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Side Effects of Quitting Smoking - What Happens to Your Body?

Lela Bryan has been training people how to quit smoking since she quit smoking in 1978. Her program focuses on gradual behavioral changes.


The Side Effects of Quitting Smoking

So you’ve finally quit smoking. You thought life would immediately be better and your health would certainly improve—but not only do you not feel better, you feel worse than you did before. Now you’re wondering how long these side effects and symptoms are going to last.

Knowledge is power with nicotine addiction: If you know ahead of time about the physical and emotional changes your body will undergo, it will give you an advantage and make it easier to follow through with your commitment to stop.

Knowing how long the side effects may last—and what you can do to prevent or alleviate them—will give you the information, resources, and confidence you need to quit smoking for good. The information you find below may save you the time and expense of doctor and/or emergency room visits, not to mention unnecessary medical tests.

What Causes Some People to Have More Severe Side Effects?

There are three main factors that affect the severity of side effects when you quit smoking:

  1. The strength of level of nicotine in your cigarettes or patch, gum lozenges, or e-cigarettes.
  2. How long you take to detoxify or lower your level of nicotine affects your the body and mind's ability to adjust.
  3. How long you work at changing your routines, behaviors, and habits while you are still smoking. It takes 21-42 days to change a habit.

In the chart below, I'm going to compare the severity of side effects of a smoker who smokes a pack a day of Marlboro cigarettes with a level of nicotine in each cigarette that is 1.1 mg of nicotine. The method of quitting is the main factor that determines the severity and duration of the side effects.

Cessation Method and Side Effect Severity

MethodNicotine Level at QuittingDays To Lower NicotineDays to Change BehaviorSeverity of Side Effects

Nicotine Solutions

1 mg nicotine

35 days

35 days


Nicotine Patch

0.7 mg nicotine (lowest level)

30 days

30 days


Nicotine Lozenges

0.7 mg nicotine

30 days

30 days


Nicotine Gum

0.7 mg nicotine

30 days

30 days


Nicotine Nasal Spray

0.7 mg nicotine

30 days

30 days


Chantix (USA) Champix (outside USA)

1.1 mg nicotine x 20 = 22 mg nicotine

84 days

84 days

Medium to Severe

Allen Carr Book

1.1 mg nicotine x 20 = 22 mg nicotine

21 days

21 days

Medium to Severe

Wellbutrin / Zyban

1.1 mg nicotine x 20 = 22 mg nicotine

14 days

14 days



1.1 mg nicotine x 20 = 22 mg nicotine

0 days

0 days



1.1 mg nicotine x 20 = 22 mg nicotine

0 days

0 days


Cold Turkey

1.1 mg nicotine x 20 = 22 mg nicotine

0 days

0 days



Nicotine Withdrawal: The Basics

Nicotine is a powerfully addictive drug. Depending on how long the smoker has smoked, the body will undergo varying degrees of withdrawal. No matter which method you use, withdrawal will have to happen. As long as any nicotine remains in the bloodstream, the body will keep expecting more.

When will withdrawal begin? The amount of nicotine in your bloodstream will be reduced by half every two hours after quitting.

After you quit smoking, nicotine is in the the body for just three days. The third day after you have quit, all you are left with are thoughts, routines, and behaviors.

The symptoms of recovery can last up to one or two years depending on the method that you used to quit, what level of nicotine you were at when you quit, how long you took to taper off of the nicotine, and if you changed your behaviors and routines in the process of quitting.

Smoking affects the body in monumental ways. Not everyone experiences the same symptoms. Below are some of the most common complaints.


Read More From Youmemindbody

Digestion Side Effects: Duration and Treatment

  • Acid Indigestion/Heartburn: If you had acid indigestion before you quit, it will get a bit worse during withdrawal, and then it may go away. If you never had heartburn, this symptom can last from three weeks to three months. Try Tums or DGL (deglycyrrhizinated licorice), which can both help with acid reflux. Another name for acid reflux is called Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, or GERD, which is a digestive disorder that affects the lower esophageal sphincter.

Dealing With Heartburn and Acid Indigestion When Quitting Smoking

Gas or Flatulence

  • Gas or Flatulence: This may last several weeks. Try to avoid eating gas-producing foods like beans, cabbage, or cauliflower. You can also try Beano.

Quit Smoking and Dealing With Gas


  • Diarrhea: This can last a few days while the body adjusts to the new changes. Try any over-the-counter remedy.

Quitting Smoking and Dealing With Diarrhea


  • Nausea: You may experience flu-like symptoms that last a week or so. Drinking lots of water or carbonated beverages should help.

Dealing With Nausea When You Quit Smoking


  • Constipation: This may last several weeks. Cigarettes act as both a diuretic and a laxative in the body so when you take nicotine away, you may get constipated. You can use an over-the-counter remedy or make a homemade laxative, which is gentler on the body.

Dealing With Constipation When Quitting Smoking


Skin Changes: Duration and Treatment

You would think that your skin would start to improve when you quit smoking, but no! It will improve eventually, but not right away.

  • Skin Blemishes: Your body is getting rid of toxins, and you may get acne, blemishes, or a rash after you quit. These will last about a month, and then your skin will begin to look better than it did before.
  • Hives: This reaction can be due to nerves from quitting cold turkey or the quick detoxification of nicotine from the body. It should go away in a week or so.

Respiratory Side Effects: Duration and Treatment

  • Sinus Congestion: This is caused by a clearing out of the sinuses. It feels almost as if someone has turned on a little water hose in your head. This symptom may last up to two months. Take an over-the-counter medication until the dripping stops or use a neti pot to help clear things out.
  • Coughing/Throat-Clearing: This is due to a cleaning-out of the reactivated cilia in the lungs. Your body is clearing out the debris, tar, and phlegm. We can't get a vacuum down into the lungs, so coughing up the debris is a good thing. This may last from a few days to several months.
  • Phlegm: This is also due to reactivated cilia. It can last a couple of months.
  • Hoarseness: The throat are getting some tender new tissue, almost like when a baby is teething. The tissue in the throat is regenerating, a process that may last several months. Use lozenges or whatever you would use for a sore throat. Hot tea with lemon and honey can help.
  • Gasping for breath: The feeling like you can't get enough breath doesn't go away immediately after quitting. You keep trying to take deep breaths, but it feels like you can't get enough air. This will last about a month before you begin breathing normally again. You have been so used to deep breathing with smoke that you need to give yourself a little time to adjust.

Circulation Issues: Duration and Treatment

  • Dizziness: The dizziness is due to increased circulation of oxygen to the brain, and it should only last a few days until your brain gets used to it. Give your body time to readjust.
  • Stiffness/Leg Pains: This almost feels like those growing pains you had as a kid and is a sign of improved circulation. Remember, you are changing at a cellular and muscular level. Take a hot bath, get a massage, rub on some tiger balm, or just put your legs up to rest. Give yourself a break!
  • Tingly Fingers and Toes: This is also caused by the improved circulation and may last a few days to a couple of weeks.
  • Swelling, Bloating, and Tight Waistband: This is due to fluid retention. But still, help your body flush out the toxins by drinking a lot of water and cutting down on sodium. People tend to gain three to seven pounds of temporary water weight when they first quit smoking. For you men, this is the closest you will ever come to experiencing PMS!

How To Avoid Gaining Weight When You Quit Smoking

Afraid of Weight Gain?

Aside from a temporary gain in water weight, some people are afraid of gaining weight after they quit smoking. If that's you, then pump up your metabolism, cut out the sweets or other foods you use to occupy your mouth, and find other ways to keep yourself busy.


Sleep Changes: Duration and Treatment

  • Insomnia: After you quit smoking, you don't go into such a deep sleep as you did when you smoked. It almost feels like you have been up all night. You tend to go into a lighter sleep state of rapid eye movement (REM) more often, usually every 90 minutes. Many new non-smokers are not used to this lighter sleep and feel like they're not sleeping well. Your body will get used to the new sleep cycle eventually but until then, you might consider a sleep aid. Calms Forte, which I have personally used and recommended to others, is calming and non-addictive.
  • Dreams: When you quit smoking, sometimes you might experience vivid dreams, maybe even nightmares. Having dreams or even nightmares is a very good sign because it means that you are working out your problems rather than smoking them.
  • Vivid Dreams with Zyban, Wellbutrin, or Chantix: Although is typical to have very vivid dreams when you quit smoking, I have heard that the dreams that you get from taking these drugs are more "over-the-top" and a lot more dramatic than the dreams that you may have otherwise.

Trouble Sleeping With the Nicotine Patch?

Nicotine stresses the heart and makes it beat 10,000 more beats a day. This can affect your sleep patterns. You may be on too high of a dosage.

Contrary to what the patch manufacturers or doctors may tell you, you need to calculate the nicotine level of the cigarettes you were smoking to know what level of patch you need to be on, and then you may need to make adjustments.

There are three strengths of nicotine patches:

  • 21 mg (patch manufacturers and doctors will ask how many packs you smoke a day: If you smoke a pack a day, they will put you on the 21 mg patch)
  • 14 mg (if you smoke half a pack a day, they recommend the 14 mg patch)
  • 7 mg (for those who smoke less than half a pack a day)

Does it matter what brand you smoked? Yes. It depends on the total nicotine level you used to use, not on how many cigarettes you smoked. Because every brand of cigarette contains a different amount of nicotine, these generalizations might not be accurate in your case. If you're getting too much nicotine, you may have trouble sleeping.

For example, if you used to smoke a pack of Carlton's, that would be 20 x .1 = 2 mg of nicotine, so you should go on the lowest patch (7 mg) and even that may be too high. Or if you used to smoke a half a pack of American Spirits Ultra Lights, that would be 10 x 1.79 mg of nicotine = almost 18 mg total, and you should probably start out on the 14 or the 21 mg patch.

A lethal dose of nicotine is 50-80 mg, and this is why you are warned not to smoke when you are on the patch: That much nicotine is very hard on the heart and could even kill you.

Note: Pregnant women should not take any drugs to stop smoking.

Fatigue, Sleepiness, and Drowsiness: Duration and Treatment

Nicotine is a vasoconstrictor, constricting your blood vessels and stressing out your heart. As a smoker, your heart had to work harder, making your heart beat 10,000 more times a day.

When you stop smoking, your heart rate slows down, thus slowing down your metabolism. When you are not getting that punch of nicotine, you may feel tired, sleepy, and lethargic. You might feel run down, almost as if you have a cold—in fact, some people refer to this feeling as the "smokers' flu" or "quitters' flu." Don't worry, this is only temporary and will only last a few weeks. After that, you will have more energy than when you smoked!

But sometimes it takes longer to get your energy back. Your body remembers running on those shots of nicotine and getting those boosts of energy. When you quit, your body needs to adjust to its natural rhythm and sometimes it can feel like you are more tired than ever. Listen to your body, get rest, and this too shall pass.

Treatment: Take cat naps, go to bed earlier, and drink fruit juice and water. If you have to drive or run heavy machinery, you can drink another cup of coffee or get some lozenges with caffeine in them to help keep you awake and safe.

Remember: Fatigue is the one trigger for smoking, so it is important to get your rest.


Emotional Side Effects: Duration and Treatment

Irritability is partially caused by fluid retention, and there are two things you can do: Drink as much water as you possibly can and cut down on foods that are high in sodium. Foods that are high in sodium are soups, pickles, packaged or highly processed foods, or any food on which you can see the salt. Salt makes you retain water, and water retention makes you cranky.

Another cause of anger and irritability is that you're having to deal with issues rather than escaping to smoke them, instead. You will have to learn other ways of dealing with your emotions. You'll also need to teach people how they are going to treat you. In the past if you quit smoking they said, "Oh, you were nicer as a smoker." Now, you have to explain that you are going to handle life in a different way rather than smoke for it. Trust me, eventually it will all smooth out.

If you don't know how to deal with your emotions, you'll have to start looking around for answers that resonate for you. Talking to someone who understands, reading a book, or finding other ways to express, release, or redirect your feelings is key now. I really liked a book called Getting in touch with your inner bitch by Elizabeth Hilts. (Sorry guys, there is no male counterpart.)


Is Quitting More Difficult for Men or Women?

A new study published by the Yale University School of Medicine suggests why women tend to find it harder to quit smoking than men. Why? According to the study, women's brains respond differently to nicotine.

Experts used to believe that when someone smokes, the number of nicotine receptors in the brain (which bind to and reinforce the habit of smoking nicotine) are thought to increase in number. But recent studies show that this is only true for men. While male smokers have a larger number of nicotine receptors than male nonsmokers, women smokers have about the same number of nicotine receptors as female nonsmokers.

This study is important because most treatments involve nicotine-replacement therapies, but these may not work for women. Women may benefit more from other approaches including behavioral therapy, exercise, relaxation techniques, and other non-nicotine-based methods.

For both men and women, however, it takes more than just a pill like Chantix or Zyban to stop smoking. It also takes more than just hypnosis (which is just mental) or acupuncture (which is just physical) to quit. The smoking habit has something to do with nicotine but more to do with habits and with stuffed emotions you've been avoiding. This may be even more true for women.

After 72 hours after quitting, the nicotine is gone. After that, all you are left with are your feelings, habits, and routines. Those are the things that need to be dealt with to quit permanently!


Sore Mouth and Bleeding Gums: Duration and Treatment

When you smoked, you were literally smoking your gums and throat the way you might smoke a piece of salmon. Your gums and tissues built up a crust. When you quit smoking, that old, hard crust will slough off, and in its place you will get new, fresh tissue—almost like when a baby is teething.

Only about 1 out of 30 people who quit smoking get a sore mouth, gums, or tongue, but if you are that one, your mouth will feel like it is on fire. A student in one of my classes had to have her dentures relined because there was that much of a change in her gums from quitting smoking.

This symptom may last as long as eight weeks. In order to relieve it, you can try a soothing rinse called Life Brand Oral Wound Cleanser, which is made in Canada (this is a generic replacement for a discontinued brand I used to recommend, called Amosan).

Other Side Effects

  • Itchiness: If you are doing a lot of scratching, it is probably just caused by increased circulation, and it will only last a few weeks.
  • Depression: Depression is a common side effect of stopping smoking, in the short and long term. It may feel like grief or the way you might feel if you lost a loved one. They say that quitters go through a period of mourning in the early stages of withdrawal. If it continues, take an herbal drug remedy called Sulfonil by Thorne. You need more than pills to quit smoking—you need to start dealing with the underlying causes of your emotions—but a medication or herb can help. Since depression is also caused by water retention, cut down on salt and processed foods for a few months, start to do a little bit more exercise, and drink a lot more water.
  • Headache: Many quitters experience headaches during withdrawal.
  • Excitement: Your emotions are all over the board. Give yourself some time to smooth out.
  • Hot Flashes: I had hot flashes when I quit. I would have smoked in the shower if I could have kept the cigarette lit. Both men and women experience hormone changes when they quit nicotine.

Did You Say Hot Flashes?

When you quit, you may experience hot flashes: intense surges of heat that make you sweat and turn your cheeks red. They will only last a few weeks, and you can use a natural progesterone cream to help: Rub a 1/4 tsp. on a fatty part of your body in the morning and evening.

I recommend a natural, over-the-counter progesterone cream called ProGest, made by Emerita, because both men and women can use it. (It is not hormone replacement therapy, or HRT.)

Note for men: Don't worry, you won't grow breasts if you use this cream! If you have been a smoker, natural progesterone cream will also help with osteoporosis. Smoking is one of the main causes of osteoporosis.


What about you?

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.


Claire on January 03, 2020:

Thank you. This is a really positive, no nonsense article. I am 60 years old and have smoked for over 30 years. I have, like most people tried to stop many times. However, it has always felt like i was raging a war against myself and i always surrendered. I realised my head was telling me to stop, be sensibl (I had chest pains etc) but my body and the habit always won over. I read and listened to articles about the power of the mind over the body. Simply, it has worked. I am a non smoker. I have not spent a minute fighting the urge to have a cigarette. It's not a battle, its your choice and only you can make it. Bon courage.

Bud on October 23, 2019:

Im 51 and had a heart attack about a month ago. Smoked 1/2 a pack to a pack a day for 20 years. The night of my heart attack was the night i smoked my last cigarette. Quit cold turkey. For about a week now, been having congestion and coughing up phlegm. Its been annoying and disturbing my sleep so i hope it ends soon. It does seem like its tapering off.

brad on August 29, 2019:

stopped smoking 7 days now on nicotine patch from 21mg now down to 14 mg having back and chest pain

alyssa on August 28, 2019:

day 28. still have really bad days, i really cry for no reason, and i dont care anymore about anything, super depressed

HEJ on July 28, 2019:

been smoking 38 years,,,,took 6 months to quit .... gained 60 lbs.... it has been 1 1/2 years now, smoke free.... oops , tell a lie,,,, my brother laid out a bunch of cigarettes when I came over one day,,, and I grabbed one and lit up.... whoo... It hurt my throat so bad I thought I was going to pass out....

I had pains, in my feet , arms , legs, bloating,,, still bloated,,,I am just now experiencing, extreme sweating, and phlegm for no reason. I did not have any phlegm earlier,,,, and was wondering when it was all gonna come up!! so it has been over a year,,,,, weird!!!.... my sillia must have been really beat down,,, and just starting to grow back. ???? who knows,,, anyone else have the same?

Christal on June 26, 2019:

35 year Marlboro Red smoker. Have briefly stopped before, never all the way. Now 10 days smoke free, cold turkey. Having a surgery and needed to gain weight, so that’s helpful. Worst day was 3... worst problems after day 3 have been heartburn and leg aches. Not sure if leg aches are more related to weight gain.

Bill Carson. on June 20, 2019:

Night sweats. I'm 59 so maybe it's normal.

Philip on March 23, 2019:

Stopped smoking on 11.January 19. Which is about 2.5 months ago .ive developed a rash all over my body and face which burns and itchy it comes and goes . My legs get red hot especially at night .i struggle to breath every day .and under my eyes gets sore .i went docs they gave me 7 days antibiotics and some cream for rash and in haler for breathing. Antibiotics and cream have done absolutely nothing . And still struggling to breath without inhaler . FEEL CRAP

Nenad Petrovski on March 16, 2019:

Hi There,

Age 35, smoker 20 years, quit cold turkey first time in my life 27 days ago. No other side effects except stomach acid / heartburn almost daily since i quit smoking. When this stops any idea?

john on December 14, 2018:

it has only been 1 wk this time. gas has been the only problem this time. (cold turkey) went to little cigars from cigarettes and stopping seems a little easier right now. maybe this is the last time. can't wait for the weight gain. dieted beforehand and lost 30 lbs.

Sathish Chandrasekaran on September 27, 2018:

Brilliant article. Thanks for detailing a lot of things here. Really helped me to understand and I really keep visiting this again and again to keep my brain informed.

On a littler note, in the article, it was mentioned that nicotine receptors in male brain are more and there is no change in female brain as far as the no of receptors is concerned. Could it be because most women doesn't know how to smoke properly, they just drag the smoke and blow it before it touches tongue? :P

Carol Herald on August 14, 2018:


Pradeep Kumar mod on August 09, 2018:

hi Lela I had quitted smoking 6months ago but my left side burning constantly (sometimes right side) like someone burn candle in my chest also left arm hurts but from 3 days condition getting so worse what should I do please reply me...plz..

Pradeep Kumar on August 07, 2018:

I had quitted smoking 6months ago but still my left side chest mainly (sometimes right side also for short time of period)burning like someone burn candle on my chest constantly and also sometimes stomach hurting and the left hand and back side pain sometimes .I already done x-ray CBC urine test thiaride test all are is normal?

Ducksquack on August 04, 2018:

I quit 3 days ago! I wanted to make 72 hours before posting here. One day I told myself enough is enough, puffed my last smoke and haven’t smoked since. These side effects aren’t to much of a bother but my mouth does seem to go dry often, I have always told myself I’m stronger then the addiction and have the ability to stop. I knew cold turkey was the only method for me I just hope I can now make it to 21-42 days. It seems like I want to reward myself with a smoke now. All your stories are motivational and I hope they help others.

Carol Herald on August 03, 2018:

I quit in March 2018 so 4 months smoke free and so glad to have come across this page - I have never had so many aches and pains in my life! Swelling in my feet, ankles, legs, hands. - water tablets, elevating the feet when possible doesn't seem to be clearing it up. Blood tests, ECG and chest x-ray all came back clear. Anyone know how long these side effects will last?

Carol Herald on August 02, 2018:

As other people have mentioned I am so glad to have found this site. I am now 4 months smoke free and still got water retention, joint pain, body aches... it would be nice to know how long these feelings will last!

I have been taking a 'water tablet' now for the past 2 months, drinking lots of water, and also trying to up the walking but nothing seems to be working at the moment.

Blood tests, ECG, chest xray have all been clear (which is a good thing!).

I have never had so many aches and pains in my life!!!

Brittany on July 07, 2018:

I am always bloated. Does not matter if I eat or I dont eat. Idk how much longer I can deal with it.

Kelly on June 18, 2018:

Burning in my throat and lungs!

Mary on May 29, 2018:

I quit April 4th, 2018. My biggest issue is swelling in my calves and feet. Never before in my life have they ever gotten this big and hurting. My pinky toe is even swollen. They throb and hurt. When I'm sitting in my recliner I have them elevated on a pillow and that doesn't seem to be helping either. I drink plenty of water also. I guess I will have to wait and see if it goes away on its own. That's what I've been told. Good luck to you all! :)

Kathleen S. on May 18, 2018:

Night sweats

Emerald on April 16, 2018:

I gave up 3 month ago and in the last two weeks get palpitations ranging from two, three times a day to over twenty

Lisa on April 05, 2018:

I'm 4 months in and glad I found this page. I was starting to worry about these side affects as well. I attempted to quit twice before and made it a year each time. Something traumatic happened and I started again. Both times I never experienced these side affects. I was ready to go to the doctor until I read the symptoms in the article above. So, now knowing that these are part of it and that it could last awhile...I can accept it. But no wonder people go back to smoking. They don't have the information needed to continue on this path or maybe a computer to research it like we do. Thank you for this.

Poz_2011 on March 31, 2018:

I choose to stop smoking because my CD4 count won't go up to at least higher than 209 & I have been under ART for more than 4 years now and was recommended by my Hiv doctor to try to stop smoking and see if after 6months my CD4 will go fairly higher. I have not been smoking for more than 3 weeks now, however for the past week I have been getting rashes/bumps/acne on my face -- hoping to will just be temporary. Looking forward to a healthier lifestyle.

Butch Rudshagen on March 13, 2018:

Health would be my main concern after stopping. As I know that smoke from cigarettes is an oxidant and as such when I inhale the smoke, the ion particles bombard my lung tissue, creating microscopic cuts in the tissue and when it bleeds, microscopically it contacts oxygen, when the iron in my blood contacts the oxygen it creates rust and the end result after many years is called black lung disease, unless you are anemic, of which your iron count is down, hence not much rust. So curing the black lung is my biggest concern as almost all cigarette smokers have black lung.,

Lewis Martin on March 02, 2018:

Addiction of any type binds us to itself. We get news about people performing such acts that harm them and others due to such addictions. Print and electronic me is is full of such instances, and even Web based mass media like news portals such as and Google news reveal such incidents taking place from time to time. But it is expected that the information here will be used for recovery and eliminating addiction.

The process might be tough but if as real help as you provide with such information the journey towards treatment is of course easy.


Mel on February 04, 2018:

36 year smoking habit,probably my tenth attempt perhaps wasn't ready before but am ready this time.

First switched to vape 6mg nicotine for three weeks then no vape 4 or five days just put up with the cravings then back to vape zero nicotine, ridiculous side affects.woke up one morning thinking id been attacked by mosquitos or fleas turned out it is hives but worse still is sore gums, swelling up around individual teeth sore as tender as. am using savacol mouth wash at night and difflam anti inflammatory anasthetic spray on inflamed gums.

Goodluck everyone

cheryl on November 30, 2017:

i quit a year ago now have new things happening

Leonard on November 22, 2017:

Anxiety and heart palpitation is my biggest concern

Leonard on November 22, 2017:

Quit for 3.5 months, dont have too many symptoms like coughing, headache etc... But the thing which make me feel sick is Anxiety. Its affecting my daily life, sometimes i feel good in the morning and out of sudden anxiety struck me and spoil my day or 2. I quitted cold turkey and without any external help other then more exercise then i use to have. I dont know if its the right way to quit or should i go back smoking and redo the cessation again gradually?

Another thing is i am also a coffee lover, after i quit smoking i also quit coffee as it will make my anxiety worst. Any advise when can i go back to coffee again?

jamie on November 09, 2017:

the urge to have a cigarette

realhumanrenee on October 12, 2017:

I was a heavy smoker for twelve years and by the end of it, I was smoking close to 2 packs a day. Now, I’ve been smoke free for almost a year. First, I switched to vaping (with about a month interlude where I quit cold turkey and was absolutely miserable and then went back to cigarettes for about a week before going back to vaping), and then about 2 months ago, I switched to gum with a quit date scheduled for December 3rd of this year. I have definitely suffered through many of the above side effects already, but I’ve noticed that some are from withdrawal from nicotine itself and some are from withdrawal from the other chemicals lurking around in cigarettes. All of them suck

joint/body ache on October 04, 2017:

Four weeks into being smoke free... I have dealt with the other symptoms but still struggling with joint pain, body-ache and possible depression. I cannot find enough researches/articles on how to deal with body-ache... What can I do... and how long will this last... sigh...

TH on September 30, 2017:

it's been over 4 months, since I quit smoking completely after a relapse where I smoked a month or so.

But before that month I vaped about 2-2½ months, then got sick and could not inhale the vapor so switched.

But you can read my story further down this page, I just want to give you an update.

I have not touched a cigarette or any vapor over 4 months, and I have no cravings at all. I don't miss it, but I miss my good health. I feel like something is very wrong, as nothing is as it should be anymore.

I still have swollen tonsils, red gums, red throat, hoarseness, swollen glands, anxiety, muscle pain, joint pain, hair loss all over my body and sometimes I get sweaty and hot. Some blood work was made and shows that something is happening, and I need to get checked in 2 months as there are thing I know nothing about that are under change.

I had some trouble with itchy skin a month or so, and also I had bruising on my legs. I started cycling at the same time I quit smoking, maybe that is the reason for the bruises. At the same time I had swollen angels/legs, they would swell up in the evening so I had a deep line where the socks had been and the they were normal in the morning normally the same day when I had been cycling.

I'm just glad I'm not a smoker, but I feel life has been a living hell the last 6 months.

Lela Bryan (author) from Alameda, CA on September 25, 2017:

Cindy 0923 please email me at I need to ask you some more questions and tell me what country and time zone you are in. I can then be more specific. Heart palpitations are typical but it has been a lot time since you quit. so contact me and and I can help you further. Lela

Cindy 0923 on September 24, 2017:

Lela Bryan.. these heart palpitations and the feeling of skipping beats is frightening to me.. it at times brings on anxiety... I don't like this... my heart feels like it's pounding so hard sometimes... it's mainly at night when I notice this.. is this common and how long can this continue... please help me to understand why this is happening and if this is a normal side effect of quitting... I quit just shy of four months now

Cindy 0923 on September 24, 2017:

Four months into being smoke free and still dealing with indigestion and heartburn... heart palpitations and skipping beats... insomnia and mood swings

Kayla on September 17, 2017:

I quit smoking two weeks ago and have no desire to begin again. However I do believe I have a little depression going on. I've noticed more energy throughout the day and more vivid dreams. My face is a little irritated but my hormones are always out of whack. I do notice my breasts are sore too.

B on September 11, 2017:

Just quit, 6 days strong!

This is my second real attempt, aside from a few mini attempts. This time is going much, much better. The first time was absolute hell. I had the craziest dreams, was tired all the time, super anxious, and fell into a deep depression.

I realize now I wasn't ready to quit.I honestly didn't want to, but knew I needed to. I also had a lot of problems I was dealing with. A month later, I slipped, and fell right back in. What they say is true: Not one puff ever. EVER.

This time, I just decided I was done with it. I was tired of feeling like crap and not being able to breathe or sleep at night, as well as the shame and guilt of trying to hide it. It just wasn't worth it. It's a relic from an unhappier time in my life, and that time is over.

It's actually been going really smooth. I truly believe frame if mind is so important. I also see a therapist regularly in order to maintain my chronic anxiety, which has been so beneficial to helping me quit.

My biggest issue is that Im exhausted, but I can't fall asleep. I still get a few cravings, but they're subsiding, even though I live with two smokers!

Ive got a rash on my face, and lots of phlegm, but oddly, my gastro issues have actually improved; they were the worst in my life as a smoker.

I'm not going to lie, e-cigs are a life saver. I use the little cartridges from Green Smoke, and am going to try V2 here shortly, but it's a low nic dose. Believe me, I still feel withdrawal, even with them, but they take the edge off.

Overall, I'm honestly glad I decided to quit. If you can get through the wall of fire that's the first few days, you're golden. It sucks, it really really does, but then it just doesn't suck as much, then you barely start to even think about it.

My advice: Set a quit date. Plan it about two weeks away. And instead of focusing on it, see quitting as something exciting, and build that momentum up as it gets closer. Think of how good you'll feel. Visualize your body cleansing. And the money you'll save!

Good luck to each and every one of you. You CAN do it!

Miranda on September 05, 2017:

I quit smoking 17 days ago, old turkey, and I have no taste is this common? From the research I've done my taste and smell should have improved within a couple of days. Please explain!

Lela Bryan (author) from Alameda, CA on September 04, 2017:

Jennifer there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Hang in there.

Jennifer Moquin on September 04, 2017:

I quit smoking and started vaping 4months ago. I'm experiencing really bad skin irritations! Face, back and chest. Been going on now for a few weeks! Someone tell me there's a light at the end of this tunnel.

Norma on September 03, 2017:

Being tired all the time

Vinny on August 31, 2017:

I quit smoking and felt like crap every day. I started smoking again and feel great. I'm convinced that I am meant to smoke.

Jai on August 29, 2017:

Weight gain , hot flashes, insomnia, irritable, feel all over the place, tired.

Lianne on August 29, 2017:

I guess I am truly fortunate. I quit cold turkey, with no with-drawl symptoms whatsoever. The bad part, and even my doctor agreed was the incredibly fast weight gain (30 pounds in 1 month, come on!) At that point, the doctor said I was one of the few people who actually increased my risk of heart disease by quitting because my metabolism spiraled out of control. I still am not smoking, but they are trying to figure how best to get my metabolism back to where it was, since I do watch what I eat and I do exercise. I still won't smoke! Just want the extra weight to go away.

Frances on August 23, 2017:

I smoked for 35 years. I quit cold turkey on April 7, 2017. The first week was hell, but then I was ok. No real issues after that except for severe joint pain. I am waking up every morning with stiff hands, elbows, hips and knees. It started gradually and now is daily. I read that nicotine is high in niacin, and that now I may need a supplement. Or is it possible that the nicotine was masking an underlying issue? Has anyone else complained of joint pain? It's been more than 4 months and does not seem to be letting up.

vnis333 on August 23, 2017:

Great article! Its been exactly 1 month since I quit cold turkey. I have no more cravings however I have side effects that are really annoying why legs and feet off and on are so swollen, so uncomfortable ! And my period is 2 weeks late ( which Ive never been late ) and so therefor Im also bloated :( ) Any clue when or how this edema will go down I thinks thats the one thats the worst for me

Effie on August 22, 2017:

Thank you so much for this article. It was very informative and motivating. I am on my 12th day of not smoking and I quit cold turkey. Reading this reminded me that the symptoms will go away and it will get better. I struggle the most with depression and fatigue. I try to be extra nice to myself and it makes quitting easier.

Arvin Gonzales on August 20, 2017:

Lightheadedness , dizziness, and left leg muscle cramps and sore throat for almost a month now. Its been a month since i last smoke a cigarette

Lela Bryan (author) from Alameda, CA on August 19, 2017:


Coughing is your lungs way of clearing out phlegm so its a good thing.

Dar on August 19, 2017:

I've been smoking for 44 years and will be on my 8th week in 3 days of quitting cold turkey, my concern is I'm still hacking phlegm, my voive is very hoarse and burning sinuses. Anyone else feeling the same. Congrats to all you x smokers :)

Jade on August 15, 2017:

I am 25 days cold turkey smoke free I do have a vape pen but there is no nicotine at all. I am sweating loads I have a shower and need to get back in it drips down my face like I have done a 2 hour workout and all im doing is washing up. I'm getting spotty around my mouth and it's sore I have never had spots in all my life and my lips are swollen and sore all the time any ideas.thank you

Lela Bryan (author) from Alameda, CA on August 14, 2017:

Char I always recommend Calms Forte which is over the counter. You might need a sleep aid. It might be because of your shift. Rem happens every 90 minutes. So it is important to get at least 90 minutes in a row to achieve REM. It could still be part of the symptoms of recovery of quitting smoking.

Char on August 14, 2017:

I quit almost 4 months ago but 3 months were spent using nrt gum 2mg as suggested by the packaging. Cravings havent been bad at all but I've been burning up and having hot flashes along with dizziness, itchiness, and insomnia. I've been wondering if maybe I'm experiencing a spectrum of symptoms due to working 2nd shift from 7pm til 3am. I've read that most people get rem sleep between 10pm and 2am but during those hours I'm at work. I feel like a sleep aid would help me through all the symptoms since my body needs to feel like it's healing itself.

Muffin on August 10, 2017:

I smoked a lttle less than a pack a day but when I tried the 14mg patch, I wigged out. Can I cut it in half? And for how long?


Tyshion Shiloh Anderson on August 08, 2017:

After 8 weeks on Chantix my face has severe breakout. I never had acne before. It burns under my skin as is very embarrassing. Anything to help the acne and burning hives on my face?

Awerealis on August 03, 2017:

I have read a lot of replies here where people are asking for help to clear toxins after quitting smoking and I must admit that I had great success and relief of ALL nasty symptoms by ingesting fresh ALOE VERA GEL daily in a banana smoothie (be sure to wash off all the yellow aloin sap first), along with Wild Fish Oil capsules and Co-Enzyme Q10 supplements. GOOD ON YOU !! Don't give up on giving up! You can do it, and after a while you will never look back, and you'll notice other smokers everywhere suddenly because your sense of smell will return and you'll smell it vaping from their clothes (and think, eeww is that what I used to smell like, yuck) !! Best wishes AK.

Rich on July 27, 2017:

Have smoked since I was 14 for the last 35 years. Smoked average 5 to 7 sticks per day. Tried quitting severally with no success.

I am now 312 hours since quitting Cold Turkey. I really like the idea of calculating in hours rather than days. 312 hours sounds much better than 13 days. I opened a notebook page in my phone and every day I add 24 hours. Every time I have the craving for just one more stick, I remind myself that I am just a few hours to adding another 24 hours to my notebook page. I would say that the craving has not been very bad, at least it is manageable.

But the other physical side effects are hell. Until I came across this site, I had started to wonder whether it was really worth it to quit. I felt far much sicker and weaker than when I was smoking. There was burning sensation in the chest. Severe heartburn and feeling of ballooning in the upper stomach. Yesterday as I was driving to work I felt a sensation like I would faint. Sometimes I felt like I am not able to breath. I really thought that I had developed a very serious complication due stopping until I read the posts here and found they are common.

I really hated smoking since the first time I tried quitting in 2000. I even started smoking in privacy, meaning I could not smoke at home or at the work place. I could only smoke in my social setting, especially the pub or when I was in the open. I really felt imprisoned by the habit, yet I could not summon enough courage to quit.

This time round, I am determined to continue to the home stretch, God willing. I can already feel the benefits - sex life is beginning to get promising.

Juanita on July 27, 2017:

I am an ex-smoker of 21-years, roughly two packs a day for the past three years. I quit smoking 58 days ago. I used the "QuitNow" system which guided me to set a date, practice with mini-quits and begin retraining my habits, then upon actually quitting - use the patches regressively to decrease my bodies nicotine intake.

I completed both the 21mg and 14mg patch phases then felt confident enough just to stop using them, and this may be where I went wrong. Emotionally and habitually I was. However, I have since then experienced a tremendous number of physical side effects. In 34 days (completely nicotine free) I have gained a total of 18lbs. Some I believe is from edema as I appear to have full body swelling (most prominent around joints such as elbows, wrists, knees, and ankles, plus hands and feet, and even the face and midsection); I am experiencing skin stiffness and tightness with a visible puffiness. Some are understandably average weight gain from continuous eating. I crave sugar and salt; I believe concerning lower levels of glucose and excessively low blood pressure which is also causing a general weakness. I have had insomnia and fatigue with the absolute inability to get out of bed on most days. I have experienced dizziness, vertigo, air hunger, difficulty focusing, hoarseness, irregular ministrations, along with several digestive and gastric symptoms or rather discomforts including gas and bloating.

If someone had told me all that I would go through I might still be smoking today but I am hanging in there and sticking to my goal. I feel accomplished in the fact that I have no urge or desire to smoke. With that said, however, I feel like I am becoming a hypochondriac thinking I am falling apart at the age of 36. The problem though was this was, in fact, unexpected side effects. Those around me do not seem to understand or think it is all exaggerated, and I am unable to explain it to them given my own ignorance.

I am concerned with how long these kinds of side effects are going to last. It seems as though I should be breaking the barriers by now and not bracing myself in the middle of the storm.

Happily Sick to be a Non-Smoker

sanie on July 22, 2017:

I quit smoking 7 weeks ago cold turkey for the first time in 25 years. I am suffering from stomach pain , bloating, irratible bowel syndrome and anxiety.

I would appreciate any useful advice dealing with all this. I have been physically active 5 days a week since I quit. But in the past 2 weeks I have been experiencing sever stomach pain on and off, and it is making me worry.

Not sure if it is the side effect of quitting or something is really wrong with my digestive system.

Again I really appreciate an advis.


Lela Bryan (author) from Alameda, CA on July 20, 2017:

Jesse Don Hannah jr,

contact me at

Quitting smoking and chewing at the same time is intense ...I have some ideas for you.

@ Bob on July 19, 2017:

Hey Bob! Hang in there, man. I'm two weeks in. Feeling better overall but heart is beating in my eardrums. Gonna go relax for a while.

Jesse Don Hannah, Jr. CSHO-SHEP on July 19, 2017:

Everyone and everything irritates me right now. I stopped all tobacco 84 hours ago, no cigs. and no chewing tobacco.

GOD, I want a chew so bad!!!!

Bob on July 17, 2017:

57 year old male smoked 1+ pack a day for 40 years. Have tried quitting more times then I care to admit. 3 weeks in and something is different this time...........I really don't have any cravings but the acid reflux and bloating is crazy. Today I introduced apple cider vin to help deal with just hope it offers some relief!!!! Thanks to all for posting their's nice to know we're all in this together. Exercise is the only part of the day when I feel like my old self. Hard to believe that I've always loved to run even though I would smoke soon as I would finish!!! The up side of the heartburn and bloating is that it's keeping my weight in check. I don't know any of you but really do wish you all the best with your journey.

Alma on July 11, 2017:

I've not smoked a cigarette in 45 days I had smoked for 37 yrs & Diabetes going crazy high took medication up to 2 pills a day & it's like I'm not taking anything & the pill used to help taking 1 a day that's is my main problem quitting smoking & fluid fills like it's in lungs & feet swollen & uncontrollable bowels at times. I tried chantix & couldn't take it so what can I take to help get toxins out of my body fast that wouldn't cause my body to keep going crazy as it is now from quitting smoking.

DJChrisMac on July 08, 2017:

Stopped purchasing cigarettes around July 2016. Started using a Vape. After about a month I started smoking about 6-7 cigarettes a day. Usually a few at work and a few when I got home. I can't remember when, probably mid May, but I have almost eliminated smoking altogether. I have had roughly 3-4 cigarettes a week since then. My hands, arms and feet are tingly. Most days at work after lunch, I feel like I'm having "hot flashes". Best way I can describe it. My right lung feels like it's burning. Pain in my upper back comes and goes. No trouble breathing or coughing. My quit smoking app says I quit on June 2nd. I'm guessing the few cigarettes I have weekly is teasing my body. I'm about to go to my doc because the anxiety of dealing with quitting and these pains are driving me insane. Any advice?

João on July 07, 2017:

Day 51, and still having some chest pains, sort of hearburn (feels like throat and chest is on fire), stomach is not what it used to be, flatulence, burping, considerable lost of apettite, and feeling stiff and bad mood swings, feeling depressed actually. Don't even considr smoking ever again, but man I never expected this.. plus I'm hypersensitive and everything feels like serious diseases. I advise everyone to exercise, talk to someone and to breathing exercises.

Karen on June 25, 2017:

Disgusting smell in my nose over the last few weeks, stopped in January. Hopefully this will stop soon. Metabolism slowed for about a month and I gained weight, I'm dealing with it a lot easier than I would a life threatening disease

Lela Bryan (author) from Alameda, CA on June 25, 2017:


Wow you have quit for two years and are still experiencing problems.....I'm stumped...maybe someone else has some insight.

Chris Mass on June 25, 2017:

I gave smoking 2 yrs ago and since then have been diagnosed with COPD. I exercise every day but get tremendous cramps in thighs, hands & feet nearly every day. I take magnesium complex and drink plenty of fluids. Any advice please?

Lela Bryan (author) from Alameda, CA on June 23, 2017:

Hi Johnnie M Martin,

You quit smoking 2 days ago and you are on the patch to quit. I don't recommend the patch or nicotine replacement to quit because you are exchanging one source of nicotine for another. But to answer your question, You would choose the nicotine level from the level of nicotine that was in your cigarettes not by the number of cigarettes that you smoke.

so you would calculate 12 cigarettes a day x 1.4 because Newports have 1.4 mg of nicotine and you come up with 16.8 which you should be using the medium patch rather than the 21 mg patch.

You could do that and also you can sign up for a free tele seminar at

Johnnie M. Martin on June 22, 2017:

I have started using the patch to help me stop/ kick this habit, I' ve not smoked a cigarette now for 2 days. I change my patch every day & it seem to b working. I started out with the 21 mg. patch but when I was smoking I smoked 10 to 12 cig. a day.( Newport 100's) my energy has improved slightly but should I have started step 2 first? Please help me with any suggestions... I don't want to fail this time, my mind & heart is made up to quit this time. Thanks in advance

TH on June 16, 2017:

After 19 years of smoking 15-17 a day I started vaping 6-8ml daily with 0.75mg/ml nic, about 3 months after I quit analog I got the worst sinusitis I've ever had. I couldn't even vape, so I ended up going back to cigarettes. After two weeks the sinusitis was gone, but now my throat and mouth started to get extremely dry, so dry I woke up several times at night to drink water. Even water did not help, my mouth did not produce any saliva at all. Then about a week later I started getting swollen tonsils and lymph's on my neck and collarbone, a total of 6 swollen lymph's. I contacted my doctor whom tested me for bacteria and found none, she then told me it was a virus infection. A month went by I and it did not better I coughed up some blood one morning, so I contacted my doctor and got a referred to an ENT and an appointment for X-Ray of my lounges . ENT looked at it and scanned with ultrasound, he concluded there were nothing dangerous but did not tell me what it is and the X-Rays showed nothing abnormal.

Then about 14 days went by, still suffering from swollen lymph's, throat and tonsils. My gums started to get red, first one side then the other. No bleeding from the gums and no swelling only a vague pain around in the mouth and gums. I went to the ENT again whom assured me there was nothing to worry about, but he did not tell me what it could be.

I was also starting to get soreness in mussels, joints, around from my back under my arm and to the chest.

I talked with my doctor again but she indirectly called me hypochondriac when I asked to get a biopsy test of the larges lymph node. Se told me they could not waste their time on that, I was scanned with ultrasound and they found nothing wrong so I should accept that there is nothing bad present.

She did find that I had D-Vitamin deficiency, after a blood test.

She then told me, it's because of smoking. . .

I also lose more hair, which could be stress related as both my mind and body is in the red zone at the time. But could quitting do that to ?

Now I'm chocked and confused, don't know what to do. Its been 3 months now with these problems and nothing has changed. I just started vaping last week again, and next week I'm going down to zero nic. I have changed my liquid to pure VG, water and aroma, nothing has changed.

Has anyone else tried something similar, could this be effects of quitting smoking drawing out because of the way I have handled things, the relapse and then back to quitting ?

I'm really not in a good place right now, I'm somewhat scarred, confused and irritated that it does not go away.

Bharath on June 14, 2017:

Hi guys I was smoked for one year at leaSt 10-12 cigrattes per day, I quit now this is my 24th day after quitting I got started severe problems like stuffy nose,heart burn, acid refulx and every day 24/7 I got swalloing throath pain as well let me need help I just want to know how to come back my self ..I am so scared to

Kim on June 14, 2017:

I started smoking at 10 and been smoking for 42 years. the severe hot flashes/sweating for a month now are kicking my butt. They seem to be slowing down a bit. At 1st i thought it was the change but these are totally out of control and worse than what i typically got when i was going through the change. I saw this and realized it is the quitting smoking. i'm on day 37 and i'm not turning back now but God bless this is torturous to put mildly.

Lela Bryan (author) from Alameda, CA on June 13, 2017:


It could be a rash from quitting smoking. Then again it could have been something from the hike. It is really hard to say. i would watch it for a week or so and most likely it will go away. As long as it is not itching.... and you are not in any discomfort it could very well be from quitting smoking.

Tristen on June 12, 2017:

I quit cold turky just over 3 weeks ago. I have experienced a little bit of nausea, i did get a very dry nose for a week but thats it and it has been suprisingly easy for me. I have pretty good will power but 8 days ago i was out hiking and all the sudden noticed what looked like a rash on my stomoch, upper arms, upper legs, and back. I thought it was a heat rash or something but the next day it is everywhere below my shoulders. There is no itching or anything t all. I cand feel the blemishes but the only way i can describe it is hives. It has een 8 days now. Hasnt gotten worse but its not oing away. Does thus sound relative to quiting cold turky?

Lela Bryan (author) from Alameda, CA on June 10, 2017:


Yes nicotine lozenges are a cold turkey approach just substituting one nicotine for the other

Check my program to help you quit that will help you avoid side effects of quitting !!

Jessie c. on June 10, 2017:

Will you still experience all of these symptoms if you are using a nicotine losenge to quit smoking?

Lela Bryan (author) from Alameda, CA on June 02, 2017:

Hi Joseph Bias,

I understand that you can want to quit but knowing how and sticking to it is another issue. I would like to invite you to join me in a free Tele-seminar of how to quit smoking without side effects. I have scheduled a few of them at different times.

Joseph bias on June 02, 2017:

I have trouble with coping with problems i tell my self all the time im gonna quit and then its like i forget and go smoke. I dont know why but i cant stay focused.

Lela Bryan (author) from Alameda, CA on May 30, 2017:

This is pretty typical ...but 5 months is a long time.

I have some questions .... email me at easeout@ nicotinesolutionsdotcom so I can clarify

Tani on May 30, 2017:

I quit about 5 months ago. While I did have a few of the issues listed above (constipation, dry skin, suddenly highly sensitive gums, stuffy nose, which was only worsened by pollen allergy etc. blabla), there are two things that have not lessened in severity, and another which I am wondering could be related to quitting as well: hot flashes, insomnia, and more PMS symptoms than before. I am not (peri-)menopausal, I got blood work done to rule it out. My TSH levels are okay, too, so it's not thyroid-related either. No signs of infection either. I have hot flashes even when I'm not "PMS-ing". My insomnia is so horrible by now that it takes me up to five hours to fall asleep (note that I've always had trouble falling asleep, even before I started smoking). Hot flashes and insomnia are my No. 1 PMS symptoms, always have been, but now I'm also extremely moody and I get heart palpitations, too--the latter only during PMS). I'm wondering how long, if related to smoking cessation, this might last. My doctors told me is that my blood work is perfect and that there is no indication of any other diseases.

Lela Bryan (author) from Alameda, CA on May 28, 2017:


I have quite a few questions for you and some solutions.... would you email me at easeout@nicotinesolutionsdotcom and I can ask my questions to clarify and get you some relief!

Craig on May 28, 2017:

I'm 48 years old been smoking since I was 13 quit 2 to 3 packs a day. I quit 20 years ago cold turkey for

2 years had a cigar and it was all over back to being a smoker don't remember any flu like side effects just the strong urge to smoke remember my craving got less and less as the months went by still had urges after 1 year but only would last like a second didn't have the urge to smoke the cigar that was just a bad choice!! This Time I quit April 14, 2017 for the first 8 days I was on 14mg patch was crazy dizzy with shortness of breath bunch of other symptoms so thinking it was the patch took it off it wasn't the symptoms kept getting worse!! This Time it's kicking my ass!! The worst symptom is feeling like something stuck in throat and constantly swallowing something can't tell what it is because I can't cough it up uncomfortable to eat or drink because it feels like the food or fluids is being blocked by what ever fluids I keep swallowing or i hope not something worse !! Sore throat and My nose has been all dried out and bloody also Nausea, Headaches side of my face and lips tingling and a little numb etc... went to the doctor he couldn't see anything except that nose and throat really red and raw so referring me to ENT IN 2 more weeks. But never had any problems before I quit smoking I'm kind of regreting quitting smoking if these side effects don't go away also several months ago went had my lungs checked pulmonary doctor said I had no damage anyone else get the throat problem and can't cough it out ? Or get it this bad ?

It's been over 6 weeks well 5 weeks with no nicotine the anxiety is really bad also with some depression.

Lela Bryan (author) from Alameda, CA on May 26, 2017:


wow its been over 5 months since you quit smoking and your throat is still sore. I would recommend gargling with Life brand oral wound gargle. It should be very soothing. The next step would be to to go to a ear nose and throat doctor.

Kari on May 26, 2017:

Quit smoking on Dec,23rd,2016 &my side effect is throt is always sore what's up with that concerned & should I be worried

Anne on May 24, 2017:

Great to read such an informative guide. Am on 21mg patch 13 days in. No side effects but emotionally very tough. A lifetime smoker off and on the rewiring of my brain is the challenge. Raising a teenager, the part of me that wants a smoke is similar - want want want lol. I feel good when I get to bedtime and have made another day! Smoking has become too expensive. I could no longer afford normal cigs so was buying roll your own tobacco, but it made me cough so badly, I felt I would wreck my lungs in no time. It also has become totally socially unacceptable to smoke and I had become a smoker only in my garden. Having a week off work to get on top of it all has been hard because I am in my garden but no smoking. Dog is getting lots of beach walks. Battling the feelings of sadness at losing my joy of smoking. But I want to be free of it and live as long as I can to see my son grow up. I am fairly fit and my lungs are good despite the coughing. Was never a heavy smoker. Today I felt quite annoyed that I may always crave a ciggie and it's not nice to feel that. Am sure it will pass in time. I hope so. Smoking we are done! Buzz off out of my life.

Lela Bryan (author) from Alameda, CA on May 18, 2017:

Hi Alex,

Sorry I just saw this now...I have had food poisoning for the last 3 days!

Your muscles and nerves are rebuilding themselves. Cold turkey is very difficult on your body. It is temporary. Think of it as growing pains when you were young.

Its really hard to tell how long they will last a month or two and it will come and go. You should be fine.

email me at and i can do a follow up with you and answer any questions.

Neal on May 18, 2017:

I was on a pack a day for the last 25 years. I quit because of a DVT in the leg but I didn't go cold turkey. I started out with the 14 mg patch and a electronic cigarette that has 6 mg of nicotine. I don't need to perform it nowhere near as much as I would if I was smoking. Just wondering if anyone else has quit like this, How your body reacted, and how long did it take to get completely off the nicotine. My goal is to wear the patch for a month and have the electronic cigarette and then at the end of the month I will go down to a 7 mg Watch and turn The spinner two to its lowest setting. After a month like that the patch will come off and then I will set times each day then the number of paths from the Electronic cigarette and during that month I will reduce that down to zero puffs. Anyone done anything similar?

San on May 15, 2017:

i smoked 5-6 ciggs a day for 3 years and only recently my stomach started acting weirdly and had heartburn on few occasions. i realized it was acid reflux and immediately decided to go cold turkey and its been 3 weeks now i touched a cigg. I decided not to go back. I still see symptoms of acid reflux whenever i drink coffee(which i know triggers acid reflux). my question is how long does this symptom last? will i no longer be able to drink coffee in my life? I also started yawning more and feel dizzy at times. I regret that i've smoked for all these years now.

alex on May 14, 2017:

Hi again, am trying to sound less scared than I really am but I whole right side of my body is in a mess, my right side of my belly is swollen as well as my leg, my right hand seems heavy pls I need advice and your help Lela.

Alex on May 13, 2017:

Hi again, so my leg is swollen, my calve muscle that is and it hurt a bit I know its temporaral .but pls do you av any advice

Lela Bryan (author) from Alameda, CA on May 12, 2017:

Alex, Yes it is normal.... more oxygen is getting to your brain and that is causing you to become dizzy, hang in there it is all temporary and will go away. Do things a little bit slower to avoid falling or getting to dizzy.

alex on May 12, 2017:

I only smoked cigs for a few weeks and I stopped four days ago, I had migranes on sides of head and above my eyes they reduced yesterday then I felt my right leg become heavy and numbness on the side of my left pinky finger. Today I went out for a bit and I became so dizzy and tired I had to rush home ,am freaking out here is all this normal ?

Dee 3355 on May 11, 2017:

Been over a year now for me....feeling alot better, but still going threw side effects. The weighty gain is no fun!!! , but its better than smoking. I posted yesterday, but its gone....For all of you going threw side effects, just remember its temporary, and read ALL that Lela posts, because she knows what we are going threw...its not easy, but its better than smelling like smoke! Now , when i smell it, i become im thankful for that, because i went cold turkey, and at the beginning the cravings were bad, but i kept myself busy, and my mind on other things, and it really works. Good Luck to all of you, and never give up!! :)

DEE3355 on May 10, 2017:

Today is 1 year , 2 months for me since i quit cold turkey...I won't lie..there were times that were ruff....I didn't know Lela sold a survivor in there everyone!!! YOU can do this..I have NO cravings at all..the smell of smoke makes me sick....but i did put on a few pounds, and thats ok!! working on that now.....Even after ALL this still dealing with some side effects.....keep yourself busy, and your mind occupied with OTHER things besides cigs!! I did it and it games, games on my cell, I bought puzzles, I walk EVERYDAY!! keep your chin up, listen to Lela and you'll soon be like me....smoke free!!! :)

Sara on May 10, 2017:

Bloating is my biggest problem

Lela Bryan (author) from Alameda, CA on May 10, 2017:


Mouth sores are very common. Look back in the article and order some life wound rinse and it should be very soothing for your mouth.

In fact if you go to you can order a whole kit that will deal with all the symptoms including sore mouth and I can get it to you very quickly rather than wait for it for a long time and have to buy a full package.

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