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How Will I Feel When I Quit Smoking?
You may crave cigarettes, be irritable, feel very hungry, cough often,
headaches, or have difficulty concentrating. These symptoms of withdrawal occur
because your body is used to nicotine, the active addictive agent within
When withdrawal symptoms occur within the first two weeks after quitting,
stay in control. Think about your reasons for quitting. Remind yourself that
these are signs that your body is healing and getting used to being without
The withdrawal symptoms are only temporary. They are strongest when you first
quit but will usually go away within 10 to 14 days. Remember that withdrawal
symptoms are easier to treat than the major diseases -- like heart disease and
lung cancer -- that smoking can cause.
You may still have the desire to smoke, since there are many strong
associations with smoking. People may associate smoking with specific
situations, with a variety of emotions or with certain people in their lives.
The best way to overcome these associations is to experience them without
smoking cigarettes. If you relapse do not lose hope. Seventy-five percent of
those who quit smoke again. Most smokers quit three times before they are
successful. If you relapse, don't give up! Plan ahead and think about what you
will do next time you get the urge to smoke.
The good news is your risk of heart disease is cut in half after quitting
tobacco for one year. After 15 smoke free years, your risk is similar to that of
a person who has never smoked.