Nicotine Withdrawal

Nicotine WithdrawalCommon Symptoms and How to Deal with Them

Nicotine is a very powerful and addictive drug. That’s why, while quitting tobacco, you may feel uncomfortable or unpleasant sensations due to nicotine withdrawal. This is a sign that your body is getting used to not having nicotine in its system. These symptoms can sometimes go away after just a few days, but shouldn’t last more than a few weeks.

Throughout this process, it’s important for you to remember to stay positive. These are good symptoms to have because it shows that your body is healing from the damage tobacco has done.

Here are some of the temporary symptoms you might experience as well as descriptions of why they happen, and tips that might help you deal with them.


Why it Happens. Nicotine suppresses appetite, so it’s normal to feel hungrier when you quit.

Food begins to smell and taste better when you’re not using nicotine, and what may feel like hunger pains may actually be the stomach getting used to your saliva not having damaging nicotine in it.

Tip: Plan a healthy, balanced diet to help avoid weight gain. Keep healthy snacks around. Drink plenty of water.


Why it Happens. Nicotine stimulates your metabolism, which is partly the way your body breaks down food. After quitting, it may take more effort for you to go to the bathroom.
Drink lots of water.

Tip: Eat foods with a lot of fiber, like whole grains, bran and certain fruits.


Why it Happens. Perspiration (sweating) is your body’s way of getting rid of toxic chemicals.

Tip: Drink lots of water to replace any fluids you might be losing.

Itchy Hands & Feet, Sore Scalp

Why it Happens. Smoking can make it harder for your blood to circulate. When you stop smoking, your blood flow will improve.

Tip: Exercise can help your body get to a more normal blood flow.


Why it Happens. After quitting, you may be tired, yet sometimes unable to fall asleep.

Tip: Practice deep-breathing exercises and relaxing before going to bed. Herbal teas, a warm bath or a glass of warm milk before bed may also help. If serious insomnia persists, talk to your doctor.


Why it Happens. Nicotine is a stimulant. Getting off tobacco may make you tired.

Tip: Regular exercise can help you get a better sleep routine. Also, try planning for extra sleep when you first quit.


Why it Happens. While you’re quitting, you may be bothered or annoyed by the smallest of things.

Tip: Quitting is hard. Reward yourself. It will help make the whole experience more positive.

If withdrawal symptoms continue, talk to your doctor or other medical professional right away. Information on this page is not medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always talk to your doctor or other qualified health care provider when you have any questions regarding a medical condition.