7 Ways to Survive Nicotine Withdrawal

by Dr Antonio Howell, MD

in side effects

Dr. Howell

Nicotine withdrawal is temporary, but it can be very intense, particularly if you’re not ready for what you’re about to experience. Arm yourself with knowledge on what to expect as you get through the first few days of your quit. Below are 7 ways to survive nicotine withdrawal.

Addicted Man With A Broken CigaretteRemember your reasons for quitting smoking. Your reasons for quitting are an important tool to help keep you on track and fight the urge to smoke. You may want to read it often and keep your list handy.

Reminding yourself of your reasons, will make it easier for you to go on and stick to your game plan.

Stop thinking about smoking. The thought of lighting “just one” cigarette may sound so tempting especially on the first or second week of your quit. In fact, during this period you can’t think of anything but smoking. Your smoking addiction has a stronger hold on you mentally than it has on you physically. So your mind will try anything just to convince you that you can’t live without cigarettes.

Prepare yourself for that mental confrontation. It is process most smokers have to go through when trying to quit. Accept that it is a part of the process of your recovery and don’t let it to overcome you.

Overcome your triggers. Overcome the urge to smoke by knowing you triggers and avoiding them. Triggers are anything that you associate with smoking like drinking a cup of coffee, 15-minute break at the office, drinking alcoholic drinks, etc. To overcome these triggers you first need to identify them. What are the things or situation that you usually do that make you want to smoke? Once you identify your triggers, the next step is to plan how to avoid them. For instance, instead of drinking coffee in the morning try a cup of tea or milk.

Find a support group. It can be your friends, family, significant someone, an organization, or it can be anyone you’re trust, or someone that understand what you’re going through and who is always there for you. Your support group plays an important role especially during the times when nicotine withdrawal is the strongest.


Reward yourself. Every day is a struggle for you to stay nicotine-free. And for each day you stayed smoke-free, is a victory you want to celebrate. Pamper yourself at least once a week for a job well done. You don’t have to wait for others to recognize your effort, do it yourself and give yourself a treat. A day in a spa, a healthy dinner with your significant other, or a ticket to your favorite game. Though it doesn’t have to be so elaborate. Simple rewards like watching movies on weekends or a warm bath will do.

Change the way you think. This is very important. Cast all the negativity in your mind. Try to face each day with optimism and hope. Nicotine withdrawal can be so intense that waking up each morning is a drag. Try to replace negative thoughts with great optimism that everything you’re going through now are just temporary and for a greater good. These symptoms you’re feeling now will soon pass and you’ll be a lot better than the old you. If you can do this things will be a lot easier for you.


Have extra patience. Time is your ally when quitting smoking. Only through time that you’ll truly heal so don’t be impatient and make time your enemy. Patience is a key. Your first few days of quitting may seems like an eternity and the progress is slow. But each day without cigarette is a battle won. Take little steps and soon you’ll be there. Don’t be harsh on yourself by putting too much pressure and expectations. Be patient and soon before you know it, you have freed yourself from nicotine addiction.


Nicotine withdrawal can be tough, but if you can learn to wake up each day determined not to smoke again, and grateful that you have completed another day without cigarette, quitting will be much easier for you.


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