Decrease (-) Restore Default Increase (+)
Print    Email
Bookmark and Share

Health Information

Health Information

Health Information

Health Information - Definition

Search Health Information    Nicotine Withdrawal

Nicotine Withdrawal

When people use tobacco products on a regular basis, their bodies develop a need for nicotine. If they don't get nicotine, they start having nicotine withdrawal symptoms.

Withdrawal symptoms and cravings for nicotine vary from person to person. They often depend on how much nicotine a person is used to getting. The more nicotine the body is used to, the more severe symptoms are likely to be.

Symptoms of withdrawal include feeling:

  • Irritated.
  • Angry.
  • Anxious.
  • Restless.
  • Sad or depressed.
  • Hungrier than usual.

People going through withdrawal may find it hard to:

  • Sleep.
  • Cope with cravings.
  • Deal with stress.
  • Concentrate.

Nicotine withdrawal symptoms usually begin about 24 hours after a person quits smoking or using tobacco products. Symptoms are the worst in the first week or so after the person quits. The average length of time a person deals with withdrawal symptoms is 2 to 3 weeks. The craving for cigarettes and increased appetite can last for months.

Nicotine replacement products can reduce withdrawal symptoms when used by people who are quitting. Use of quit-smoking medicines, counseling or support groups, a nutritious diet, and regular exercise may also help.

Last Revised: July 6, 2011

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & John Hughes, MD - Psychiatry

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2013 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

© 2014 St. Mary's Health System   |  3700 Washington Avenue  |  Evansville, IN 47750  |  (812) 485-4000