Quitting Smoking and Constipation.

A red brick. Smoking tobacco and using nicotine, wreaks havoc on the digestive system. Heartburn, liver disease, peptic ulcers, Crohn’s disease and gall stones are just some of the ailments that cigarette smokers and nicotine addicts will suffer from.

Upon quitting smoking, the digestive system undergoes a radical period of healing. Because of this, the digestive functions of your body may become unsettled as they  become accustomed to a life without nicotine and tobacco smoke.

For many quitters the outcome is constipation.

Constipation should peak relatively early, within the first few days, and be back to normal after 2-3 weeks. If constipation last longer than this, or doesn’t begin to ease after a few days, there may be additional factors at play. Meaning you should consult your doctor.

Note: Symptoms will vary if using Nicotine Replacement Therapy or  Medication.

For more info on the digestive problems caused by smoking check out this website.

Five Quick Tips for Managing Constipation When Quitting Smoking.


  • Drink as much fluid as you comfortably can.  Warm teas and highly concentrated fruit juices can assist.
  • Eat plenty of fruit. Prunes are a great natural laxative.
  • Exercise can also help, even if just a short walk.
  • Consult your health professional regarding medicinal laxatives and stool softeners.
  • When sitting on the toilet, raise your feet using a small step or foot stool.



  1. Day 6 without one single fag. I don’t crave it like the rest of them do. My only problem is going to the bathroom. I used to go twice a day with 2 cigarettes and a coffee. Now i go once only with so much effort put im about to faint in the toilet seat!

    I keep reading to give myself 2-3 weeks. And that’s what I’m doing. I promised myself that if the bathroom issue was solved, I would never touch a cigarette ever again. Just plzzzzz release me from this painful semi constipation! I want my dumping skills back! Lol I know it sounds funny but it has taken over my life! If I don’t go to the bathroom every morning before leaving the house, I get headaches, bloatness and my whole day pretty much gets ruined!

    Oh patience… If only you were an in-virtue…

    • It’s been 2 days for me. I’m a pretty big gym rat, so exercise, namely running and ab-work, definitely worked for me. maybe too well. Also, get a Senna tea! that should help as well.

    • I’m on day 17 and have been to the toilet twice! About to make a drs appt when I’ve come upon Google for help and found this site. I used to go nearly every day before and I’m drinking water, walking, exercising and eating fruit etc but am reluctant to take laxatives but that’s how I went the first time!

      • I have quit two times – first time I could not go to the toilet at all and when I started having pains and feeling light-headed, I had an enema (which I think is better for you than laxatives if you’re quitting smoking, just because enema only gets your bowels moving and doesn’t go through all of your digestive system), but it went on for another week or so, not being able to go to the bathroom.

        Second time (day 26 now and hopefully my last time quitting) it wasn’t that bad at all. I think it is because it is summer so I eat more fruit and veg, as well as exercise or at least move more. Still get some bad days sometimes, but just keep drinking water, eating fruit and moving! It helps a lot, but you have to be patient, the results will only show couple days later.

    • diana haydon says:

      Kellogg’s Raisin Bran half a cup flaxseed milk warm it up can have blueberries bananas almonds like I do you will go to the bathroom and then a couple of days it without smoke weed smoking take a couple days but then by the 3rd 4th day you will go without a cigarette foreverI did not say we need I am talking cheyenne flavored cigars

      • Kellogg’s Raisin Bran half a cup flaxseed milk warm it up can have blueberries bananas almonds like I do you will go to the bathroom and then a couple of days it without smoke weed smoking take a couple days but then by the 3rd 4th day you will go without a cigarette foreverI did not say we need I am talking cheyenne flavored cigars

  2. For me, running really helped. It sucks that took me months to figure out.

    If you’re having this problem and it is not going away, see a doctor. But before you try feeding yourself tons of laxatives, by all means go for a run!

  3. OMG this bathroom thing is so horrible that I have started smoking each and every time I have tried to quit.

    This time will be different, i have stocked the house with prunes, whole wheat bread and I am eating no cheese.

    Im really suffering but i will prevail this time. Last 3 days i did smoke what ever cigarettes I could find in the house. No more of that. I want to get thru this once and forever.

    I will try that running thing… I dont crave a cigarette but I just feel so horrible with my chest hurting and this constipation. I will be strong this time….

  4. I’m on day 16 and the past few days have been horrible. (espically for my bf lol) my gas is really bad and vile and I can’t seem to manage soiling more than a pebble (and that’s only if manage to actually go). I’m worried about weight gain already and this isn’t helping my confidence in that aspect because my stomach is constantly bloated. I smoked for 15 years so I am adamant I want to stop but this isn’t good. Thanks to reading these posts I’m going to drink more water and go for a run.

    • Kayce Rene says:

      I’ve been having the same issues as you, Claire. Same living conditions, too! My boyfriend doesn’t smoke and thank god he doesn’t, but I feel isolated in my attempts to change my life around… And embarrassed.

      • I am having the same problem! I am so bloated, feel yuck, can’t go to the toilet unless I have had a dulcolax and it is awful. I have stopped the champex because this also causes the problems, I eat hardly anything now as I am so bunged up and it is really annoying me!
        How long until my body will return to normal!?

        • Lynsey says:

          Colosan capsules…bloody brilliant!! A friend suggested them, as I too had started smoking once before, just to get my bowels moving . These capsules are such a help. One or two before bed, no cramping or urgent visits to toilet, just keeps everything moving and haven’t got any of the bloating like last time!!! Am thrilled…it’s made all the difference. Am only a few weeks in to quitting, after 20 years smoking, but feeling v.positive with no toilet worry!!!

  5. I’m on day 27 of having quit, and i’m just getting to (what i think) is the end of the digestive issues that can accompany stopping smoking.

    For the last 2.5 weeks I’m pretty sure my other half would’ve happily booted me into the other bedroom at night due to the gas. Also i normally get through a lot of food each day for exercise purposes, I was genuinely a little worried where it was all going, since hardly anything was coming out the other end!

    I can say the following helped me out with this specific problem, and in this order I believe (least to most):
    – Exercise – I’ve always exercised a lot, but I found the bloatedness was reduced during/after exercise. Since I’ve always exercised, I don’t think this helped massively, but you should be doing this now your lungs are clearing out anyway.

    – Diet – fruit & veg, eat lots of… google “water soluble fiber” and load up on it! Kiwis are great 🙂 In fact all fiber is useful, but there are various types.

    – Early morning cleanser part 1 – I started this one a week after the bloated/constipation and it helped a little. Take a lemon, cut in half, squeeze the juice from each half into a 250ml glass and add some lukewarm water (boil some, tap water the rest). It’s brilliant for many things, cleaning your digestive tract is one of them. Just google “lemon juice in morning” for a long list of benefits.

    – Early morning cleanser part 2 – this one seemed to have a much better effect but might freak a few of you out – Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) – down a dessert spoonful of this in the morning and in the evening. I know it’s viewed as a lot of calories and tastes a little interesting at first, but this is one of natures gifts, it softens everything up and will let you go to the toilet again in a day or two, which reduces the constipation, smelly gas and bloated feeling. This for me was the best of the lot. Plus the EVOO is fully of healthy fats that your body will thank you for.

    I’d recommend both the early morning cleanser things one after another, olive oil then lemon juice water, and then wait for half an hour before eating anything. You’ll find these two drinks actually suppress your appetite a little as well, and both products are super healthy anyway, so you might want to stick with them long term.

    Last but not least, i believe vitamin b5 (pantheonic acid) and magnesium are also essential in helping your digestive system along, take a multivitamin that can cover these two – green, leafy veg also helps.

  6. I am so thankful to see positive feedback. I started off with Chantix to quit which I really don’t recommend and I have had all of the above problems. I am bloated constantly, it hurts all day and it smells awful. My self esteem has been horrible and most websites don’t give a solution. I have tried probiotics for a week now. I have also tried hot tea, coffee, hot baths, laxatives, and any other random remedy I am told of and they don’t help. I barely go once every 5 days. Its awful.

    I may try some of your remedies and hope for the best. Thank you for those of you who posted some solutions!

  7. I called it quits for 4 months now, constipation was at its best…. I never had any problems going to the toilet before till i quit smoking…suffered for almost 3 weeks, but i manged it well, drank lots of water, juiced vege and fruits every morning and i am perfectly normal now…. Dont let the constipation be an obstacle, trust me it will go away after a few weeks and with the correct diet…… Keep Rocking and be Tobacco Free !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. I quit 2 weeks tomorrow and thankfully I didn’t suffer with any bowel problems and I believe its all thanks to the amazing lemons!!! I have boiled water and lemon in the morning and drink lemon water all through the day. I used to see stars when in the shower and suffered terrible sharp pains in my stomach….every day. Iv not had either of these problems since I quit. Im delighted. My skin is softer than it has been for years and iv started working out at home. Im just taking one day at a time,keeping busy,breathing and keep reminding myself that Nicotine is not more powerful than I !!!

    • I’m on Day 13 and like you Natalia, I’ve been hard on the Lemon Water. I started the lemon water two months prior to quitting so I had it in my routine, and I did have a few days of constipation this week, but not bad. Cramping last night. Good movement this morning. I am doing Yoga and walking regularly which also helps with the blood flow and compressing the lower body to ensure movement.

  9. Katiebegg says:

    I am on day 7

  10. Annemarie says:

    HI, this is my second time stopping smoking and I am now 8 days in. My problem is that I already have a very sluggish digestive system and I use stool softener daily anyway. Normally this causes back pain and I have had it for six years. Smoking kept the problem at bay and it had improved enough to try to stop smoking again. However after a week I am back to square 1 with all the same issues. I really do not want to start smoking but ( I suspect this is the nicotine receptors talking) but this has been 6 years of he’ll. I forgot to say that I have a high fibre diet already and drink a lot. Any suggestions?

    • I know this is mega late but being on week 7 of my quit (and having horrific constipation throughout!) I finally found a cure last week that has worked wonders!

      APPLE CIDER VINEGAR (“with mother” on the bottle) – 1tbsp stirred into warm water in a mug… I drink it each evening before bed and find that I am back to my regular routine in the morning 🙂 the taste gets better after a couple of days (and so does the uncomfortable bloating!!)

      Some people recommend drinking this twice per day, 30minutes before lunch and dinner… Maybe try both and see how you get on? Good luck!

      • Elizabeth Bennett says:

        Thank you Fiona! I forgot about apple cider vinegar and I’ll swig some right now. I’ve been clean of ciggies for 1 month and the constipation, bloating, etc. has become a nightmare. I couldn’t figure out why I’ve been gaining weight. I’ve been eating well and exercising, eat low calories, but still gaining. I’ll get my system moving and thanks again for the advice!

  11. I am on month 9 after almost 20 years of smoking. Just try to make yourself understand that you don’t want this thing and that’s it. There are many things in life to live for. You won’t get any withdrawl symptoms unless you think of them. You are much stronger then theses stupid withdrawal symptoms.

  12. CoolDue2010 says:

    Consume more fiber, this is the worst part of the process. TIP:
    psyllum husk $7 at trader joes.
    Take about a tablespoon a day with lots and lots of water it will keep you going through this tough time and make your shit better than ever. Other than that, any fiber supplement will help you. Trust me on this, the constipation can be the worst if you don’t add fiber to your diet.

  13. Some of you might not like this suggestion regarding constipation but drinking alcohol really helps.

  14. sathish says:

    Now it is 4months after quiting smoking i have smoked for the last 21 years. I gained 10kg weight in one month..

  15. Charlotte says:

    Day 6 and i’ve finally been to the toilet! Such a relief although i’m still feeling bloated and gained 2lb already, which is odd as i’ve kept a food diary and eaten the same as the previous week!

  16. 3 days away from my 8 month smoke free point. I have tried the cutting down failure trick doesn’t work and will never work If you want to quit crush the pack and flush them. Prior to this educate yourself with some pictures of lungs, before and after pictures of what people’s skin looks like what it smells like. You have to step outside of yourself for a Moment and look in. Tobacco smoke makes your senses weak you don’t notice what people look like or smell like as you go on you will notice the winkles pail faces and the smell of death. This stuff helps you think what you want from life but it’s not enough to get you through #1 is knowing what and when to eat to fuel your body with healthy foods and to help boost the detox process.

    Go online to a week calendar and input your data it will show you what cigarettes are costing and how many you are smoking Mine to date is 240 days I smoked a pack or more a day. @ $7.75 per pack $1,860 I have saved In 8 months and even better I saved myself from smoking 6000 cigarettes . have you ever seen the demo of the real lung in a glass box that had just 60 cigarettes pumped into it, It will make you sick put it that way. keep up the good work get through the rough patches and fight for your health

  17. I quit smoking 10 months ago (wow!) after being a smoker for 12 years. I’m really happy I did so, and I have no regrets at all. This constipation thing however is kind of raining on my parade.
    At first I tried weeks of exercising, drinking water and eating vegetables but without any improvement. After a couple of months, I went to the doctor who prescribed me a 1 month treatment based on natural laxatives, and it was better for a while. Now the symptoms are back!
    I had a scary thought that maybe this would be a problem that I would have to carry with me all my life. It sounded so unfair at first, but then I thought what the hell. I’ve been quiet lucky with my health so far. Some people have to jab a needle in their skin several times a day, and they don’t deserve it either.
    So now I’m trying every natural way I’ve heard of to fight it. I eat salads very often, I still exercise and drink constantly. But besides I’m trying a mix of figs syrup treatment and the lemon juice in the morning thing. It’s getting better already, and if I have to do it again every once in a while, so be it. I love my smoking free life!

  18. I have quit many times in the past. I was never a heavy smoker, just 1-2 per day, but sometimes up to 5 per day. I always started up again because of the constipation. I just always couldn’t take it anymore. I have been smoke-free for 3 days and the first 2 I didn’t go the bathroom at all. Last night I drank some senna tea along with a stool softener, two other herbal laxative pills, and a green smoothie. I am pleased to report they all worked and I am feeling great. I want to continue on this path for good! I know that the key for me with be getting my greens, from salads and smoothies, lots of water, and exercise. I am working on cutting down sugar and coffee too, as they both can cause or contribute to constipation. Good luck everyone!

  19. Quit on spur of the moment. On the ecigs. Clearly not delivering the nic. that the smoke did. Into 5th week. Have displayed all symptoms the crap timeline sites said would occur but in a different order. Haven’t felt better since I was 16. Certainly felt worse. But often feel crap, but not crapping much atm. Stay with it. Apologise to family often to overcome a different sort of constipation. Good luck peopleoids. Thinking of you.

  20. It’s my 10th day and I have really a big problem with going to bathroom . there was even blood and I am worried about it ! should I start smoking ?

    • Hell no kid, smoking does nothing to for your health. You ask your mom or dad about natural treatments for constipation. Also your 10, no smoking!!!! You don’t wanna get addicted at 10 years old.

  21. Hi
    this is day 1 for me and already i cant go to the loo…terrible cramps and indigestion i just hope it goes away eventually,im drinking bottled water like its going out of fashion!!

  22. Hi all, im on day 7th of my last cigg.. for the first 3 to 4 days i havent got stool and on 5th day lil bit and on 6th day lil bit but today its quite good not 100 % but satisfactory without a cigg.. hope to get this constipation finish sooon… well have a wonderful smoking free life ahead guyz 🙂 🙂

  23. So glad I found this page. Thought I was the only one that had this problem. For me being constipated has been the reason I keep failing at being a non smoker…..BUT NOT THIS TIME day 3. I will explode before I give up this time.. Since reading, I have had a teaspoon of evoo and have some heated lemon juice in front of me. Thanks for the tip. My irritable bowel problem doesn’t help. maybe that will be cured without cigs.. Sick of doctors they just give you a prescription of something that doesn’t help. Time for a change for the good

  24. Hi everyone,

    Reading all of the above comments is such a relief – I thought I was the only one!!! And also, this issue is SSSSSOOOO hard to share – so incomfortable!!
    I completely find my self into all of the above texts! Shit, what do they really put into these stuff?? Did you ever wonder what makes us smoke and litterally RUN towards the toilet room? OMG!!!!
    Beyond that, my story, I tried A LOT of times to do this – the maximum period that I handled being without a cigarette was 3 days! I cannot handle to have constipation, all this swelling thing drives me crazy – I cannot function properly during the day PLUS I do not sleep well at nights.
    Now, I am even scared to try once more. So I am stack here, needing those 2-3 cigarettes each day so I can release….
    I keep saying to myself that I will eventually quit but on the other hand I keep postponing the process.
    What shall I do? Am I going to be smoking forever? This thought is terrible. I am so mad at myself for starting to smoking in the first place.

  25. Samantha Rivers says:

    I was constipated for a month, it was driving me crazy, never had an issue with it until I quit smoking. I tried shots of olive oil, didn’t work. So tried All Bran, that has worked Thank God. Highly recommend, a bowl of all bran for breakfast, bowl at lunchtime, then lots of fruit and veggies for tea with tons of water. Do this for a couple of days until you’re regular again. Don’t start smoking again x

  26. Jan Hill says:

    So determined this time im on day 4 but the bloating,constipation and cramps are terrible……..i have smelled the smoke on people in the street and now it smells revolting i think theres so many more chemicals in them than when my parents stopped smoking in their 40’s……i know i cant go back to that,its just the above thats getting me down 😦

  27. Wow can’t believe im not the only one! I was only starting again to get digestive reflief i was wondering where all the food was going and so sluggish and felt gross. Going to buy the cigarettes filled me with such guilt but also a lot of adrenaline for some reason. Its always so disgusting when you actually smoke it though and then go to the bathroom then of course i would just start the whole process of smoking again and feel really awful. Im about the have my last cigarette ever – thank goodness . I will take on your advice of the lemon and acv in warm water and also get a box of allbran. Also should get my car cleaned because i have beeen almost chain smoking in it and it is filthy. Smoking really does make you the worst version of yourself. About to turn that around and start self-respecting again. I have a colonic booked for the weekend to start repairing my digestive tract. Cost a lot but smoking costs more in every sense of the word. If i keep smoking it will cost my life. I will update in a week.

  28. Donnie Gianfermi says:

    I’m dieing here. I quit 5 days ago and I have not gone to the bathroom. I’ve taken pre workouts before the gym and I’m eating healthy. Just waiting for one big movement and boom!

  29. Day 100 quite cigarette directly now I’m feeling happy mood and healthy walking
    I was never thought to quit but yoga is helps me

  30. I quit 6 months ago. no cigarette. barely use the restroom. I only go after taking colon cleansing supplements containing aloe. will probably see a doctor soon but it really takes a tole on me physically and mentally when I don’t use the bathroom for days at a time for six months now. better than smoking but had no idea this is what was going to happen

  31. Jessica says:

    I’m on day 11 and I legit feel like I am going to die!!! Constipation is awful. I smoked for 14 years and never had a problem going to the bathroom. As a matter of fact I went like 2 or 3 times a day but since quitting smoking I am lucky to even go once 🙁 I’m in so much pain. I saw a lot about lemon water on here and I do drink lots of fluids but will try and drink more and I’ll try avoiding cheese. Ughhhh the misery!!!! 🙁

  32. Day 6 here. The stomach aches and pains were worse than any sickness ive ever had, and longer lasting. Only comparison was being bed ridden in hospital for 8 days as a teenager. Eating greatly increased the pain by adding pressure but still not letting me clear out, so ive hardly managed more than soup and water all week (and im starving!) Took laccatives yesterday and the pressure reduced somewhat within a few hours. Hoping (and expecting) the agony will go soon as they come to full effect.

    Take whatever help you can to get through! Im no fan of laccatives but short term laccatives v long term cigarettes is a no brainer.

  33. For me it’s day 240 since i last smoked. While i am completely off cigarettes, the only issue i have been facing since then is my bowel movements. Even after 8 months i struggle to take a good satisfying dump. Although couple of things have worked for me. Like a bottle of warm water kinda gets it going, also a hot cup of tea or coffee should also work. I haven’t been exercising lately. But it did help me with the movements at the time when i did workout. It’s again a matter of habit. So pick what you like and that should do it. For me i have realised it’s a bottle of water first thing in the morning and a quick workout. Life seems so much better after that. #kickthatbud

  34. October 8th it will be three months, and I am still constipated, bloated as anything, and have gained five pounds. I don’t mind if I was eating more, but I’m not. i hate the way I feel/

    Truthfully, had I known what it was going to be like quitting (I quit cold turkey after 25 years of nonstop smoking), I would never have stopped. In fact, I’m so miserable, I’m thinking of smoking again.

    • Hang in there Lorraine. I am going through the same thing and it’s been 4 months for me. I sure thngs will get better for us. Stay strong!

  35. Loraine, I’m soo right there with you. I’d walk a mile to smoke a Camal but I can’t because I havn’t crapped rite in a month. Constantly need to explode, somehow starving at the same time and have discovered what a migrane is. Yippie skippie!!!

  36. Hi I quit almost 2 months ago. I highly recommend magnesium to help with going to the bathroom. Try the Calm (magnesium) before bed. It’s natural and works wonders. My only issue is the water rention. My body is holding onto the water. I also take a probiotic daily and drink green tea.

  37. It’s been a little over 2 months and I thought the constipation would kill me (not the way I imagined going out). I took a magnesium citrate laxative (he at home that day) and added daily a dulcolax STOOL SOFTENER, probiotic, 500 mg magnesium, 538 mg turmeric, 550 mg ginger root and a super B complex vitamin for 4 days. (I did have at least a small movement daily) I hate water but forced myself to drink at least 16 oz per day because that was better than 0 oz. I also purchased some fiber one bars for breakfast ( I am not a fan of breakfast but they are small and I think they help) I also added All Bran cereal and believe that helped a lot. I have not taken any pills, vitamins, laxatives anything in 4 days and am still having a daily movement thanks to the fiber one bars and cereal (Thank God!) I have gained 8 pounds in 2 months so I started walking 30 minutes per day 2-3 times per week (not sure if that helped) and I do still have gas and bloating so I plan to pick up some fennel and caraway seeds to see if they help. I spent quite a bit of money on fiber and psyllium in the beginning but really feel like they made things worse.
    I noticed I was sitting around waiting for things to get better too. Thinking about smoking, not smoking, excuses to start again, I’d rather die from smoking than being fat or whatever. I had to find something to do to take my mind off of it (which is harder some days than others still over 2 months in) but our bodies are in shock and our addict minds are trying to trick us into returning to our old ways. I just wanted to share my experience so far and hope it helps someone. Congratulations to all the quitters and be strong. I haven’t yet but I believe if things get too hard call your Dr. They could help with laxatives or something for anxiety which would be temporary and healthier than smoking. Good luck & God bless!

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