The Unpleasant Side Effects of Nicotine Withdrawal Can Be Overcome | Health care
Millions of people can say from personal experience that quitting smoking is no easy task.
There’s a reason it takes several tries for those who are addicted to nicotine before officially quitting. Nicotine can affect many parts of your body, such as your heart, hormones, brain and blood vessels, and even your metabolism.
Once the nicotine enters your bloodstream after smoking, a gratifying and pleasurable sensation is sent to your brain which increases your dopamine levels. The brain can quickly become addicted to the “feel-good” stimulus of nicotine.
When nicotine is immediately eliminated from your daily routine, the body goes through withdrawal and it is easy to become irritable.
Physically, withdrawal can last for about a month, but mentally, quitting smoking is a battle of a lifetime. Nicotine can be so addictive that even if you’ve only been smoking for a few weeks, you may still experience withdrawal symptoms. A few days after you quit smoking, you might experience headaches, cravings, and sleeplessness. Other physical symptoms include increased appetite, coughing, fatigue, and constipation. Once the physical symptoms start to subside, you may be going through mental struggles, such as anxiety and depression. It is important to know that although the withdrawal symptoms are uncomfortable, they are not harmful to your health.
Fight withdrawal symptoms
Once you understand what your body experiences after quitting smoking, you should ask yourself how to combat these symptoms. While there are some common daily activities you can do to help with withdrawal, nicotine substitutes like Nicorette or NicoDerm CQ are commonly used.
Ways to resist the urge to smoke after quitting would be to exercise, take a nap, check a few groceries on your to-do list, clean your room, throw a dance party, to chew gum, call a friend and even imagine a healthier future.
Equally dangerous vaping
Tobacco use that causes nicotine addiction is not primarily due to smoking. Recent research has proven that electronic cigarette products (vapes) are just as dangerous to health as cigarettes. Electronic cigarettes are essentially electronic nicotine delivery systems that allow an individual to inhale an aerosol that may contain nicotine. Juul is one of the most popular brands of electronic cigarettes and contains the amount of nicotine in a pack of cigarettes per pod. Vaping causes the same withdrawal symptoms as smoking.
It would be a good idea to talk to someone who has quit smoking and ask for advice on how to deal with withdrawal symptoms.
Advocating for a tobacco-free lifestyle
Healthy Kingsport advocates for a tobacco-free lifestyle. According to the World Health Organization, there is compelling evidence that setting up 100% smoke-free environments is the only effective way to protect people from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke. Join the 77 other workplaces in Kingsport by posting “Kingsport Healthy Tobacco Free Campus” signage and promoting a healthier generation! Visit our website, Healthykingsport.org, to register to be a tobacco-free campus!
Healthy Kingsport is a non-profit organization dedicated to building a community that actively embraces a healthy lifestyle by promoting wellness, improving infrastructure and influencing policy. Aiesha Edwards is the Executive Director. She can be contacted at [email protected] For programs and events, contact Desteny Clemons at [email protected] This article was written by Jessica Vargo, ETSU Intern from Healthy Kingsport. Contact her at [email protected]