns of life, activities, friends that smoke, and eating for a year and maybe a bit longer till you have total control. Then you can slowly go back to the pubs, dances, etc where there is smoke. I took up alot of physical activity, like long distance running, starting out very slow here, also swimming, and martial arts. The more you use your lungs, going slow at first till you build up stamina and strength, the easier it will be to get control of not smoking and feeling better. In time you will get to the point that even to smell cigarettes will make you very sick and that is a good thing. It takes about a year to get over the brunt of the detoxing, but you MUST HANG IN THERE and do not light up. Leave any area where you are even slightly tempted. I use to smoke two packages a day for over 15 years. You can do it, but you must be strong in the mind.

jesus 4 years ago

My boyfriend quit smoking two days ago. Hes tried several times befofe as well. This time he has alot of strength and will power. Any tips for what i can do to support the positive change? Or things he should do?

Aamis 4 years ago

I am 33. Been smoking since I was 18. I need to quit smoking for all the reasons any health conscious person should. I have quit once for over a year 6 years ago. Living on West Africa, the only option open for me then was going cold turkey. I just quit cold turkey again 24 hrs ago. I think most of all this is simply psychological. Go with the flow. If you feel lethargic, rest. If you are hungry, eat. Listen to your body, but do NOT pick up another cig. Period. Easier said than done huh? Truth is, with cold turkey, you need 2 things. A, sheer will power and B, determination.

Allen Carr, etc and all em nicotine alternative producing companies who make millions off poor smokers trying to quit that make it sound difficult to quit. It isnt. Remember, in the end, everyone goes cold turkey. Either by gradually weaning off nicotine or simply quitting, there comes a day you have to stop, period. Why waste money? If it doesn't work the first time, you gotta keep trying. No guarantee a patch, cessation etc will work anyway. In my opinion, the e cig is the best product for quitting in the market so far. Oh well, wish me luck! :)

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alanrammel 4 years ago from Whitby, North Yorkshire, United Kingdom

ok I'm now in my 18th week in giving up smoking. I created a hub page about it. It feels like for good this time.

Kimbercool 4 years ago

Ok i have a question and maybe some of you ex-smokers can help me out. I Quit smoking on March 10, 2012. I quit cold turkey and haven't picked up a cig since. I had varies withdraw symptoms such as cough, mucus or phlem in throat,itchy throat and sore throath. For the most part my withdrawal symptoms have disappeared but the only thing that is still bothering me is a sore throat on and off. I don't have a sore throat daily but, it comes and goes. It feels like my throat is more sensitive to cold air or maybe even dry air. I also, currently live in the house with a smoker. Can anybody tell me how long their sore throat's have lasted or whats the longest they have heard? Also, what else could be causing it? Could it be allergies that have been masked for years because I was smoking? Im 31 years old, female, in good health, and I smoked about 5 years. Please give me some insight?

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Lela Bryan 4 years ago from Alameda, CA Author


Not having a cough after you quit smoking is not unusual. It just means that your body is clearing out in a different way than most.

It depends on your age and how long you smoked and also the strength of nicotine you had been smoking.

Aamirbc 4 years ago

Its been 6 days now when i quit smoking, whereas I am not having any cough till date. Is this something unusual or dangerous?

Adam Kibbe 4 years ago

I quit smoking cold turky on easter sunday this year. are you to have some chest pains, feel like your gonna cry all the time. any other side effects or any thing else that can be helpfull .

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Lela Bryan 4 years ago from Alameda, CA Author


you are the shape you are because that is your shape. Smoking or quitting will not change your shape, however when you quit usually you will have more stamina and actually be able to exercise more so you could get more fit.

Now the opposite could be true, you need to let the habit die of neglect and NOT feed it in any way. For instance NEVER substitute candy, gum, sunflower seeds or toothpicks for the habit because one of 2 things will happen, you will keep the habit alive and go back to smoking or you will keep feeding the habit with food and gain a lot of weight and then you will say I was thinner as a smoker and go back to smoking. See my other 2 hubpages on how to not gain weight when you stop smoking for more advice.

Heather 4 years ago


I am apple shaped, and i heard that it could be due to my smoking, I quit yesterday, if i am this shape due to smoking will it be reversed? (unless I am just naturally apple shaped)

- Heather

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Lela Bryan 4 years ago from Alameda, CA Author

Yes Mike ,

That is your body cleaning out!

Mike 4 years ago

I have gone a week without a real cigarette after 25 years. I do not know life without them since I started smoking on spring break when I was 15.

I do smoke the BLU Electronic Cigarettes. Unfortunately, I have the coughing side effects and some of the nastiest looking stuff coming out of my lungs and throat that smell horrid (but its a good thing said the doc).

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Lela Bryan 4 years ago from Alameda, CA Author


I am so sorry that you had to through all of the cold turkey problems.

THANK YOU for your comments ...I could not agree with more!!!!!!!

harvey 4 years ago

hi everyone ive read a lot of your articles and id like to tell u about my quiting smoking 7 months ago. i quit cold turkey because i had to dr pulled a tooth and ruptured sinus caviey and told me could not smoke for 2 months or i would have serious sinse problems. its something i do not recommened to no one.. symptoms are still hanging around getting better but wow anxiety was very bad dreams were just as bad and i had gotten a disorder called flaking which is in your eyes as particles float in your sight. which is still with me to day.anxiety still hanging around but much ears would plug for some reason. and still do occationally.maybe its from the tooth maybe its from cold turkey dont know but i hope that no one has to go through what i did.. it just seams like soon as something gets better something else seems to come around..not trying to scare people but i think quiting slowly would of really helped me out but didnt get that opportunity. hope this helps some of u.

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Lela Bryan 4 years ago from Alameda, CA Author

It is all about detoxing from the nicotine.

You are still on the patch so you are detoxing from the nicotine and that is what is going on with the digestive problems.

Your body has been used having the nicotine to "aid in digestion" so you are not out of the woods until you are completely off of the patch and then there will be more detoxing to do after that.

What you are doing with the patch is giving your body nicotine with a different delivery system . I am not taking away anything from your accomplishment, I am just saying that you will still have to go through that as long as you have the patch on and beyond.

Nicotine is a poison an it has a real hold on your body whether it is in the form of a cigarette or the nicotine patch.

You can eat alkaline based foods like milk and that would help with the sour stomach.

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rue volley 4 years ago

Okay, I was so glad to come across this:) I quit smoking a month and a half ago and I am using the patch. It is totally working for me but the only thing I have been dealing with is some digestive issues. It does not happen all of the time and in fact it has only happened 4 days total across a two week span. I get sour stomach, belching and my stomach rumbles. I get hungry and cannot eat that much as I feel full then there are times the thought or smell of food makes me sick to my stomach. I smoked for almost 20 years and knew it was time to stop so I am more than willing to deal with this occasionally. I knew that smoking had changed my body and seeing that my family has suffered loss from cancer I felt it was time for me to not give cancer a helping hand with me. Anyway, I am happy to be smoke free and as of today I am going down to the lowest patch and could not be happier. If dealing with a sour stomach from time to time is the only thing I have to deal with for trading what smoking could do to me in the future, I am more than happy to deal with it. I wish everyone nothing but success and remember that you control your life, not a drug. xoxo

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Lela Bryan 4 years ago from Alameda, CA Author


I'm glad it was helpful to you!!!

Olg 4 years ago

I was reading this because I have been a bit depressed about the weight gain and trying to find info out on metabolism etc.

I smoked from the time I was 14 up to 4 months ago DEC.5 2011 was my last day...

I still miss smoking sometimes and would love to just light one up...

But, I love not having this thing control me anymore. I cannot believe how my entire life revolved around I planned things around it, etc. I am so grateful to be done with that control over my life...and thats what keeps me going...

It was one of the hardest things ever to quit...I quit cold turkey and was depressed and anxious for almost 2 months...but now I feel much better.

Anyway, I just wanted to say I enjoyed reading all of your comments and found it so he;pful and wanted to say thankyou.

I also wanted to say that all of you should really be so proud of yourselves.

Thanks for sharing your experiences and good luck.

ButTerFli 4 years ago

Hello All...

Ok so I woke up This past Saturday and decided!! I want to live, I have two Beautiful Daughters and A wonderful Wife! And I want to live... My wife try's to be supportive. But she thinks that all that I am feeling is in my mind. I was a late smoker started at 24 and I am now 37. But I too am struggling with this habit! I have gone cold turkey because I know I'm strong and I must admit I kindda like the challenge! But is chest tightness normal?

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Lela Bryan 4 years ago from Alameda, CA Author

Yes tightness in the chest is a symptom of recovery. It seems counter intuitive but you might go through a period of time where it feels constricted.

andy 4 years ago

Hi. I decided to stop 3 days ago. Have had a few moments where I could murder a fag and feel a bit tired and dizzy. I've decided to try go proper cold Turkey because I have failed with patches and gum in the past. Was thinking about the electronic cigs. Anyone ever tried them?

lisa 4 years ago

day three . cold turkey.. felt like puking all day... very informative hub.I will get me some licorice..

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Lela Bryan 4 years ago from Alameda, CA Author


When I quit smoking if felt like I couldn't breathe deeply enough and always felt like I wanted to breathe deeper, but that went away in the first few months. After you have quit smoking for 11 months I don't think it is still the effects of quitting smoking.

I would suggest going to a throat specialist and see what they say. sorry I am not more help but it does not sound like anything I have heard of

terry 4 years ago

most intresting.. i went cold turkey after my heart attack may last year!! were i had 2 stents put in my arteries.. i had to really.. but after 11 month i can walk for miles not out of breath,, feel good.. but now this is a big but!! my voice started to go very low every night and when i talk i felt breathless.. i seen a ent expert and they said it could be acid reflux.. and that my flaps on my vocal cords are slitley open.. again may be.. but what i find is i get a little down.. wondering is it my heart.. but walking 2 miles up a steap hill in 20 min its not.. yet just by talking i voice fatiage and tired though it. could i still be feeling the effects of stopping after 11 month???... the hospital just tell you to stop and not how and what the affect your likely to feel over the many months..i just wish someone could tell me whats going on but know one can... idont take tablets.. just asprin daily which you have to for life.. oh yes im 62 smoked for 45 years had the test dont for C.O.P.D and passed.. saying i havd the lungs of a 65 year old im 62 so ok i lost 3 years.. been lucky.. one last thing.. in the morning i feel great.. but by teatime it starts all over again breathless when i talk and voice fatige.. can anyone help and have they had the same problemss cheers

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Lela Bryan 4 years ago from Alameda, CA Author

So Adam,

Let me just say that congratulations on stopping smoking and keep up the good work.

I do have a few things to say about your comments. How long have you been off the patch and Zyban?

Nicotine is only in your body for 72 hours. Have you ever quit smoking for 3 days and then gone back to it. I know people that have gone back to smoking after they have quit for 3 months, 6 months or even a year or two.

If nicotine is 95% of the problem (as you believe),then why would someone go back to smoking after 3 or 6 months etc.

The reason that people smoke after a meal is due to the drop in blood sugar and the relationship of nicotine, caffeine and sugar.

If Zyban with the patch has a 37% success rate, then that is one of the lower success rates, just a bit above cold turkey that has a success rate of around 18%.

Cold turkey and drugs like Zyban or Chantix have low success rates because they are a one dimensional approach to a habit that is many aspects to it.

Smoking is a multifaceted habit that needs to be addressed on many different levels. Smokers and chewers need to detoxify from the nicotine, learn to deal with stress, deal with emotions, regulate their blood sugar levels, learn what to do with the cigarette after a meal, first thing in the morning, last thing at night, with coffee and alcohol. And how to be around smokers once you quit and even how to complete things because most smokers complete things with a cigarette.

I quit smoking in 1978 and have taught tens of thousands of smokers to stop smoking all over the world.

I am NOT FOR OR AGAINST the patch, or other nicotine replacement therapies or any kind of drug, in fact, I am for what works.

Over the years as the patch, Zyban or Chantix came on the market, my students would ask me about them and I would say, "great go ahead and use it and let's see how it helps the process" by using it in conjunction with my behavioral program.

If ANY of the drugs or products would have enhanced Nicotine Solutions in ANY way, then I would have already added that product to it. My program gets a 90% success rate without any drugs or nicotine replacement.

The drugs and nicotine replacement products always seemed to mask what the smokers needed to get in a mess with so they could stop smoking calmly, comfortably and permanently.

I will step down off my soapbox now got me going-- Lela

Adam 4 years ago

Of course, I can only speak from experience, but I contest that nicotine is responsible for closer to 95% of the addiction (rather than 5% noted here). All of the habits, such as smoking after a meal or immediately in the morning, arise almost entirely out of the brain's desire for nicotine. I replaced cigarettes with the nicotine patch for three weeks before quitting entirely and I had almost no cravings at all, since my desire for nicotine was almost always satiated. The times I did crave were when the nicotine levels in my blood dropped faster than usual, such as when drinking coffee or under extreme stress.

Very, very few people would smoke after a meal if cigarettes didn't deliver nicotine. Smoking isn't really pleasant in any way except for its mood altering effects. In my experience, Zyban is the most helpful tool for combating cravings. According to my psychiatrist, Zyban and the patch together have the (statistically) best outcome; about 37% success.

LEON 4 years ago


sillymisfit 4 years ago

I quit by cutting back using an e-cigarette, after the first day I just didn't crave any smokes so I just stopped. Have had some symptoms like the hot flashes and restlessness at night, but got almost a week in and doing better. A good tip for people afraid of gaining weight and over eating I got from someone else, Break out some carrot sticks and hold the dressing. Stay away from sweets and fatty foods. :) I feel great quitting after 13 years of being a smoker, and I'm determined to not be chained like that again. :)

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Lela Bryan 4 years ago from Alameda, CA Author

Hi Shonn,

I am sorry that I have not replied to your posts. My hard drive on my computer had to be replaced and I just got my computer back.

If you want to email me at easeout (at) and let me know what's a good time to talk I would be happy to talk with you and give you some advice on what would be helpful for you. Everyone is different so I would want to ask you a few questions.


PS Sorry that I didn't get to this sooner but do let me know your schedule and I am sure that I can help.

brittany 4 years ago

Im trying to quit smoking & the people im around smoke & its hard to quit & and that little voice in my head saying I cant do this just smoke one just one and you will be ok

shonn profile image

shonn 4 years ago from Harlan, Kentucky

if you would just listen to me I can quit but why is my posts getting deleted ??

shonn profile image

shonn 4 years ago from Harlan, Kentucky

Well I just posted something a few min ago plz read it I beg you from the bottom of my heart & now I dont even see the comment with me pouring my heart out ? U feel as if it aint ment for me to quit really what happen to my last one ??? I even told my freinds on facebook about this page but now the one I put up spreading my heart out is gone ? why ?? isnt this site to help you ? is that why it is up ??

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shonn 4 years ago from Harlan, Kentucky

OK I have tried this several freaking times !!!!! Please someone hear me out I was reading this & just started crying I hate this trapped life I hate smoking I hate every thing about it I have been smoking for 6 years or so bout a pack every day Im tired of it I hate it I cant do this alone I want someone to team up with me that is seriously trying to quit & I will wright you every night to see how you are doing & for you to see how i am doing I can do this but I cant get threw these hard times with out help I have ripped packs by packs up screaming Im going quit to the top of my lungs & then go right back to it my dad has 6 stenses in his heart from smoking my pap pal & mammal both died from it but what really got me was I take karate classes & its really hurting me its destroying my life one smoke at a time & starting today Im quitting cold turkey I know its hard to do & i will take any advice I can get 0r you will give & im screaming out to somebody thats going threw the same thing as me please answer me less do this together this site has changed my life I feel I have the strength to quit now my dad has quit for like 20 some years & saids he still wants one & some time craves one that scares me 2 about quitting how can you go your whole life wanting something that just sounds horrible but Im done if it takes that to quit then Im ready for it weight w.e all loose it im done with this life its hell I cry when I smoke anymore how the hell is that worth it im done just someone plz answer me help me plz be my partner threw this I will message you back every night see how you are doing we will fight this together someone plz answer my cry & i wish every body else good luck quit liying to your damn self saying that you enjoy it thats bs you just think you cant escape well theres a door for every thing you just got to find the knob thank you

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Lela Bryan 4 years ago from Alameda, CA Author

Yes that is just your body cleaning itself out. Some people take long or have more debris than others.

It has settled in your lungs at night and when you get up you are moving it around. Eventually it will go away just taking a really long time to clear up

Danny 4 years ago

I quit about 2 months now .. I went cold turkey and all them side affects that was listed I went thru about 70% of them it's all worth it tho and I can't stand cig smoke now it's really weird but I felt sick for about 2 weeks and ppl got on my nerves more often then usual .. If u can quit I'd have to say that I feel free of nicotine but I did smoke weed In the beginning to help with my urges and 1 cigar

Sweeney 4 years ago

I stopped smoking cold turkey two years ago but I still have long bouts of coughing up copious amounts of phlegm--mostly in the winter--and mostly in the mornings. This condition goes on non-stop for about two to three months. I've been x-rayed several times, scoped, and tested for lung capacity. I'm told I have COPD. I rarely cough during the day, just in the morning when I consciously try and get the phlegm up. I have no problem breathing. I don't wheeze or crackle. Anyone else here experiencing the same thing after having given up smoking for at least two years?

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 4 years ago from Alameda, CA Author

Hey Lola,

Smoking is an addiction mentally, emotionally physically and financially. Smoking is also habit forming after even one puff for most people and also It defines many routines such as first thing in the morning, last thing at night, after meals and some cars won't start with out it.

Lola whatever you want to call it addictive and habit forming drug that has ever existed. There are studies that if 100 people tried many different drugs including heroin, cocaine and nicotine that out of the 100 people the majority would end up getting hooked on nicotine.

The funny thing is that I have had students try e cigarettes with NO Nicotine and they still went through my program (Nicotine Solutions) to get rid of the habit!

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 4 years ago from Alameda, CA Author


Yes it is very normal to gain 3 to 7 pounds

of water weight at first and then it can become permanent weight gain. Usually the weight gain is caused by quitting cold turkey become it takes the body time to adjust to the metabolism changes.

You might want to try to step up your exercise and cut down on salt or processed foods.

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 4 years ago from Alameda, CA Author


Some people slide right through it.

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Lela Bryan 4 years ago from Alameda, CA Author

Darlene Peebles,

Good for you Darlene!

Darlene Peebles 4 years ago

I was a smoker since I was about 16 years old and am now 42 years old. I first found this website about 5 weeks ago when I was researching the side affects that I will encounter when I choose to quit smoking. My main reason for quitting is to rid all of the chemicals and dependency and have the ability for my body to heal quicker. I was recently diagnosed with Breast Cancer in Jan. 2012, to me this was a wake up call. I realized that if I can be susceptible to breast cancer, then lung cancer is also a strong possibility. I therefore, decided to quit about 5 weeks ago, Cold Turkey, and have not touched a cigarette since. I am very proud of myself and most importantly, my children are extremely proud of my success in quitting and staying quit. I am more irritable and cranky but everyone around me realizes that this is because I no longer smoke my problems away and I tend to be more open and blunt about my feelings on topics of interest. I am going to be a breast cancer survivor and forever an ex-smoker (A True Quitter) :)

Kamal Keelery 4 years ago

I quit smoking (Cold Turkey) has been 60 days since my last smoke.I used to smoke 2X20 packs a day and have been a smoker for the last 32 Years.Never felt the difficulty of quitting and it was much easier than i presumed reading all the articles with withdrawal symptoms etc...i don't know why but the withdrawl effects for me were very mild and don't even crave for a smoke at all.the only side effect i had gum bleeding for about 6 weeks...

Melissa 4 years ago

I have quit for 2 months now cold turkey and I feel terrible im so bloated I can't fit my clothes Im so uncomfortable I don't get the craving for a smoke but the weight gain and uncomfortable feeling makes me wanna start just for them to go away but I really don't wanna do that. Is this normal? I am 30 years old and have smoked everyday since I was 13 years old.

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Lela Bryan 4 years ago from Alameda, CA Author

Hi Penny,

Good for you that you quit smoking. I am glad that you got off of Champix early. There can be some bad side effects from Chantix or Champix.

I don't think that you need willpower if you go through a process that prepares you to quit while you are still smoking like Nicotine solutions program.

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Lela Bryan 4 years ago from Alameda, CA Author


Smoking is multifaceted. It is a habit, an addiction and it has you emotionally and in many different ways. Allen Carr is one method to stop smoking. Some people need more support that reading a book, but if it worked for you ...great. How long has it been for you since you quit smoking?

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Lela Bryan 4 years ago from Alameda, CA Author

Mrs Smith,

Hmm I think you should go to the doctor. This does not sound typical.

mrs smith 4 years ago

I stop smoking November 23 20111 had no problems untill december 22 2011. Today is feb,13 this past month has been very bad for me and now that my lung is not so swollen whenever i lay on my sides the lungs now feel sore is this common or normal. I hope some one can relate to this journey of no more smoking

penny wood 4 years ago

i was on champix ,i quit my third day being on the pill i only had to take them for 8 weeks ,i was smoking more then a pack a day and i was a smoker for 30 years,you need wilpower but champix was the start to a great end for me and i would recamend it to everyone ,tks champix

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Lela Bryan 4 years ago from Alameda, CA Author


Usually itching is from increased circulation. It almost feels like a rash and it usually happens on the the legs and arms.

Could you tell me more about the twitching on the lips. I dont know if that is something that is related to quitting smoking until you could describe it more fully.

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Lela Bryan 4 years ago from Alameda, CA Author


Usually itching is from increased circulation. It almost feels like a rash and it usually happens on the the legs and arms.

Could you tell me more about the twitching on the lips. I don't know if that is something that is related to quitting smoking until you could describe it more fully.

shay 4 years ago

I'm tryin my beat not to smoke been a smoker for 2yrs and 3days is as far as I am now I'm itching my lips are twitching and my body is changing moody not so hungry and I have more energy is tha twitching supposed to happen???

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Lela Bryan 4 years ago from Alameda, CA Author

Bunny Bond,

That feeling of not being able to take a deep enough breath or being breathless after you stop smoking is caused by you just breathing deeper than you have done as a smoker for a very long time.

It takes time for your body to go into natural mode and eventually you will come out of it and be able to deep breathe normally.

It does seem counter intuitive that when you quit smoking you should be able to breath deeper. One other thing is that you used to do your deep breathing with smoke and now you have to switch that to deep breathing with oxygen!

bunny bond 4 years ago

i quit smoking 6 mos ago cold turkey now i have a hard time breathing some times it wakes me up i cant take real deep breaths what can i do to help it?

Judy 4 years ago

I quit smoking 7 months ago, cold turkey. I thought I would feel better if I did. I am 60 years old and smoked for 40 over years. I feel like crap. Nightmares, tired all the time, for some reason I started swelling in my face, hands and legs,after I quit. I felt so bad I started getting no exercise at all. Now I can barely walk around the house. If I thought going back to smoking would make this all go away, I would start back today. This is all due to stopping smoking or I am dying one...that is how bad it is.

Pedro 4 years ago

Thanks a lot for all this information.

I have a simple but quite intriguing question, which answer I do know a priori, so bear with me...

Is it SAFE to quit smoking? And do not laugh at it, I have heard the contrary many times...

OK, you'll now say "yeah, that's what weak people say to give themselves freedom to smoke" etc., etc. But really, many people is convinced that they have relatives who fell seriously sick (normally with cancer) when they quit smoking.

You might now say "no, they developed the cancer because they _were_ smoking not because the quit smoking". Fine. But the case I have at hand now is unfortunately real: three identical twins ("the bolds" we call them :-)). All of them used to smoke. One quit around six or seven years ago. The other two continue smoking today...while the third (who quit) is unfortunately in his last days of life, from a lung cancer...

I have quit smoking recently. I have done other times. I am now feeling really unsecure, and would appreciate any word of courage that to quit smoking IS SAFE, and will not increase my probabilities of developing cancer....

Does this make any sense to you?

Thanks, and regards from Spain.



dona 4 years ago

what happened when i quit smoking suddenly???????

Katy 4 years ago

Thank you so much for this posting! It's the most thorough one I've read so far. I started smoking to cope with an abusive boyfriend and never stopped! Now, 4 years later, I'm ready to quit! :)

Michelle 4 years ago

Today at 2pm will mark my 24th hour without a cigarette and I hurt. I weaned myself down from over a pack, to half a pack and then I smoked one less everyday until yesterday. I smoked 2 and it made me nauseous so I quit at 2pm. I didn't sleep last night, I'm shaky, I'm in full blown panic attack mode. My chest hurts, I'm nauseous, my throat hurts really bad and basically my whole body aches but it will be worth it in the end. I quit for a month last year and forgot how bad the withdrawals were. I will not be doing this again. I swear this is the worst withdrawals I've had in the 5 times I've quit. This is it. I feel so bad, I'll never pick them back up again. I am making a journal of how bad it is this time around just in case I turn around one day and want to start smoking again. lol

Daniel 4 years ago

Chantix or Champix as its also known helped me quit after 15 years of smoking. I have not had a smoke in 5 months now.

The drug did make me dream a bit more and also took away the desire to smoke. You just need to hang onto the new contrast added to your life when your not smoking.

I still have dreams where i am smoking...even in my dreams i going "wtf am i doing??"

Good Luck every1

SF 4 years ago

I gave up almost a month ago... my real problem is that it feels TOO EASY. I dream I have smoked but have not done it. If I found it this easy I'm afraid I'm going to do it again, though I don't want to.

Fiona 4 years ago

By NOT recommending cold turkey (which actually means taking NOTHING) people will have a hard time quitting the quitting aids. I quit 1 month and 3 days ago cold turkey and it is THE best way to do it.

It takes 3 DAYS to have nicotine completely out of your system ..... 72 hours and that is why the first 3 days are the hardest.

I think that if after a month you still miss or want nicotine then maybe you didnt quit for the right reasons as by then the rollercoaster ride should be smoother than the first couple of weeks.

Taryn 4 years ago

30-40 per day for 20 year smoker -

I quit 4 days ago with Champix. Day 1 was an absolute nightmare but it's getting increasingly better.

Side effects have been lethargy and headache - so definitely a lot better off than some of you. Also hungry! It's the whole 'hand to mouth' psychology

The only thing I am REALLY battling with is the psychology behind it all. I keep trying to convince myself why I should have one. (At the moment it's because I know I can give up, so could just have one!) The devil is sitting on my shoulder!!

Good luck all - keep it up

Rachel 4 years ago

Well, i ran out of smokes a few hours ago. I am going cold turkey. Wish me luck! I saw this site a few days ago and LOVED reading others' posts, really gave me inspiration! So glad i found it again, AND WILL BOOKMARK IT!

Amy-Marie 4 years ago

Today is day 2 for me and I feel like I want to die!!! My throat hurts so bad, I'm coughing up black stuff, headaches.....I just want to got to bed and sleep until it all goes away!! I know this is all normal but OMGoodness is it hard!! I will stick with it though and I WILL be a non-smoker!!

Brenda-Joanne1953 4 years ago

I chose laser therapy. I had tried hypnosis, the patch 3 X and Zyban 2X. Stress is my downfall. However all that changed 6 days ago. I have not cheated and am starting to feel like this is the one that worked! After you get past the feelings of not knowing what to do with yourself, panicking because you don't think you can drive your car without smoking or you want to tear someone's head off (really), you feel calm. I smoked for 45 years since I was a teen and never thought it would ever end. The secret weapon is the detox process that goes with it. I have read some of the side effects of Nicotine withdrawal and they are so accurate. The one I feel the most is that there is just too much oxygen around me--too weird! I have a lot of stressors both family and work related and I actually was able to not cave in and light up; I actually found an unopened, new pack of smokes when packing an overnight bag on day 2 and was able to easily throw them into the burn drum outside! Detox: Orange or pineapple juice with 1 tsp of cream of tartar at bedtime for a week. 200-800 mg of Magnesium every day for 1 month (calms the central nervous system) 1000-2000 mg of Vit C per day for a month. This helps with cell regrowth and healing. Really works! Still have insomnia (work midnights too), hoarseness, restlessness but getting better. Remember you can't use nicotine replacement with laser because it essentially tells the brain you are a non smoker. Having 1 puff or using nicotine substitutes undo the effects

Good luck every one!

alanrammel profile image

alanrammel 4 years ago from Whitby, North Yorkshire, United Kingdom

ok gonna get with the programme! I'm gonna set up a giving up smoking blog page about my giving up smoking on Hub Pages today! will post link in a bit

david 4 years ago

iv been stoped just over 6 months i went cold turkey i have for the past month realy bad acid reflux heartburn iv had all the side efects the first 3-4 weeks i found it easy because i new deep down i wanted to stop i know this may sound silly but i brainwashed myself into thinking the first 3 weeks was realy 3 months and that it would be silly to start again after all that time but it worked for me.....glad iv stoped i should have done this years ago i started at 15 im now 46 so its had a hold of me for im in control i cant stand the smell of smoke now it chokes me.but know one tells you the truth about all the body changes when stoped i now have put wight on and look older and iv now got middle age spread after being skinny all my life this is the first time in my life iv been able to put waight on and my family and friends say i look alot better for it.

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 4 years ago from Alameda, CA Author


This is going to sound strange but in some way your mind set when you stop smoking when you are pregnant is to go back to smoking once you have the baby. When you stop smoking for good somehow your body knows and your brain send a signal that this is for good and we better do some clean up work around here! (I told you it was going to sound strange)

I have been teaching people to stop smoking since 1978 and this is just what happens. Of course I don't teach a cold turkey method so what my students go through is very mild to quitting cold turkey!

BehinDarkBluEyes 4 years ago from Illinois

Hi Lela :) I'm 34 and smoked for 15 years. However,I quit 2 weeks ago cold turkey and so far so good! Luckily for me despite the stupid smoking I stayed in great shape over the years as my will allowed me to go to the gym a lot and keep up my lifting weights, cardio and I also do not drive, so I walk up to between 1-2 miles a day which I have been doing since I was about 16 as I love to walk! I could however use a few pointers when it pertains to the habbit aspect of it. The nicotine withdrawl to my surprise has not bothered me at all, but the habbit of doing it, such as when I go to talk on the phone, or step outside to talk to a buddy who stops by, I find myself wanting to reach in my pocket and grab my lighter lol, but when that happens it does cause me irritably. So please let me know some of your helpful tips to combat those hard times! It's a wonderful thing you are doing on here!

Lacey 4 years ago

I am so glad I came across this page. I quit smoking 8 days ago, cold turkey, and I thought I was losing my mind. I didn't know there was that many side effects just from quitting smoking. I have defiantly thought about starting it up again, but I know this time is it, I don't want to smoke anymore. I am 30 years old have been smoking since I was 15. I have 2 young children and I want to live a long and healthy life with them. One weird thing is, I gave up smoking each time I was pregnant and of course started back up again after, but I never had the symptoms that Im experiencing now when I quit when I was pregnant, is there any reason for that?

alanrammel profile image

alanrammel 4 years ago from Whitby, North Yorkshire, United Kingdom

thanks I'll have a look at that. I need all the help I can get right now

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 4 years ago from Alameda, CA Author has informational calls that you can get some sample ideas on how to start changing your behavior of smoking without using drugs.

Smoking is a multifaceted problem that needs to be dealt with on many different levels

Darlene P. 4 years ago

I am new to researching the physical and psychological effects from quitting smoking. I am 42 years old and a smoker since I was about 15 years old. I have been a pack of day smoker for about 15 years, give or take a few in good times and times of stress. I realize that I crave smoking more when I am frustrated, stressed, or overwhelmed. How can I naturally cope with these stressors without resorted to nicotine to calm my nerves or curb my anger?

alanrammel profile image

alanrammel 4 years ago from Whitby, North Yorkshire, United Kingdom

I have used nicotine gum over many attempts to stop smoking over the years. The side effects for me are mouth and tongue ulcers. Also I get depression when quitting smoking as my body learns to do without nicotine. I find that chewing gum only prolongs this period making me susceptible to failing for a longer period.

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 4 years ago from Alameda, CA Author

Hi Robert,

hmm I have not heard of quitting smoking and then getting halitosis, usually it is the other way around. You might want to go and see a doctor it might have some other cause?

Robert S 4 years ago

I quit smoking about a month ago, but I was only smoking 1 or 2 cigarettes a day. I now have terrible halitosis would like to know if this is a common side effect and how long does it generally last. I haven't seen it posted as a side effect on any sites.

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 4 years ago from Alameda, CA Author


I am so sorry you are going though all this.


lisa 4 years ago

Well it's good to know I'm not the only one! I have quit for four months now. I'm ready to jack in my job, I'm so emotional, I'm rowing with anybody who doesn't share the same opinion and I've just spent £8 on a mouthwash because my gums are bleeding!! I know "healthy body, healthy mind" and I know I need to get to the gym but just can't find the motivation! It is comforting to know I'm not alone! I may even go and do some yoga right now :)

Moe 4 years ago

Quiting smoking is hard but not impossible, it's all in your mind and if you learn to controll yourself mentally then you are a winner, it's about how strong you are and will power. I am 22 years of age and started smoking when I was 13, by the age of 16 I was smoking a packet a day and hooked. I have been an asthmatic from the age of 8years and now my asthma has gone worse and I have decide I am giving up the cancer stick for good, tomorrow will be my 5th day and this will be a great achievement.. Just believe in yourself and anything is possible :) good luck to you all, be strong:)

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 4 years ago from Alameda, CA Author

Thank you Cheryl

Cheryl 4 years ago

I am so happy I found this page!!!!

Information is power! I feel so rejuvinated. I quit smoking November 12 (3 weeks ago) Cravings come and go, I just have more pepermint then I used too. It helps with settling my stomach, and deep breathing helps a lot with the cravings. So the part that is getting to me is the phelm and hoarness. I hate having to clear my throat so much. But after reading the reasons I am happy to clear my throat now : )


Thank You!

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 4 years ago from Alameda, CA Author


I know that having sore muscles is a symptom of recovery. Your muscles and cells are rebuilding on a cellular level.

Cramps and loose stool is also a symptom. Not so sure about blood in the stool. Maybe better go to a doctor about the blood part.

Let me know


Marie 4 years ago

Hi Lela

I stopped smoking 19 days ago, for the past week and a half I have had cramps, diaherra and now with blood in it. Is that a side effect? I smoked 30 a day cut down to 20 about 18 months ago then down to 6 a couple of months ago and now 0. I am very sore and just trying to figure out if this is a side effect.

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 4 years ago from Alameda, CA Author

It is never too late to quit! Your body starts restoring itself 20 minutes after you quit smoking.

After a year a lot of restoring has taken place and after 10 years (except for the carbon residue) you would not be able to tell that you ever smoked.

Tammie 4 years ago

hello all I am in week 3 of cold turkey. the first two weeks were ok because I was in the hospital for upper respitory problems, due to smoking im sure. Now on week three i am sleepy all the time and light headed... I am thankful to the stories of all the people on this page cause I thought I was losing my mind feeling so different. I was never a pack a day smoker maybe a pack every 3 to 4 days but that was too much to. I smoked for the last 10 to 15 years, my question is does the body heal itself from all the years of smoking or did I do to much damage to my body from smoking???

Steve K 4 years ago

Stacia tell him to hang in there. I am on the 48 hour mark from 1 pack a day, 24 years. This is not the first time I tried to quit either. Hopefully this time will work. My neighbor needs a lung transplant after years of smoking and I have decided I do not want to go down that route.

stacia 4 years ago

my husband just started to quit smoking and he is having a hard time coping, he has hot flashes,head spining, feels neasua and heart racing what can i do to help him.

wendy 4 years ago

I am 2 years smoke free... and still feel pretty bad. I still suffer major sinus congestion, post nasal drip, phlegm, and mouth ulcers. I have just started using nasal irrigation and think that it is helping.

I also suffer from psoriasis, so am not sure if my over active immune system has made my recovery take much longer. Some days I just want to start smoking again in order to feel better.

No, my psoriasis has not improved since quitting :(

I am really upset that the medical community does not really prepare you for what happens to your body after you quit smoking. Maybe they really don't know because why would they study that?... they just want you to quit!

AB 4 years ago


Thanks for this site and info. I was having trouble adjusting to the new life, and was getting worried with every new development, viz. Heartburn, tingling in figures, etc. Then after reading this I realized its all expected. But I still want to go ahead and quit this time. After going through these symptoms, I hate my decision to start smoking more than I would ever think of re-thinking giving up this effort.

Thanks for the help,


Just US 4 years ago

Hey everyone I didnt read all your posts but I wanted to say my husband and I have so far been 15 days with out cigs we smoked pack to pack and a half each a day and sometimes he smoked Cigars. We are doing okay he is using the Losenges and I am using patch we have quit 3 times but this time feels different. Guess we are just quiting to be healthy we live by a hill and our goal is to walk up that sucker its pretty steep. :o) We look at it each day and say maybe tomorrow we can do it looks like a nightmare I think but we will get there. There are crazy things that still trigger it for me it can be the oddest thing like getting in my car, writing a check for a bill, or just petting our dog with one hand and the other hand isnt busy. IT drives me bonkers but we are doing well and anyone else who is trying to quit YOU can not quit for anyone else you have to do it for your self and what helped us so far is every night we lay in bed we hold each others hand and jsut pray that the good lord will help us make it another day. Theres lots of power in prayer and its working :o)

Rachel 5 years ago


I can totally understand the fear. Good for you for quitting after so long. It is a horrible addiction. I hope everything comes out okay for you.

Rob 5 years ago

9 weeks and counting, i feel terrible and i'm having a lot of problems with my repiratory system. i thought i had lung cancer and that was the driving force behind my quitting, my lungs are congested and so is my head, i can not sleep due to the anxiety of thinking about having cancer. So i had a chest x-ray and i am waiting for a lung function test. by the way the x-ray showed nothing. ihave smoked most of my teenage and adult life and i am now 47. being scared is the best motivator i can think of.

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 5 years ago from Alameda, CA Author

James I teach Nicotine Solutions worldwide.

Rachel 5 years ago

I quit smoking Cold Turkey a few months ago, without doing any research or speaking to someone about it. Over the last few months I have felt like I was about to die and I am still feeling awful. I had a stress test, they took pictures of my heart, MRI, Blood work after blood work, urine samples, Ear nose and throat doctor, went to my GP who thought it could be my hormones. I kept explaining to the doctors that I was dizzy and my body hurt. One doctor said my mono came back, not the case. Doctor after Doctor, I explained, "It feels like someone is ripping my skin out, I feel like I am going to pass out, extremely dizzy, congested, my fingers feel tingly, sometimes I feel like I can't feel them at all, I even have head aches and I have never had them before." One prescribed me Xanax and the other anti-depressant. Needless to say, my heart, blood work and everything came back ok. I can not believe that stopping smoking can cause all of these symptoms. I felt like I was going to die, which did not make anything feel better. I am thankful for your information. I have scheduled a meeting with a therapist tomorrow- face what I have been hiding from.

james 5 years ago

Lela thank you for creating this hub. I wish you have satellite office in the Phils. Your hub has been my daily guide -- no actually my sanctuary! I have quit smoking for 4 months now and I can feel the withdrawal symptoms up to my stomach - having acid reflux that got worst. I continue to read your hub over and over again especially when anxiety kicks in and also try to pray a lot to help me be strong to cope up with emotional & physical withdrawals.

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 5 years ago from Alameda, CA Author


Everyone is different and maybe due to the level of nicotine you were consuming, your age or how nicotine was affecting your body, you maybe never have any of the side effects from stopping smoking so just consider yourself lucky and be happy!


JB 5 years ago

Well it's been two weeks since I quit. Oddly, other than some slight irritableness, I have had no side effects at all. Should I still expect some after all this time?

JB 5 years ago

I've got 11 cigs left in this pack and will go cold turkey at about noon tomorrow. The information on this site has been invaluable. I had no idea of the many side effects of smoking until I read this site. I feel much more prepared for this journey ahead of me now. Thanks.

Robin profile image

Robin 5 years ago from San Francisco

It is so difficult for non-smokers. We saw my uncle die from lung cancer and it was horrible. My dad basically had to see that to decide to make a change. He was a hard core smoker, two packs a day, since he was 16 - so it was really difficult. Ultimately, the smoker has to make the choice. I know it's so hard; I will never smoke because of it.

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 5 years ago from Alameda, CA Author

Hey Robin!

Oh my gosh! I am so sorry that your dad felt ill for months after quitting smoking.... and the rats..... oh my gosh... It is so hard for the non-smokers to know how to support the people in our life that are smoking!

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 5 years ago from Alameda, CA Author


Feeling like you are loosing your breath is common when you first quit smoking! Hang in there. It does go away. and the the coughing is just your lungs clearing out.... yes I know it is annoying but you cant get in ther with a hoover vacuum to clean out your lungs!!!

Robin profile image

Robin 5 years ago from San Francisco

This is such an informative Hub! Thanks for sharing all of your knowledge on quitting smoking. My dad smoked for over 30 years and quit 10 years ago. I remember throwing out his cigarettes as a kid. It was so hard for us to see him smoke when we were learning how horrible it was for you in school. He said he felt physically ill for months after quitting and didn't feel back to normal for a year. I always steered clear of cigarettes because of his experience. When we were young my sister and I had two pet rats that lived in the garage where he smoked. They both died of second hand smoke related emphysema! Yikes! ;)

Chek 5 years ago

It's been over 72 hours since my last puff.... Having muscle cramps and felt like there's something stuck in my throat. Thanks to this site, at least I know what to expect.

Thanks again!

Chris Handy 5 years ago

hey im on like my 5th day of not smoking and i have coughing a-lot... i had a cold before i stopped and not sure if it caused from the cold or if it is caused from not smoking...all i know is, is that i woke up one day and just didnt want to smoke anymore so here i am trying to quit cold turkey ... how long will this coughing last? also when i wake up from sleeping its like my throat is dry and then i really start coughing after i breathe in but it feels like im going to lose my breath....? any suggestions...?

Lela Bryan profile image

Lela Bryan 5 years ago from Alameda, CA Author


Oh my gosh....the school bus driver!!!

Tara 5 years ago

I started smoking when I was 18. I have been kicking my self ever since then I am now 27 and smoke free for 4 days. I am starting to smell better and my senses are stronger then ever which reminds me I need to change the cat box lol but seriously when I was younger people who smoked used to totally turn me off. but then I had a rough senior year of high school. My school bus driver offered me a cigarette and I was hooked. Well now I can say I am free of the addiction :)

Stacey 5 years ago

Hi I quit 71/2 hours ago and am already suffering the sweats, headaches, dizzyness and nausea. My body reacts so badly to change. Was out with freinds (smokers) i felt tempted and almost had 1 but remembered what i read on this page and so wanted to thank you all for your words of encouragement.

Tanweer 5 years ago


If you are aware of the risks, it will be easier to face the problems.. In time of Diarrhea, you can see your bum and say "I knew you would come" :).

On a serious note, if you have these information then one ca tackle the issues easily as he is aware of the risk and has the mitigation plan. Atleast one is aware that this was going to happen and doesn't come as a surprise.

I am planning to quit too and hence going through different articles to have the understanding of the problems that I am going to face.

All the best all.

Helesti 5 years ago

On Sunday I will be smoke free for3 months after going cold turkey. It was insane the 1st few weeks and sometimes I still catch myself walking outside to go and have a smoke. Guess the habits will be the last to go. I have had to completely change my life. I eat healthier and I excercise every single day - just to keep my weight down. Only problem is - Food taste SO much nicer!

Good luck everyone. We are stronger than we give ourselves credit for!

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    Lela Bryan194 Followers
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    Lela Bryan has been training people how to quit smoking since 1978. Her program, Nicotine Solutions, focuses on gradual behavioral changes.

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