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Dreams of Smoking Cigarettes When Quitting Smoking.

Ex Smoker Waking from smoking dreamIf you find yourself dreaming about smoking cigarettes in the middle of a quit smoking campaign, don’t be alarmed. As this study suggests; it’s an entirely normal phenomenon and one to be expected during both chemical withdrawal and medium to long term recovery.

Dreaming about drug use is very common among almost all forms of recovering drug addict, a fact also confirmed by this study.

Dreaming is a phenomenon not yet fully understood, but most certainly produced by neurological and psychological conditions. When you stop smoking cigarettes, your brain enters a period of intense recovery involving physiological changes to the brain.

Changes driven by a rationalised intent and desire to quit smoking. This desired change comes into direct conflict with primal areas of the brain tricked into believing nicotine and the cigarettes that provide it, are both critical to your survival.

You can expect this conflict to manifest itself as vivid dreams about smoking and relapse while quitting smoking.

This is something I myself experienced while quitting, and is something I see regularly discussed on quit smoking forums and communities. The dreams themselves are extremely vivid, often leaving the dreamer feeling guilty, disappointed and alarmed upon waking.

These negative feelings are often replaced with a great deal of relief once awareness and the realisation it was all just a dream, kicks in.

Personally, I see such dreams as being very beneficial to the healing process. It’s comforting to know that even asleep, the rational part of the brain somehow wrestles against areas of the brain diseased with addiction.

Even if my rational mind didn’t win, the feeling of relief I felt every time I awoke from a smoking dream, reaffirmed my desire to quit. I didn’t need a physical relapse to experience the negative feelings that would come with it.

If you find yourself dreaming about smoking and/or having a relapse, I suggest not viewing it as a negative experience, but rather, a positive one. It is simply another sign you are well and truly recovering and that the wondrous plasticity of your brain is doing its thing.

Dream on!



  1. I’ve Read Maybe A Hundred Online Testimonials About “The Smoking Dream”. Most People Have The Guilt/Relief Experience As Described In This Article. I’m 34 Days Cold Turkey, 25 Year Smoker, No Relapses. I WakeUp Most Mornings Dreaming That I’m Smoking. I Don’t Feel Guilt/Relief, Or Satisfaction Or Pleasure. I Almost Always Feel Nauseous And Scared. I’m Not An ExSmoker Yet, I’m Still A Smoker Who Just Isn’t Smoking. I Hope When I Turn The Corner And Am An ExSmokerThose Dreams Will Stop Or At Least Be Less Frequent.

    • You’re getting there Rebecca. Well done on 34 days, the hardest period is behind you. There are still tough days, but when you really think about those days, they are in all likelihood, equivalent to a good day during the early withdrawal period. The dreams do stop, I haven’t had one for months now. It really is a healing journey, things just gradually keep getting better over time.

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