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Overcoming nicotine withdrawal

Sweating, headaches, coughing, sore throat, constipation, anxiety, difficulty concentrating – these are all symptoms of nicotine withdrawal and there’s a chance you could experience them all when quitting smoking. But you must ask yourself, if something can have this bad an effect on your health when trying to quit, do you really want to keep putting it into your body anymore?

The sooner you quit smoking, the sooner you can start facing the symptoms of withdrawal head on, and the sooner they will be over. Withdrawal symptoms can kick in straight away and will usually peak round three days after your last cigarette. It’s important to keep telling yourself that you can do this; you can quit and you will look, feel and smell so much better for it in the long run! One of the best things you can do is think about the positive effects quitting smoking will have, so here are some of the best things you will notice when quitting smoking.

20 minutes after quitting

Your blood pressure and pulse will start returning to normal levels and fibres in your bronchial tubes in the lungs get the chance to start moving again, helping to clean away bacteria.

3 days after quitting

You’ll start to breath more easily as the bronchial tubes start to relax and open and your lung capacity will increase, allowing more air in.

1 week after quitting

Your chances of successfully quitting smoking permanently increase by nine times when you make it to your first week smoke free. 

2 weeks after quitting

Your circulation will start to improve, as well as your oxygenation, meaning that your body will move and perform better as it is better oxygenated. Your lung function will have increased around 30%. 

1 month after quitting

You’ll find that you have an increase in energy, less sinus congestion and shortness of breath when exercising and the fibres in the lungs which work to keep them healthy will start to grow back, protecting you from infections.

6 months after quitting

You’ll be coughing up much less mucus and phlegm and will be handling your stress levels much better without the need for a cigarette.

1 year after quitting

Your lungs will be in much better condition. Your lung capacity will have improved massively, and you’ll be breathing much easier and coughing less.

Knowing what to expect as each milestone can really help to motivate your further, so reward yourself at each milestone and keep in mind that you are doing a great thing for your health. The worst of your withdrawal symptoms will be over within a couple of weeks, so while this may be the hardest part, it will be the most rewarding at the end of it. 

There are, of course, nicotine replacement medications such as nicotine gum and skin patches or nicotine replacement methods such as inhalers and nasal sprays which can help to relieve the symptoms, but if you can survive without these then it might be better to go cold turkey. If you need help quitting smoking an overcoming nicotine withdrawal, feel free to contact our team today.

We’re here to help! Get in touch with a member of our team today and discuss what we can do to support you.

How does this work?

The tailored approach LiveWell Dorset uses to come up with solutions to the things that are stopping us achieving our goals, is based upon work done by University College London developing the COM-B model of behaviour change. In this model, all behaviour is influenced by understanding a person’s capability to change, their opportunity to change and their motivation to change. By understanding which of these is the biggest barrier to change, we can tailor support accordingly. This model of behaviour change is at the centre of the support we offer, online and in person.

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