Managing the Grouch Effect When Quitting Smoking.

Angry ex smoker screaming in extreme rageThe moment a smoker begins to withdrawal from nicotine, they become cranky, irritable and unpleasant to be around. Abstain for too long and they get outright angry. Quit smoking altogether, and well, they become a raging pain in the A$$.


It isn’t the mood swings, irritability and anger that cause a quit to fail, but rather, the quitter’s lack of preparedness and planning.

When you quit smoking, you are going to become more of a grouch than ever before. When you quit smoking, tremendous physiological changes occur within the brain, most of which are unpleasant, annoying and extremely frustrating.

The mood swings we feel when recovering from nicotine addiction are intrinsically connected to our cravings and they are both very predictable side effects of the healing process. They are also one of the more common reasons people use to avoid, delay or abandon a quit smoking campaign.

After all, the increased aggression and frustration is not only going to affect the quitter, but those within the quitters circle as well. Surely this is a valid reason to continue smoking, isn’t it?

The fact is, it isn’t the mood swings, irritability and anger that cause a quit to fail, but rather, the quitter’s lack of preparedness and planning around how to effectively manage this aspect of their quit smoking campaign.

Every ex smoker had to suffer through intense mood swings as they healed from nicotine addiction. Irritability and mood swings are not a justifiable reason to continue smoking.

By coming up with effective strategies to manage the anger, frustration and anxiety, a smoker can heal and become a calm, happy ex smoker.

Managing Irritability and Mood Swings when Quitting Smoking.


Discuss in advance, your quit smoking campaign with loved ones and anyone who will be affected by it.


It is not uncommon for an ex smoker to find him or herself getting angry over the most trivial of things. The journey an ex smoker undertakes when quitting smoking is a long and tedious one, with many ups and downs.

Mood swings mimic cravings and they will peak and trough in the same manner. It is not unusual to see an ex smoker rapidly shift from being calm and happy, to being agitated and angry. It is critical the ex smoker, and those within their social and professional spheres, are prepared for this.

It is best to avoid conflict as much as possible and quickly diffuse any situations that may lead to angry outbursts. This means swallowing pride for all involved. Never press a smoker who is in the thick of quitting, even if the intent is good.

In many cases, saying nothing is better than saying something. Just as cravings pass, so too will the mood swings.


Create as much a personal space as possible, especially during the early stages.


Mood swings and irritability are at their worst during the first stage of chemical withdrawal. Many smokers make the mistake of trying to continue with their everyday lives when they first quit. A nicotine addict needs space and time alone to successfully navigate this process.

Nicotine withdrawal is a personal and private battle. It is advantageous to treat it as such.

Take time off work and spend the first few days as alone and “out of the way” as possible. If you have a partner or family, see if an arrangement can be made where they can spend some time away.

Family, especially children, no matter how much you love them, can seriously get on a quitter’s nerves and create anxiety. It is important to acknowledge that this is not the fault of the loved ones and simply a part of the process.

Having a “retreat” for loved ones such as a close relative or friend that is easily accessible can also be very advantageous.


Get a daily dose of physical exercise.


Daily exercise is extremely beneficial for the mind. It helps hasten the healing process and strengthens the brain. Physical exercise also releases positive endorphins into the brain which go along way to improving mood. Start by committing to a daily twenty minute walk.

Consider visits to a paid therapist.


Having a professional in your corner can really make a difference. Even if only for the sake of sorting out all that excess baggage we carry during our transition to a new and improved life. A professional therapist can also help you to come up with effective strategies in managing behavioural change.


Keep an eye on other factors that may cause mood swings.


Insomnia, depression, caffeine and alcohol addiction can all lead to severe mood swings and irritability. It is not uncommon for smokers to be affected by such conditions and when a smoker quits, these conditions will likely worsen.

If you suffer or begin to suffer from these ailments, you would do well to talk to a health professional and address them separately.



  1. Michelle says:

    Thank you, reading this information helped me to NOT go storming off to the shop for a packet of smokes. I’m sure to return to your site when the next craving/ withdrawal symptom hits.

  2. Short and sweet
    Smoked for 20 years used chantix to quit- took it for 30 days only. I have not had a cigarette for 3 weeks now and I have single handily caused all around me to hate me. Very bad mood swings and just agitation to the point I just want to be by myself because a simple question from a loved one is now a burden to me.

    At first I thought these mood swings were due to chantix but the more I research I relize it’s just a very normal quitters reaction and I’m pretty much right in the middle of when this post says those side effects will appear. Great !!!!

    I thought that I beat the urge to smoke so I was happy, not realizing that just because I don’t smoke does not mean the quitting struggles are over in fact the urge to have a cigarette does not appear as a craving for a cigarette it appears when you yell at your wife to the point of divorce for eating all the chips, i did not realize this until I read this post and others like it advising us quitters that this is not only common but probable to us. Wanted to share my story hope it helps. So much for short and sweet, hopefully it’s still sweet, good luck to all, I’m going to buy some chips.

  3. toddbair says:

    hey its day 13 , pretty cranky but its all starting to get better one of the hardest things ive ever done

  4. michelle marshall says:

    I’m on day 63., I am constantly cranky…don’t quite know how to handle these emotions I’m having, one minute I’m happy the next…noone dare speak or look at me the wrong way. I have lost it numerous times with my partner.,….now he is doubting our relationship down to me!?!?…..I have snapped at the kids but they are now ok with me and I’m learning new ways with them too….I’m still ciggerette fre and still plan to be as I feel healthier, but emotionally….I get frustrated too easily

  5. Jenny L says:

    Luuuuuv this site almost as much as I’d love to have a cig!!! Day 8, such a newbie and bummed to hear people upset at day 60 etc…I do however feel a kinship with people commenting on this site and of course Cameron, your honest comments…….LOVE the scientific literature….I need that…

    I fear I am replacing food with cigs…

    • Hmm, I believe people reaching a low-point around day 60-100 is due to Nornicotine being depleted. While Nicotine is depleted in just 4-5 days, Nornicotine stays in the system and its depletion turns it into Nicotine. After around 60 to 120 days, all Nornicotine has been depleted by the liver, either directly out of the system, or turned into Nicotine. A lot of people feel the same way as they did in the first two weeks after quitting, because of that. It usually comes unexpected to most, and makes 100-day non-smokers question their stamina, and makes them cave in eventually. I believe it’s just a question of expecting this second wave of cravings.

      Hope you stay strong when it hits you…

      • Oh, thank you for saying this. I am on day 69 and for the last couple of weeks have been anxious and depressed like I was the first couple of weeks of not smoking. I couldn’t understand it and felt like I was going crazy. I considered meds for the anxiety which has at times been debilitating. I tried acupunture, but it seemed to stir up more anxiety rather than reduce it. So, now I know I’m not crazy and I just need to ride this out. Thank you!

  6. Amber H says:

    Only on day 4 and wanted to share that this section helped me understand my intense rage then sadness over nothing is normal at this point. It can only get better from here! i’ve found my best bet is to hide in my bedroom and read at night instead of snapping at my husband and kids. Thanks to all who shared their stories!

  7. I just need to keep in mind that the decision to quit smoking was mine. I don’t need to make myself or anyone else suffer because of this decision. The ‘sacred pause’ before opening my mouth to snap works wonders, especially when I take into account that I’m not losing anything, but gaining my freedom.

    • I agree with Patti. I open my mind before I speak. I am on day five and I am about ready to jump out of my skin! What is keeping me going is that cold turkey is the fastest way to quit and that if I go back to smoking, I will have to go through this all over again! No way. I will tough this out.

  8. Wow, so glad I saw this site today. Yesterday was day 2 and I struggled the entire day with my mood, to the point of completely loosing it last night with a major dummy spit. I was in shock with myself last night at my behaviour and couldn’t undterstand why it was happening. Reading this website this morning put it back into perspective, the moods, the anger and definitely the fatigue. I was excited to share this early this morning with my partner, who swiftly informed me “that’s alright babe I knew what was happening, it was the withdrawals causing it”, in shock I asked “why didn’t he tell me”, he said “because I thought you might have stabbed me” And yep I was really that mad. I’m very grateful for an incredibly supportive partner during this process 🙂

  9. This is day 6 I quit smoking cold turkey I feel happy about doing it I just have these weird things going on, like my body feels weird I get tried easy I feel drained and sometimes a sick feeling is anyone else feeling the same way when does everything go back to normal

    • Yeah. I get d sick feeling too. Very cranky. Feel hitting d next walgreens store n buy a pack. But am on day 15 and going strong. I do hope exercising will help though.

  10. Karen freeman says:

    Day 7 tomorrow…my poor son has Bourne the brunt of my erratic moods…apologised to him again today…I hope this phase passes quickly :'(

  11. Day 28 for me…..totally miserable. Over eating…sleep like crap…total grouch.
    Aren’t you suppose to feel better from quitting?
    Not sure I’m gonna make it.

    • Stay strong. 28 days is still a very young quit. Every struggle is worth the freedom you earn once the healing journey is complete. EVERY struggle.

    • Day 60 of not smoking, I have been smoking for 25 years and roughly 20 cigs a day give or take …. sorry to say still feel like the most miserable person on earth……. dont even crave a cigerette any more I just crave being who I used to be, I hate living with myself so dont know how my hubby is living with me …although may have something to do with not speaking to each other for nearly 3 weeks now!!!

      • S.T….I am right with you! I smoked for 28 years. I am on Day 17. I really, really do NOT want to smoke again. I don’t miss the taste or smell, but miss ME. I don’t like the way I feel mentally. I’m not at all myself. I hear people say it will get better. I need that now! First time at this site…and honestly, hearing that people are still having anger, sadness, etc. at 60days…sigh.

  12. Quit smoking 6 days ago and never told my wife I quit. I have been waiting to see if she notices. So far I have been kind of feeding off her ignorance to keep me from smoking. I want to see how long it will take her to realize. But… I am having terrible mood swings and fighting with her over everything. I could really use her support but am afraid if she knows I quit and we keep fighting I might give up and smoke. I wish I knew how long these mood swings are going to last. How can she not tell I’m not smoking?

    • Own up to the fighting, take responsibility for all of it, and apologize. Then tell her you’ve quit smoking, and this is part of the reason for your mood swings. Lean on her for support through this, that’s why she’s your wife, to be there for you when you need her.

  13. Day 8 of not smoking.
    -Can’t sleep
    -Get very angry, even flipped our coffee table

  14. Day 2…I hate that I have no patience. The last time I tried to quit, (a couple of months ago) I started again for the sake of my kids- so I wouldn’t kill them. Starting smoking for the sake of your kids is no something you hear often, but it is true. This time, I am prepared, but no less irritable.

  15. Day 4 I have tried stopping many times but gone back as I’ve turned into a 1st class b@@@h!, I’ve plodded along this time and quite happy I haven’t snapped at my kids or close ones, I started smoking age 12 and now 40, I think this time I really wanted to quit whereas before I didn’t and do think that also helps, good luck everyone :))

  16. Week 5, and my kids are alive and happy. I am in a great mood most of the time, and while I still face difficult moments, I have survived the period of the “grouch effect”. Just thought I would mention this for those of you who are struggling through the first few days.

  17. Feeling ruff on my 52nd day. I felt great last week to a point where I thought I was over this. Today I have already had a go at a few people in the office just because they exist my irritability is at maximum and feel a new wall appear. This article and a spearmint gum has calmed me down just in time.

  18. Week 5……thank God I read this website…..everything is continuing as it is written… addition….I sometimes feel dizzy n weak…is it a part of the quitting process???? Pls advice???

    • Hi Mandy, grats on week 5!

      It is possible the dizziness and weakness is fatigue related and also possibly linked to your quit. I would suggest speaking to your medical practitioner, even if for peace of mind. I kept in regular contact with my doctor throughout the first couple of months. It is good to track the improvements to health as well, as that can be reaffirming.

  19. Smoked for 40 + years and on Jan.1, 2014, decided I’d had enough. 72 days now and certainly better than it was physically and mentally. However still have this throat mucus going on. Have been to Dr. And he thinks it is probably sinus from allergies. Hope he is right, but if not better in few more weeks, I’ll be seeing him again. Great site, thanks for all you do Cameron.

  20. My partner is in his second week, and he has become a nightmare to around. His behaviour is unpredictable and mood s unstable and snappy. Any trivial matter sets him off. As a partner I try not to take offence to the words he uses but it’s hArd, what do I do?

    • Try having safe zones. One thing that’s helping me stay strong (96 hours and 41 minutes) is having a place I can escape to. When I need to retreat I know that no one best be near me. Have that conversation with your partner and establish safe places where he can be alone.

  21. Hi All fellow x smokers, I am smoke free for 6 weeks now, and yes I’m grumpy and it dawned on me then why, I think we have lost that little friend that was a constant in our lives, but Im so pleased I have. Don’t feel any better as yet have certainly put on a few kilos, but will not go back.Such a waste of money. I look at people that smoke and say silently have a puff for me.. My time for smoking is finished..Adieu

  22. I am in my third week of completely quitting, I have not had cravings this time and I think it’s because I really really want to quit this time and also I have looked at the emotional problems that caused me to smoke in the first place and dealt with them before I quit. Now I am in a better place emotionally I do not have the urge to smoke in times of conflict and that has made a huge difference.
    I also noticed a difference in my bank account as I am no longer nipping to the shop for cigs this also means no unneccesary sweets, magazine or other impulse purchases.

    Good luck to every one and like anything that’s worth having it will be hard hard to the point you have no idea why you are putting yourself and others through it but when you realise how much of your life and health you get back (no having to stop for smoke breaks , being able to run for the bus without dying etc) its absolutely worth it.

  23. Juliette Elizabeth Smith says:

    Not enjoying this quitting t all. I’ve smoked for just over 30 years which is all of my adult life and I suppose every day was disrupted by me going off to get my next smoke. For the last few weeks I’ve been getting breathing problems so I’ve actually got to give up whereas before it’s been something I’ve tried to do rather than absolutely needed to do. Anyway I’m now at 84 hours. It’s so hard but I knew it would be. I feel tired, depressed, listless and agitated at different times. I know it sounds ridiculous but in one thought I’m saluting myself for having got this far and in another when I realised there will be no more ciggies for me I feel bereft and miserable. I keep needing to blow my nose and coughing an annoying dry cough. I talk to some people who never look back after quitting and then there are others who still miss it ten years later. My Mum died of smoking related complications so remembering how she suffered is another incentive. It’s just so hard though! Just wondering when I can actually start to appreciate the benefits. My Doctor said you can get worse for six month while all the gunk clears from your lungs and I may even have some chest infections to look forward to.

  24. Jesus Christ I’m less than 24 hours into quitting and it gets harder every time. I’ve tried probably 15 times to quit. Can’t take chantix again. On Wellbutrin and put a patch on this morning when I woke up. I’m sitting here crying because it feels so miserable and hopeless. I am not in a position where I can put my life on hold right now and just go hide in a hole and rage until the worst has passed. Just took this stupid patch off, its just going to drag this whole withdrawal process out longer. I’d rather terrible and faster then slightly easier and longer. I am so DONE with this addiction and the misery of quitting!!!

  25. Thanks to everyone who posts here it has helped me a lot!!! The hardest time for me is at work my co-workers can be little turds lol! Now that I have quit smoking they are big turds!!!! And my wife has been real nice and helpfull she quit like 6 years ago so she just leaves me alone 🙂 thanks again everyone and good luck!!

  26. Jessica says:

    In the past when I have quit I have become such a monster within hours that the people around me ask me to go and buy tobacco! “Nothing is worth this,” they say. (Which is pretty unsupportive, actually, lol).

    This time around I went to a hypnotist. No anger! From the quitting point of view, it has been really easy. 3 weeks in, though, and I am increasingly tired, brain foggy and anxious. Put together with the 14lb weight gain (yes, seriously!!) despite not eating more than I was before (honestly), and after doing a little research, I am going to see my GP tomorrow and ask for a blood test for hypothyroid, which apparently can be masked by smoking as it increases your metabolism. You are something like 4 times more likely to be diagnosed with hypothyroid in the year after quitting than at any other time.

    Mood swings, low mood and irritability can all be part of hypo, if they are ongoing and in conjunction with other things.

  27. F Nawaz says:

    Reading some of these posts made me giggle. I thought I was losing my mind but its ok now because seems there is quite a few of us that are 😀 . I must admit thou the one thing that’s not all that awesome is the “60 days still wana kill someone” thing. I really don’t think my family will survive my behaviour for all that long :-/ . In fact don’t think I’ll survive myself that long. Aaah what a mess we’v gotten ourselves into but on the upside there is this site so we don’t feel like isolated crazies.

  28. When I was going to AA (hey surprise, I had drinking problem too) a guy one time said about recovery, “When you took your first drink or the first time you got drunk, you didn’t become an alcoholic. It took you a long time and a lot of work to get there. It will be the same way getting back.”

    Pretty true.

    Day 10 and counting…

  29. Oh dear. This has been the worst for me (have tried to quit several times before). I’ve snapped several times at my girlfriend and she is getting fed up after day 4. I’m sending myself on a trip next week to meditate in rainforest if Indonesia. It’s scary to read this will be tough for several months. I can’t recommend strongly enough to exercise everyday and eat well….good luck. This sucks but is for the best.

    • Careful in Indonesia, cigarettes are $1.50 a pack, and available EVERYWHERE. Even if you left all your money behind and sat in a tree in the jungle with an orangutan, within 50 metres will be some local fellow, and two out of three locals are smokers and despite their poverty will readily give you a smoke…

  30. 30 days without smoking I am completely crazy mood swings are horrible. I don’t know if I can make it. I yell at my husband and kids all the time even talking a about divorce. My friends and family can’t stand me. Are you sure this is worth it?

  31. Keep reminding ourselves, “this is temporary, it will pass, be patient.” I’m on day 3 if my 4th or 5th attempt. Made it 30 days twice in the past and then failed on day 31 when i tried. to celebrate with a beer. So i have to let drinking go too. i do well on the first half of my day but i work a ssecond job 5 days a week that tests me very much. i spend the entire shift reminding myself that my coworkers are good people and it would be wrong to just walk out on them. i keep quiet, try to focus on my work, and look forward to getting back to my usual positive self. stick with it everyone, it will so be worth ten extra years of memories !

  32. My husband quit 8 weeks ago. It’s a good thing I read this now. I have been having serious thoughts of leaving him. Actually nothing would please me more now than just giving him the heave ho. He is so unbearable and mean and he picks fights with me all the time about little things. I can’t believe I’m with someone so nasty. I’ve never had to quit smoking myself so I have no idea what it’s like. I can’t imagine living like this for the rest of my life. If we didn’t have a kid together I’d probably be gone already.

  33. Marianne says:

    Completed day 5… urr feeling cranky and agitated

  34. My wife and I have decided to quit together for our health, for our child and for our wallets’ health. We are both smokers. She has been smoking since age 16 and I have been smoking since age 30 (yeah I know, should have never started). We are in our late 40s now. It is going on week 3. We just completed our regimen of Chantix. The cravings for the cigs themselves are all but gone. Still I feel the habitual cravings such as; “it would be nice to have a cig with my coffee, or the phone is ringing, I would like to pick up a cig, or I am bored, I want a cig, or I am hungry but there is no food in the fridge; have a cig.” They are controllable as long as we remain conscious of those triggers. HOWEVER WE ARE AT EACH OTHER’S THROATS pretty much all of the time. We snap at each other all of the time for virtually no reason. It is just terrible. We have, or at least I have even considered a trial separation or divorce. I have become an a-hole to be around, and she is being a biach. It is not helping that we are going through other issues related to the poor economy. I have not had full time work for 4 years now, only getting part time work here and there, though I have a(n) MBA, BA and numerous IT certs. I had a great work life prior to my layoff in 2009. The quit smoking thing is also making me very tired, listless, often depressed and hopeless. My wife is doing a bit better on that front, because at least she has a full time job as a teacher. We just can’t make ends meet. Cigs are expensive and yet I am ready to go back to smoking so as not to keep snapping at my wife and my 6 year old wonderful child. I keep seeing the 30, 60 day posts and still grouchy… not very encouraging. Knowing the truth should help us press on. We quit a few years back for an entire year. I don’t remember us having have snapped at each other as much, though time heals everything. We started smoking after having to sell our house (and it dropping through 5 escrows before it did sell) due to the economy.

  35. Day 14: slightly cranky (okay to be honest, just the sound of someone else breathing is making me want to punch them in the face!), crying over the most irrational things (my partner found me hysterical on the kitchen floor yesterday because ‘I couldn’t paint the hallway wall’) there does not seem to be enough food in the world to satisfy my hunger (I have a 3 day rule but just ate soup thats a week old!) yet I’m feeling accomplished. I’m 30 years old, I started smoking when I was 14 and I have never gone 14 days without a cigarette until now. 5 years ago I watched my mother die from lung cancer and I still didn’t quit. I woke up 2 weeks ago and thought I’m done,I decided to do this for me, I want to be able to breathe again, I want to walk without taking my puffer with me, I want to taste again and I NEVER want to put someone who loves me through the pain of watching me die from an illness I caused myself. In saying that I am constantly fighting off the thoughts ‘just one more cigarette’ but thoughts are just thoughts and they come and go. I’m ridiculously blessed to have such an understanding partner who is supportive and kind even though I go from crying to psycho in .10 seconds. The thing thats keeping me going – the feeling of taking a deep breath and holding it without a coughing fit!!

  36. Saurabh bhargava says:

    I am on day 13 after my last smoke. I guess what is helping me is use of Nicotine chewing gum. I take 3 – 4 gums a day. When there is a long gap I get ready to blow my top off. So I know time has come to take a gum. I have found that it is better to use gums as they help you get off “additional stuff” they put in cigarette like Tar. I believe I will be able to off gums as we’ll in 3 – 4 months. I did this in 2010. Went off for 6 months but made a stuuuuupid mistake of accompanying a smoker friend of mine to smoke zone outside office. This time I am planning to stay away from pubs and will do my drinking at home. 107 more days to go.

  37. Saurabh bhargava says:

    Bottom line (if any) is that the journey of quitting is a personal journey thru hell going to heaven. NO one not even your partner (in my case my wife of 12 years) can understand what u r going through. So use every crutch you can get, namely (in my case) Nicotine gums.

    PS : I am in India and Nicotine tablets are not available here. Hence the gums.

  38. Hello everyone, I am on day 3 and for the most part I am just tired. Please do not get discouraged by my story because in the end you will understand why I say this. June 25, 2011 I quit smoking and I went two years without smoking a cigarette. How did I successfully quit for 2 years? It is all about psychology. You take something so small and unharmful like a sucker, and you make that the need you feel the urge for; in other words you are replacing your addiction for another that wont hurt you. You no longer NEED a cigarette, you NEED a dum-dum sucker! Watch the relief you get from that sucker. Now, the hard question that you must be asking. Why on earth did you start smoking again??? I challenged my addiction. Sounds like stupidity right? I thought because I beat it for two years I would push my luck and see if “one” little cigarette would cause me to relapse. Well, it did, so once you are two years in and the thought of smoking is as fleeting of a thought as the shirt you wore last friday night, STAY AWAY. Do not go down that road. Once you have quit for even 6 months, the desire for a cigarette is a fleeting thought and will always remain that way. I quit for 2 years, played with fire, was caught up for this past year, now here I am again quitting. This time is different, though, I know what to expect and it has helped me to keep my cool better than the last time. I wish you could pick my brain to see how amazing life is without cigarettes. Juat remember this, when you we a kiddo 5, 6, 7 years old and you weren’t smoking, you were alive and well. If you quit smoking, you will live on. Everything will he okay……just breath!


  39. Alexis Touyz says:

    Hi other ex smokers. Im on day 25. Quit cold turkey. I can’t stop crying. Everything is upsetting. I am in emmotional overwhelm. This is hard. I find the head stuff worse than the physical withdrawl. Did I mention I also broke my tailbone. I hurt a lot
    Reading about all of ypu has helped. I dont feel quite ad crazy or alone

    • Tonzkie D says:

      Hi all ex-smokers. I’m very happy to have passed by on this site. It gives me some insights what it really feels to have ceased from smoking. I’m now in my 36th day quit cold turkey. For the last couple of weeks until this time, I am greatly worried because I feel something very unusual with myself. I feel very low, easily get angry, have a great fear of something that doesn’t happened yet which triggers my anxiety and even to the point of depression I think. It has been said that this occurrence varies from one person to another. Hopefully I could recover from the ill feelings soonest. Thanks God that My wife and daughter have been very supportive since I relayed to them the quit and the way I feel. Again, thanks so much to all the sharers, your shares have greatly helped me a lot in coping the situation.

  40. Three weeks really angry,

    • I get angry too. At first I thought I was going crazy then I found this website. It helps to know there are others out there that are going trhrough the same thing. I’m at a little over three weeks – it gets better.

  41. I used to smoke hand rolled, filterless. The hard stuff. Three weeks into quitting, two weeks cold turkey. I am foggy, irritable, and unproductive.

    I’m young enough to where I haven’t been smoking more than 1/3 of my life, but it’s not easy. Still, I can’t help but not that about three days ago, I smiled again, for a bit. I am getting better – it’s just slow going.

    So savor the moments you feel good. Remember that you’re starting to get a handle on it, and treat yourself. Gain 10 pounds – if you don’t think you can diet and exercise it off, just remember: if you can quit smoking, you can do anything.

    This is the ultimate test of self-control and it will make you disciplined. Quitting smoking is just step one in becoming a stronger, better person. So celebrate how awesome the you that exists today is, because you’re doing this. The idiot you who got yourself addicted is dead – you are new, you are strong, and you will conquer something other people can’t even wrap their brain around.

    Smoking is bad for you. Quitting smoking sucks, but it’s like a training montage for self-control and self-efficacy. Being strong enough to quit is even better than never starting. It combines the ability to admit your mistakes with the strength to correct them. So remember, you’re a winner just for trying. You’re a champion, if you do it.

  42. Week three – a bit cranky and chest feels heavy which has been going on for a couple of days now. I get tired easily and want to eat everything in sight but I am managing it. I have been smoking for 35 years and although it’s tough I feel like I am proving something to myself – I can do this. I can really, really do this. The mood is up and down. Some days I feel euphoric and others I just want to be left alone. This too shall pass is what I tell myself. Food tastes better and I can smell things – sometimes that’s not good if it’s a smelly co-worker with onion breath but at least I can smell it AND – I don’t smell like an ashtray anymore, I’m saving roughly $9.80 every two days because I don’t have to buy cigarettes anymore. I am enjoying getting more excercise and my husband has been very, very patient with me. Life is good. For those of you going through the QUIT – Keep up the good work and keep the faith. YOU CAN DO IT.

  43. Hello,l am now on day 38 of weedless confusion. After 37 years of professional tobacco addiction l just got sooo fed up of feeling like crap in the morning. Waking up not being able to breathe but living with the idiotic fact that the first waking thought l have is to roll a ciggie. Nowhere near out of the woods yet and taking nothing for granted but it really does help to remember how pathetic and stupid this addiction is! But serious too l guess. l am 50 years old next year and generally in better health than l probably deserve to be. I look on it as playing Russian Roulette and being incredibly lucky for this long…..eventually we run out of luck!!!

    The first few days I have to say were a breeze. Didn’t give a damn what l ate and ate a lot of it!!! But on week 2, l started to be someone l didn’t know. Strange to say the least. Really sad and depressed and at times l was acting like a spoiled brat. I gradually came out of this phase about a week ago,most of my friends intact and no one buried at the bottom of my garden. l am not the wisest man in the world but my advice to anyone going through this phase is to just hang on in there. You will be human again soon and probably a better version of who you were before. Read all the sites like this you can. They have helped me so much to get this far. It is a big thing we do when we give up tobacco/nicotine and l wish everyone all the luck in the world who is trying to quit now.

    PS. I bought myself a guitar today for being a clever boy…..and my lovely neighbour some Nordic Walking Poles for her birthday next month….as a reward for not setting fire to my house with me in it!!! Good luck

  44. Three weeks today and I’m so damn cranky. I could kill my husband for breathing. I quit cold turkey, the first three days were not this bad. I can go from happy to wanting to punch someone….in a matter of seconds. Hearing him eat, breathe, scratch his leg and I’m seeing red. Ugh, I do hope this will pass.
    On a positive note, I can smell, taste, and breathe better. I honestly feel like I can conquer the world. I am starting an exercise program tomorrow since I’m eating everything in site, maybe that will help with the mood swings too.
    I will not start back. I have come to far to let this addiction beat me. I am better than an addiction. I am stronger than any addiction. My addiction WILL NOT beat me, I will beat my addiction and ….YOU WILL TOO!!!!!! Best wishes to y’all! 🙂

    • Had to laugh…. but hope your husband is ok!!! Hope you are too and keep going. Isn’t beating the hell out of this habit/addiction just a great feeling? Beat the addiction Kristie,not your husband 🙂

  45. Having a really rough time. I am on Chantix, but instead of picking a quit date and sticking to it, I smoked one or two cigarettes a day for about 2 weeks. Better than the pack to two packs a day that I was smoking, but not really quitting either. Today is my second day without having smoked any cigarettes and I am just about climbing the walls. All I do is cry or fly into rages. Thank God I live alone so I don’t have to subject my foulness on anyone else, but I am ashamed to admit that my dog got on my last nerve and I hit her so hard that I knocked her to the floor. I hope she forgives me. You see, the thing is……I really didn’t WANT to quit. I really like smoking, as stupid as that sounds. I quit because I felt I SHOULD quit. I really don’t think I’m going to make it because that isn’t a good enough reason. And all the things they tell you to do, like exercise? I freaking HATE exercise in any form. Do something with your hands, they say. Like punch someone’s face in? Oh, I am definitely not going to make it

  46. Day 33 the worst by far the first few weeks were bad I made it threw it and I thought I was in the clear boy was I WRONG!!!! My anger is so bad it scares me, I sleep a few he’s every day everything I eat or drink taste nasty. My kids they try to stay clear from me and my wife god bless her she hasn’t kicked me to the curb yet. When they say its ur battle to quit no it’s everyone around you battle to quit, the smallest things that normally wouldnt bother me just set me off, people staring at me not using there turn signals just stupid stuff.I’m glad to c that this is a part of quitting smoking, and I’m not alone I’m glad there places to go to c what others r going threw and can vent
    Thank you and stay strong

  47. 5th day and give me strength ….want to breathe and run miles without fearing that I will have an attack. I wont smoke again…

  48. Hey, I have quit for about 29 Days and i am about 28 years have been smoking for about 5 years started it in my final year of engineering and Man i am Cranked up with so much Anger . I really wish to go back to everyone after i am done with this journey and want to go up to each person and say sorry to all of em and explain em. I use to be an ever smiling person and always positive and quitting smoking has made me go thru soo much. I would surely never want to go through all of this Again !!!! An anyone have an idea by about how many days or weeks we grow out of the anger

  49. Hazel Bartoszek says:

    Its been 6 weeks for me since I quit cold turkey after 40 years ,The first month was easy then I felt like I was in hell ,emotionally I’m a wreck ,depression ,anxiety and just being plain mean .I thought I was going crazy till I found this site ,I feel better knowing I’m not the only one going through this , I won’t give into it .

  50. I have smoked for 40 years and it is only my 3rd day. Its already hard and have strong cravings, and am starting to feel sick. Mood swings have started, and am almost constantly crying, But after visiting this site and reading the comments, i have been scared but also given a new dedication to continue on quitting. I wont give in.

  51. Day 4. Dying for a smoke. Oh boy. Still crying but trying to hang on.

  52. 26 minutes into day 6.

  53. Hazel Bartoszek says:

    Good for you Netty I found when I want a smoke I have a strong peppermint ,it really seems to help .2 months clean for me .

  54. 2 weeks on Monday. Been smoking 10 years. I haven’t felt aggression and irritability like this since I was a teenager. Jeez. Nice to know people out there going through the same. Stay strong friends.

    • Also 2 weeks Monday (yesterday)…but not cold turkey, on patches. So really the battle begins when I ditch those. I have booked a counselor for a 10 week program and further ‘after sales’ service during what I expect to be a lengthy campaign. Also dropped alcohol 2 weeks ago, so a double banger.

  55. Hi how is everyone doing? Well it is my 26th day and still going strong. The cravings i get can be quite overwhelming still. My bad moods are still here but not as often and not as bad as they were in the first week. Thank God. Well im now hoping i can get through xmas day. Wish me luck. Merry Christmas everyone and a Happy New Year. Keep on keeping on

  56. I have not quit as yet but am on day 3 of only having 1 smoke per day and am about ready to tear people heads off, can’t stop crying and am so aggressive. I want to quit so badly to benefit me and my Health! Does it really get easier once you stop? What else can I do to prepare for this journey? Any tips would be appreciated ☺️Thanks

  57. I’m at the end of day two. Man oh man is this addiction a monster. I quit for my family, but my husband is being a complete a$$hole to me. He is not a person who can help you cope with things. He says “just do it”. That doesn’t help me at all. He makes me want to smoke. Anywho, I hope this gets better.

    Just by finding this site has helped my mood and keep my mind off my cravings. I’m using sunflower seeds to keep my mouth busy, it seems to be helping, but the crying, aggitation, and mood swings are another story. I can’t cope with those yet. I’m tired and lightheaded most of the time and crying or angry with EVERYTHING other times.

    I wish everyone on this journey a complete success and thanks for posting your comments, it helps a lot.

  58. I’m so grateful for finding this website. I’m approaching 120 hours of being smoke free. Day one and two were a breeze. I kept a positive frame of mind, telling myself that the nicotine and carbon monoxide were leaving my body. Things however started going south from day 3. I’ve been crying at the drop of a hat, I’ve kicked my three dogs out of the house (they’re now sleeping in the garage and are rather traumatised I must add), we don’t have winter in my country but still-

    I must say that I was very naive about this cold turkey thing. I thought you just said I’m done and you put down the last ciggy. The doctor put me on some anxiety meds for the evenings. In the meantime, when the urge to smoke comes, usually at the most inopportune times, I read and reread the health benefits of cessation. It helps me to put in perspective that I’m on to a good thing.

    On a brighter note, I’m breathing better, smelling better..One day at a time.

  59. Hi everyone, I am on day 12 of quitting cold turkey and just want to curl up in a ball and be by myself.. I cant though because we have 5 young kids. I don’t want a smoke but I’m sooo angry and feeling depressed and frustrated. I feel hungry but I don’t want anything we have in. How crap is this? I cant believe how much these cigs take over us. We will win though! All the best to everyone.

    • Keep taking the next breath Nicole. For you and the family THIS is the most important thing you have ever done for them.You are well on your way and doing so well.Keep at it and l promise it will get better. Good luck!!!

  60. I have been smoke free for three + months and i feel terrible. I am severely agitated by everyone around me and have no inclination to be nice. I feel terrible after i snap at someone but by the time my irritability has passed and i see how trivial my issue was it is too late to apolagize. I dont understand why i am still feeling this was after 3 months. I feel like i quit yesterday and am still experiencing intense cravings where i have to isolate myself from others to get through them. At the beginning my family understood my mood swings but now its been long enough they arent so quick to forgive. Im not sure what to do about this anymore.

    • Oh my goodness you poor thing I am 2 months and feel like you…… I was hoping it would get easier!!! I found the first 5 weeks relatively easy compared to the last 3 ….. how unfair is that…. feel not one benefit apart from saving $100 per week…… health wise nothing…. I dont even know the person I am!! Good luck Sam stick with it ….. surely it must get easier !!!

  61. Me again. Day 17. I quit in the past, 2X, both times lasted 3 months. Both times, I started because something pissed me off. This time, I want to do it for me, for my health. I was diagnosed 1 yr. ago with the beginning of COPD. I have a 23yr old daughter. Someday I may be a grandmother. Someday, I would want to sing lullaby’s to those babies, without runnin’ out of breath or coughing. I have good days and bad, but every day, I feel like I lost who I am. My husband & I went for a mile walk 2 days ago and I was able to keep up with him, without gasping for air. I could smell things I normally wouldn’t. It felt good. Today though, I have motivation to do anything. Jumped in the shower thinking it would give me a boost. I ended up standing in the shower crying.
    It’s bad when you start rationalizing with yourself with, “well, we all have to die of something.” Or I think of an uncle I had who smoked 5pks a day (no idea how he did that) and he lived into his late 70’s & his death wasn’t from smoking.
    Guess, I have to take things literally, minute by minute….hour by hour. And hope there are no fatalities when & if I return to my former self.

  62. Hello I love this entire sight. Have been smoke free for 5 days now and this is some serious withdrawal. My fiancé has been invaluable to me today letting me literally sob all over him for two hours for no apparent reason. Over the course of the week I have accused him of wanting a younger woman, and trying to avoid me ( which I certainly would understand) . He continues to calm and supportive through the storm that I am taking nothing I say or do personally whilst speaking positive words on me continually. Right now I despise myself but I know he loves me and I am so lucky and blessed to have his unwavering support and the support of this sight. Nicotine withdrawal is horrendous. Those two things help me keep moving forward. All to gain, nothing to loose….

    • Thank you thank you thank you. I do the same thing…but I am in a relationship with a smoker so I’m farther apart from him…and he blocked me on his phone and Facebook because my words are very negative…self hating, fatalistic, accusatory…you knoe , things becoming of a delicate flower. But it’s nice to know im not alone in being a complete you know what woth nicotine withdrawals.

  63. 15 days smoke free. So far it hasn’t been too bad. Hardest part is dealing with my husband’s mood swings (his day 12), makes me feel like shit and get grumpy and depressed . We are both taking Champix (week 4). The best thing i have done is read – EASYWAY to quit smoking by Allen Carr. Wow what a difference this has made compared to previous attemps, patches, gum, zyoban, champix, hypnosis, cold turkey., you name it I’ve tried it. This time I know I will succeed. I am already a non smoking!

  64. Lorraine says:

    I quit 14 days ago with the patches. The dreams I have keep me tired. I have always made it 3 months then I get mad and something gives in me. I have never given up and I never will. My health and life are worth more than those damn cigarettes. I have been nasty and lucky I have a job and husband left. I exercise regularly and it helps.

    • I have about 70 days now. Nothing affected me in the beginning, but now I have them RAGE inside of me. Every teeny weeny things bothers me. Look at me funny and you may not live. IS this going to go away?

      • Dani-I don’t have your answer but I wanted you to know
        That I am in the same boat! I had 60 days on Friday 9/18, and
        I am one hostile man. When people mess with me I want to
        burn their house down. I have to laugh at most of this, though…
        I know its because of no nicotine! Sometimes I laugh…sometimes I look for the matches. All the Best, Jeff

        • I am curious. How are the mood swings now?

        • I am so laughing. I have just had to leave work and avoid any contact with another human and I am day 16. I thought I was doing so well and then this temper I have is just crazy. I GET THE need for burning down the house.

          Not helpful when your a caring Social worker lol!!!

          • Robyn Hogeweg says:

            4 days in and I am one crazy lady! Find myself cursing at the radio for playing a song I don’t like, my laptop, basically, everything. Laughing about how nuts it is, but also really not enjoying the rage. This too shall pass…it has too.

      • I too am around 75 days and am very on edge still!! I am crabby with my kids and I hate it. I feel like I’d rather smoke than be crabby with them for no reason. Help!!

        • After two months plus you might want to consider that you may just be an angry person and address that. There’s no way you’re still experiencing withdrawal associated with changing Brian chemistry.

  65. all i want to do is quit quitting.. 3 weeks to the day and i feel no better now than i did on the first day. i have smoked 45 years so i guess i should expect it to be hard but when i have succeeded in the past (always for 6 months before relapsing) it seemed to be easier. sorry needed a rant.

  66. I have been nicotine free for five months now. Why am I so angry at the drop of a hat. I never was this way before. I used Chantix to quit and have been off of that for two moths now. My wife is very concerned and so am I. if things don’t change soon our relationship will be in the crapper. Neither of us wants that!

    • Am in the same boat. No problem quitting, even without any assistance. 3 months into it and i suddenly have an uncontrollable rage. As I’m writing this I have been calming myself over the last 4 hours, just enough to be able not to scream at anyone. And I don’t know what triggered it. Professional help might be a good idea in case it gets worse, I know I am considering it at the moment.

  67. I am trying to quit and haven’t even gotten through an entire day without smoking. I have a patch on and have been “non inhaling” cigarettes. OMG. I am so angry. This is an issue and I don’t know what to do about it. I just tried to vacuum and my vacuum cleaner is now in my driveway in 15 pieces. HELP

  68. I am the partner of a smoking-quitter, he has now reached 38 days but his mood swings are so severe….anyone got any advice on what to do or how to help?

    • I know what you mean, my husband gave up 2 months ago and after 20 years together (I don’t smoke) I am finding this one of our toughest challenges. The kids have never seen us argue so much and I usually try to be supportive and hold my tongue but it’s like I am walking on glass. Some days I just wish he would start smoking again, which is terrible!!! But his mood swings are driving me crazy. Bit of a rant and I know it must be so hard for him but wow, it’s testing all our patience.

    • Regular exercise, deep breathing and meditation. All contribute significantly to my personal ability to remain reasonably sane. If I had to choose only one them I would say exercise is probably the most significant in terms of making myself tolerable to my family. It relieves the build up of tension that occurs when you are trying to abstain from something like nicotine and it releases endorphins which also provide a calming effect.

  69. Today is my day 8 of cold turkey. After a trip to the urgent care because I couldn’t catch my breath(bronchospasm) I decided it was time to stop. After 20 years of smoking I’m finding the hardest thing is filling the times when I would be smoking with something else. I’ve been chewing so much gum my jaw hurts, lol, and the mood swings are getting a little ridiculous. Just thought I’d post and distract myself for a few minutes. Good luck to everyone trying, I know there are greener pastures up ahead for all of us.

  70. Just wanted to add to the “you can do it” sentiment.

    I smoked for years, did patches and gum off and on for years in between half hearted efforts to quit, and vaped for about a year and a half. After the glands in my neck started to swell and make me nervous I decided enough was enough.

    I bought 2weeks each of 21mg , 14mg and 7mg and stepped down. I finished those patches about three weeks ago and have been nicotine free ever since.

    The only side effect I still struggle with is irritability. I call it “irritability” but it’s a little closer to a psychotic fit where I seek to smash every relationship in my life in to oblivion. Other than that things are going really well 🙂

    My point is not to scare anyone rather it’s to communicate that:
    1) Yes, this is tough.
    2) You are not going insane because you suddenly decide you want to divorce your spouse after you quit.
    2) Yes, it is worth it. (quitting not divorcing your spouse)
    3) Yes, you need to think through some new coping skills for dealing with anxiety and anger.

    The best new skills I have found have been exercise, meditation and rapid deep breathing. The rapid deep breathing is especially useful as the light headedness produced almost mimics what it feels like to get a “head rush” from nicotine. Just do it somewhere private. Keep sipping in as much air as you can hold in your lungs, hold it for a moment and let it out slowly.

    I can’t imagine trying to do this without exercise. Just a tip for those that think they can just white knuckle it through. You need some sort of physical release. I found no cognitive way to relieve the tension that builds up and accumulates as a result of trying to abstain from something your body is screaming for. The only thing I know of that does that is regular exercise.

  71. Roslyn jib says:

    Hi its my 4th day without smoking & it feels great! The 1st & 2nd was the hardest, I probz slept twice during the day as i felt nauseated.
    When the cravings flair up I take deep breaths & drink water, & think why I want to give up this dirty habit!
    Keep up the good work guys & I am very proud of my self 🙂

  72. OK – HELP!! I am the partner of a quitter. He is 30 years old and has been smoking for over 10 years. Its been 6 days now. He comes home from work, lays on the couch, falls asleep, doesn’t take a shower or help with house chores (after promising to do so). Then he is DICK to me when I confront him about this in the morning, after sleeping alone and being pissed off that the kitchen is a mess. I’m feeling so depressed. I’ll take help from anyone, smoker or partner of a quitter. Thank you.

    • I feel ya. My husband is on his third day of quitting. He is using a vape to get his nicotine. (Please, readers, don’t tell me how this will NOT replace the soothing action of putting a cigarette to your mouth or how vaping is NOT a quitting aid. *I know.*)
      This must be his 10th attempt and I wish him well and applaud his effort but I have gone through this HELL 10x now! If I weren’t disabled (MS), I’d be gone.
      And that’s my advise to you. Don’t confront, LET the kitchen be a mess for a month or so so, and go out – to a movie. with your girlfriends, on a solo vacation.

  73. I don’t smoke but my husband used to and he uses the pouches. I would love for him to quit but when tries he has terrible mood swings and I always seem to be the target of the anger. We have four kids and I don’t think it’s healthy for them to see their father scream at me like a drill sergeant. He gets this way even when he merely runs out of chew for a few hours. Any advice would be appreciated.

    • I am a reformed smoker and all of the mood swings etc. are normal. It can continue for up to 6 months. The quitter needs alone time and his/her support system (families Inc) need to give them space and be understanding. The psychological part of it is partially because mentally the addiction is telling them they can’t make it. The mind wants them to fail. (That is the addiction). Although it is difficult when children are involved, it is good for children to see what an addiction can do to someone. After all, cigarettes are a drug. In time, it will show the children what it takes to have perseverance and they should be proud of him!! Moods are no reason to start smoking or use something else. This is the addiction wanting you to fail!

  74. on my day 2, I was being a total dick to my family. Spoke so much bad things that now I’m praying my wife doesn’t leave me.
    This has been very hard time, and I totally lost control. I am a person who would normally be calm and never provocative. I went berserk anyhow…
    Please get ready for mood swings. For me it was anger that took complete control.

    • Julie Zalesky says:

      I did the same thing last night to my husband but he is also trying to quit at the same time as me so we get very volatile. Good luck and just try and do things on your own for a while, I have decided that that is what I am going to do. Shops here I come. I love my husband but lately everything he does irritates me and vice versa.

  75. I am now a non smoker for 45 days. Anger and sadness was a huge issue for me. EVERYTHING annoyed me or made me cry. My husband has experienced my moods in previous attempts and I can tell you that while he was supportive, he did not enjoy of the wide swing of moods. The best advise I can give the poor spouse is ” give the person who is quitting a lot of space.” We are running the gamut of intense emotions even we don’t understand. I spent a lot of time just staying away from ppl and a lot deep breathing. The moodiness was pretty much over after 30 days for me. Good Luck!

  76. I can’t see how someone with kids can fail to quit once diagnosed with an illness like that.

    • Josh, it’s so hard!! I have four teenagers, and I am fighting the battle of quitting due to a diagnosis of COPD and emphysema. It’s hard…

  77. I enjoyed reading everyone’s comments. Thank you for sharing. I am on day 15 of my cold turkey quit and I’m feeling pretty good. In the past I have tried patches, gum and lozenges. I would make it for a while, but never really expected it to work. This time, I am TTC which is a great motivator. I watched an hour long Allen Carr video on YouTube a million times. It was quite helpful. Hope my quit sticks and yours too.

  78. Hey everyone, I wanted to update for a comment I previously posted. I’m now at 2 and a half months smoke/nicotine free. The first several weeks were the hardest but after a while it became a challenge to myself to see how many craving I could overcome. And each time I felt I had more control. There a couple if times after having a few drinks that I almost smoked but I stranded by my conviction and decided not too. I found a quit smoking app that helped alot, it kept track of duration of not smoking and how many cigarettes I hadn’t smoked. Anyways, long story short, just make the decision that it is a lifestyle change. You’re not quitting smoking, you’re becoming a non smoker. Don’t think that one day you’ll be able to smoke again, think about how many years you’ll add back to your life, hell think about how you’ll be able to smell things again and breathe without wheezing. Good luck to all of you in the first couple of days/weeks. The cravings will pass and you’ll start feeling better.

  79. So I made it three days last week before I broke down and bought a pack. Now I’ve started again on day one and I’m already beside myself. I have a five page essay that I should be writing, but all I can think about is how bad I want a cig. So I’ve been googling tips for dealing with cravings and mood swings for the past hour, hoping to find some advice or at the very least distract myself a little. I’ve quit once before but I only made 4 months and I honestly don’t remember it being this difficult. This shot is brutal, I’m guna have to make sure this is the last time I quit. And remember how I’m feeling now wen I think about relapsing. Anyways just need to rant for a while I suppose, aha and I actually feel a little better now.

    • I did not succeed until after my 13th time of quitting! Never quit quitting! Take one day at a time. Never look into the future!!! One day at a time. Each time you quit, you would be able to make it a little longer than the last time. Good luck!!

    • I read somewhere that the cravings only last an average of 3 minutes. It feels like forever, but knowing this helped me tremendously!! Set a timer, or start yourself on a task that you know will take longer than 3 minutes. You can totally do it!! I quit smoking for the third time about 4 and a half weeks ago. It wasn’t super hard for me, at least not that I know of. I wonder, though, if my coworkers feel the same…

  80. Julie Zalesky says:

    I am only on Day 15 and am really irritable all the time. I had a hissy fit last night over hardly anything. My husband is also trying to give up at the same time so multiply these mood swings by 2. I hope we can get through this. Any tips ??

  81. Whoa… what the F is happening to me?! Day 18. chewed tobacco for 17 years. despite the fact that all I do is eat constantly… the rage is what bothers me most. I’m afraid that this is who I am without nicotine. last night, I was arguing with my wife over the most trivial bullshit and I even got a little aggressive, which is not cool. but yet, I felt some relief by releasing some of that energy and angst. maybe i need to get into MMA or some shit. all i want to do now is drink a bottle of whiskey and put my fist through some walls. like, really? all of this over f’ing nicotine?

  82. My husband just quit 5 days ago and is already snapping at everybody. I have supported him thru this process before, yet each time, he started again, This time, he ended up in the ER with respiratory infection and he quit cold turkey. I get that it is so hard for the smoker, and such, but I feel really hostile that because of his darned bad habit, we all have to deal with it. He refuses gum or patches. Very stubborn. But, the kids and I are trying to be patient and offer encouragement…. kinda hard when someone is constantly crabby. After 25 years of smoking, I am hoping and praying he quits for good this time.

    • I’m at 28 days cold turkey, no Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)…over 35+ years at 20~ cigarettes a day. Nicotine is a drug, I am a nicotine addict (as are ‘most’ other smokers). Providing NRT continues to feed the addiction; however, at a much lower rate than the individual is accustomed; therefore, the individual will remain in state of constant withdrawal (never achieving peak) during NRT. Upon removal of the NRT, that’s when the nicotine is removed from the system (within 72 hours~) and physiological withdrawal symptoms manifest…if possible: avoid NRT, it prolongs the suffering, and sets up an individual for relapse.
      Meditation and exercise may help with the psychological withdrawal symptoms. Keep in mind that nicotine has been messin’ with your dopamine release and uptake while you have been smoking…it will take time to repair and ‘rewire’ the neural network. IMHO, it all comes down to dopamine and serotonin.
      With respect to meditation and the early days of quitting…prior to my quit, I drastically reduced my level of nicotine for a few days and meditated upon the cravings. After a few days of investigating and learning/exploring feelings from the cravings, I quit cold turkey. I didn’t have any cravings when I actually quit: I was ready for them, I already ‘knew’ them, and I was at peace knowing that I could deal any craving…I think that I may have ‘scared’ them away? Hey, it worked for me. Perhaps cravings and ego respond similarly to mindfulness exploration, or the cravings are egoic in nature?

      Best of Luck to all of us recovering nicotine addicts…Never Take Another Puff

  83. ritadeane says:

    being the other half of an ‘attempting to quit, quitter” feels like standing quite still while someone slaps the hell out of you for something they did! (emotionally not literally)and who will be my punching bag when I feel at the end of my rope???
    One must find something humorous to laugh at while the thunder rolls! If you love them you’ll stand by them and see them through and one day say hey! You owe me!

  84. Quitting smoking has made me a nasty, mean person and I’m starting to think that this is not going to go away and that I’m just an asshole who learned to cope by becoming a smoker. I don’t know what to do. Get healthier, and be a person that nobody wants to be around, or be a physically sick person who’s nice.

  85. Gail P. says:

    I quit smoking cold turkey 7 weeks ago. I cried the first three days because it was so hard and I wanted a cigarette so bad. The reason I quit was because I had my first grandson and my daughter told me that it was bad for a newborn to be around a person that had smoke on their clothes and on their body. I will never smoke again …that is what I say to myself when I want a cigarette which really is just about every time I get in my car….still…..after 7 weeks. I have quit in the past and it was never this hard. I never want to go through this again. I know now that I am an addict to the nicotine (Just like an alcoholic or drug addict)…..and I will take it day by day and eventually some day I will not want a cigarette. But I know that I will NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF! Good Luck to everyone and do a lot of deep breathing and grunting….it helps!


    Day 61 here…
    Lots of ups and downs. I’m having a really hard time today. I want a smoke SO BAD! I used NRT and have been off it for about 3 weeks. I’ve been very irritable to everybody and everything. Almost everything is pissing me off. This general anger that started right after I quit smoking hasn’t gone away and just seems to be getting worse! I wasn’t an angry person before I started smoking. But now that I have quit, I cannot get rid of this desire to punch and throw everything everywhere at everyone. I do have good days too, but there is a LOT of anger. More than I thought I would have in this stage of quitting which is pissing me off too! I just want to relieve myself and smoke again. But I won’t! I just hope this anger inside starts to diminish sometime soon – for my sake and everyone/everything around me.


      Hey guys just an update. No smoke here. I seemed to have gotten passed that really tough day I was having when I posted this. I have a development, though. I figured out that’s its not that I AM angry, its just that my tolerance for BS is really really low since I quit. When I find everything around me annoying, it’s hard to not get angry. I just used cigarettes as a method of coping with it instead of dealing with the annoyances around me. Since I’ve figured this out, I am working on getting those annoyances out of my life. Not Another Puff…!

  87. My fiancé has been on these tableds by his doctor , he has been smoking for 30 years and a strong smoker, he has been on these tableds for about 12 weeks now . His was at mood swings are so bad and high temper . I try to support him but he shuts me off . He said he put a cig in his mouth yesterday while I was at work . I think him not working does not help , Please help with any idea’s as I am sick of the bad tempers on me ?

  88. Sorry his bad tempers, him not working does not help him.

  89. Your Guaridan Angel says:

    Hey guys, I am a bit of an expert at quitting this kind of crap. The secret is plenty of water, exercise, healthy eating, low in sugar and saturated fat.

    And if possible couple it with regular sauna sessions to help purge out the remaining toxins through sweating them out.

    Other things that may help are losing weight if that is a healthy option, but remember toxins are stored in fat so as you purge them they are released into your blood stream, again plenty of water/saunas will alleviate these side effects. Good luck!

    Source: I’ve been through all this crap myself



  90. Hi guys, it was really nice to have found this site. More than the article itself what helped me the most was the real life comments of real people who are going through the changes in wake of their quit. I have been into the second week of my quit now. Did try to quit several times before but relapsed all of the times mostly for the REASON that my reason to quit was not strong enough. This time around THOU it is. I quit mostly for cosmetic reasons. I used to look like a completely different person before taking up on this habit. I smoked for almost 4 years. In the same period as i mentioned before that i tried to quit many times by reverting to nicotine patches, chewing tobacco, khainis and naswar, every time to see myself going back to my old ways. Cigarettes and every other nicotine containing product took a great toll on how i looked from the outside and how i felt from the inside. Anyhow it was by far the most stupidest thing i ever did for which i will never forgive myself. I know there is no reason to be grumpy about this to your ownself but literally i hate for gettin myself into this rabbit hole. This time around my disgust factor is strong. Which in turn has helped me in keeping myself away from cigarettes and ALL of its auxiliaries. I recently got out of a crappy relationship as well. So this time around i decided to gift myself for getting out of that nasty business by committing to quit smoking forever. I treated severe mood swings with the same resilience which i ensued while getting out of that GROTESQUE relationship with my aX. Everytime the urges press me i remind myself of the transience of my fleeting emotions. At the end of the day what you guys have to remind yourself of is the fact that you are doing this for yourself and the people around you. Not just to add more years to your life but to add more life to your years aswell. Yes i am cranky, yes i am depressed but at the same time i have never felt this better either. My child like sense of wonder has returned. I am smelling things which i thought i would never smell again, i am breathing freely, i have started to look and feel better again. Although i am still in the the second week of my resolution, but God, it only makes me feel more optimistic about the yeields i am going to reap off of it in the coming times. At last remember guys your WILL should be stronger than any fleeting passing emotions which are nothing but biochemical changes in your brain circuitry. On the other hand your will and determination are what make you who you truly are. They ought to be stronger than the transitory urges and a few emotional hiccups. Almost every other comment here entails the details of the miseries we all are facing which surely should make us feel like we all are in the same boat (assimilate so to speak) but at the same time it should also make us feel like we are not like the rest of the folks. We are better than the average riff-raff, that we will pass through these feelings NOT by these feelings better and much quicker than the rest of the folks. That our reason to live our life to its full potential is mightier than to live a life full of servitude to a pathetic little addiction.
    I Also have this HUMP rule which states that in order to kick any addiction to the kurb you need to get over the hump period. Unfortunately before this period its all an uphill climb. But you never know how close you are in passing over that hump. So everytime you find your self tad bit closer to picking up a ciggy again remind yourself of the hump which might just be around the corner, your this time denial to your urge perhaps.
    Good luck 🍀.

  91. Hi Everybody

    Day 2 of dumping 25 years of smoking begins. Just came back from gym. I could do my weight lifting session with more ease. That is because of depletion of carbon monoxide from blood. Higher level of oxygen helps. Mentally feel criminally calm. Till now urge is well within control.

  92. Marki T says:


    I stopped 7 weeks ago using patches after smoking for about 25 years. I watched game of thrones all six seasons to distract my mind and it was easy. I was doin great, then my partner of 16 years quit also and has been in a rage at me for the last 3 weeks. I have tried to stay calm but lost it the other night when I threw a glass at her head. Fortunately it missed. IS THIS SHIT WORTH IT!!!! I havn’t had a smoke still but my relationship feels like its on its last legs and the woman I love fu=*ing hates my guts – she has a memory diary of everything I have ever done wrong and because I have bi polar disorder which can be triggered by stress, money issues and a teenage daughter who wants to leave home because she can’t stand the shouting no more, I am wondering which is more important Health or Happiness. What do you reckon?

  93. 6 Weeks into my quit. Smoked for 25 years and the rage is off the chart. Have a very hard time dealing with work and my daughter in college is really tired of talking to me because I’m so cranky. I go off on anyone at a drop of a hat. Been trying to work from home more but every few minutes, something enrages me and I’m distracted and can’t get anything done. IDK, this whole thing is F-ing retarded. This is my first quit and I’m making sure it’s my last. I came across this article after loosing my cool while working and really need help coping with the changes happening in me. Problem is, I don’t want to talk to anyone about it. Writing this out is very one sided and I could really care less about anyone reading it but I’m not about to speak to someone in person because as soon as they offer some advice, I’m going to start tearing into them.

  94. Into the second week off nicotine. This is my 5th attempt, and for the first time feel the rage and I fret and fume. But I know this is a passing phase, and I know how to stay on top of it. I spent the last month taking just 1 cig. a day, before which I was doing 30 a day. I started smoking 4 years back at the age of 38.

    Tapering didn’t work for me, nor did cold turkey. So I tried a combination – bring it down to just 1/day at a fixed time, for 30 days. And then quit altogether. I feel this has been a better experience and I’m not going back to another cigarette again.

    Stay on top as much as you can. Know what is causing the rage and fretting. And it will dissipate. We got into this, and we must get out of it at any cost (it’s actually going to save us 🙂 )

  95. I am embarking on week 4 , and starting to feel like a manic depressive at times in this cold turkey campaign , I kind of go into a trippy state of mind laughing which I use to pay for to feel like this back in the day ,followed by dark depression but it only lasts 10-20 mins but I really don’t want to smoke which is good ,I am wolfing down three packets of polos a week so I have resigned my self to losing a few teeth during this campaign BUT I WILL NOT FAIL !

  96. Tonzkie D says:

    Hi all ex-smokers. I’m very happy to have passed by on this site. It gives me some insights what it really feels to have ceased from smoking. I’m now in my 36th day quit cold turkey. For the last couple of weeks until this time, I am greatly worried because I feel something very unusual with myself. I feel very low, easily get angry, have a great fear of something that doesn’t happened yet which triggers my anxiety and even to the point of depression I think. It has been said that this occurrence varies from one person to another. Hopefully I could recover from the ill feelings soonest. Thanks God that My wife and daughter have been very supportive since I relayed to them the quit and the way I feel. Again, thanks so much to all the sharers, your shares have greatly helped me a lot in coping the situation.

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