The first week after quitting smoking is the most difficult, it gets easier and within eight to twelve weeks the comfort of the non-smoking lifestyle begins to take hold. Becoming an ex-smoker is not without side effects however. Nicotine is a highly addictive drug and the withdrawals can be intense. One can expect headaches, anxiety, nausea, and the worst, a craving for tobacco. It’s a chemical dependency, and without maintainance, the body reacts. The side effects are stressful and unpleasant, but they do fade away after just a few days and will be completely gone in just six months.
The first two weeks are critical, seek all the support from family and friends you can find. The side effects to quitting begin just four hours after your last cigarette, generally they peak at three to five days, and then fade out after two weeks. The symptoms are both physical and mental.
The physical side effects should be treated as you would treat any other symptom. The mental symptoms are almost intolerable the first week, you will survive. You may feel clumsy or awkward, even accident prone. You may even exhibit infantile behavior and have a temper tantrum or two. This is why it’s important to tell people you are quitting, they will be tolerant, for awhile.
Depression is also a common short term effect, you could actually find yourself mourning the loss of your cigarettes. Keep a card on hand listing your reasons for quitting, make them positive and uplifting. This same card will come in handy during the mood swings too. It’s important to keep yourself from boredom, it leads to the depression.
Other side effects you can expect are not limited to, insomnia, vagueness, irritability, constipation, gas, cough, dry throat, nasal drip, dizziness, vertigo, fatigue, frustration, restlessness, tightness of the chest, and weight gain. I know this all sounds terrible, but the good news is that it only last a few day, the withdrawal symptoms will go away and serve as a reminder to not smoke so you never have to go through that again. All these side effects are just the body purging itself of all the harmful chemicals.
Acknowledge it’s an addiction, understand the side effects you may experience after you quit smoking, be prepared to experience them and to treat the physical symptoms. Odds are you won’t experience all of them, but do expect to have a few of them. The more prepared you are the easier it will be.