Tobacco products contain Nicotine which is the substance responsible for the addiction to tobacco.
Nicotine is a mild stimulant that increases activity and concentration for a short period of time also Nicotine decrease anxiety and stimulate a brain circuit known as "reward system" so it gives you the feeling you are rewarded (pleasure) every time you smoke a cigarette.
After you stop smoking the first thing your body does is clearing your blood from Nicotine, the body will achieve this goal within 1-2 days after your last cigarette. Your brain which is used to fake pleasure from Nicotine will start craving as soon as the blood is cleaned from Nicotine.
People who smoked more cigarettes every day or smoked for longer period of time are more likely to have worse withdrawal symptoms. Often symptoms will peak within 2-3 days after the last cigarette.
The most common symptoms after quitting smoking.
- Craving for nicotine: This craving will dramatically decrease each day. During this period try to reward yourself with something other than cigarettes; for example a chocolate, ice cream, good movie, new pants. It is important to avoid alcohol during this period you don't want to replace one addiction with another.
- Depression: Because your brain used to have a dose of fake pleasure every few hours, when you stop the Nicotine it is common that you will be depressed for a while until your brain gets used to Nicotine-free situation.
- Drowsiness or difficulty sleeping, sometimes even with nightmares!
- Anxiety: This may be associated with rapid breathing, sweating, and sometimes chest pain.
- Chest pain can be as a result of anxiety or can be due to an ischemic heart disease. Smoking is known to increase the risk for heart disease. Smoking effect on blood vessels builds up over years and when you stop smoking it doesn't go away easily the risk for heart disease remains elevated for 5 years after quitting smoking. That's why when somebody who is quitting smoking starts having a chest pain the first thing doctors do is rule out heart attack; this is done by performing an electrocardiogram (ECG) a very simple and non-invasive test.
- Increased appetite causing weight gain: Because smoking cause anorexia (loss of appetite) and weight loss stopping smoking will reverse these effects.
- Problems concentrating: Nicotine stimulates the nervous system and increases concentration for a short period of time
These symptoms may appear when you switch from regular to low-nicotine cigarettes or even when you cut down on the number of cigarettes you smoke.
Still have something to ask?
Get help from other members!