Nicotine Withdrawal

Nicotine withdrawal or withdrawal from nicotine involves a number of symptoms including irritability, cravings and headaches. These symptoms present themselves upon the reduction of smoking cigarettes or other tobacco use or from completly quitting smoking by someone who is nicotine dependent.

Withdrawal Symptoms are Normal

Almost everyone who ever tries to quit smoking or to reduce the amount that they smoke will experience some form of Nicotine withdrawal. People who have smoked longer periods of time or higher numbers of cigarettes over time are more likely to have more severe nicotine withdrawal symptoms.

People who have become regular smokers through the years tend to have particularly strong nicotine withdrawal symptoms in the form of strong cravings.  Often smokers have worse nicotine withdrawal symptoms in certain situations, places or times that would normally be associated with smoking. By nature, nicotine has a very strong impact on the body, and can have a powerful hold over the body for a long time.

Common Withdrawal Symptoms

Common symptoms for nicotine withdrawal include the following:

  • An intense craving for cigarettes and nicotine

  • Tension

  • Headaches

  • Irritability

  • Difficulty when it comes to concentrating

  • Drowsiness, or even trouble sleeping

  • Increased appetite and weight gain as a result

When smokers switch from regular cigarettes to low nicotine cigarettes, they may also go through a milder form of nicotine withdrawal, which will involve some or even all of these symptoms. Smokers who cut down on how many cigarettes they smoke may also experience nicotine withdrawal in small amounts. Symptoms associated with nicotine withdrawal can easily mimic, aggravate or even disguise symptoms associated with other psychiatric problems, which can make nicotine withdrawal an even more serious an affliction.

Treating Nicotine Withdrawal

There are a number of different stop smoking aids that may be effective when it comes to treating nicotine withdrawal. Gum and patch supplementation of nicotine are some of the aids available. There are a number of other aids that have also been used with some success, including clonidine, antidepressants like Prozac (Fluoxetine), Buspirone (Buspar), Bupropion (Zyban) and so on. People dealing with nicotine withdrawal often feel discouraged if they are not able to stop smoking on their first try, but they shouldn't.  Research has shown that the more often you try, the more likely you will eventually succeed.

Nicotine withdrawal is a short lived affliction and will eventually pass. Withdrawal may be one of the most uncomfortable parts of quitting, but when you succeed you will be healthy and happier.