The Quitters Flu.

Man with Quitters FluHave you recently quit smoking and now find yourself feeling sick? You may be suffering from the quitters flu; a number of symptoms that combine in such a manner they  resemble a cold or flu like illness. Most smokers who quit will experience it.


What are the Quitters Flu Symptoms?

As mentioned above, quitters flu symptoms resemble those that tend to accompany the common cold or flu. These can be headaches, flashes of hot and cold, chest congestion, cough, sore throat and both nasal and sinus congestion.

The moment you quit smoking your body begins to heal and as a result, these physical symptoms will tend to occur. It is a normal part of the process, though discussing such symptoms with your doctor is still a good idea, even if for peace of mind and reassurance.

Perhaps the most notable of these flu like symptoms are those associated with the respiratory system.

A microscopic photo of cilia lining the human wind pipe. Image made available using creative commons licence.

The lungs contain small hair like structures called cilia. (They look more like sea anemones.) These cilia, naturally sweep particles out of the wind pipe to be expelled by coughing.

Tobacco smoke coats the lungs with tar and disrupts this process by preventing the cilia from working. When you quit smoking, the tar begins to break down and the cilia once again start cleaning.

Quitters will likely notice a blackish – brown and often speckled phlegm as a result. Given the amount of rubbish that builds up in a smokers lungs, this can be quiet extreme and often takes time to settle down.

The ability to breath easier and maintain a greater state of healthiness, more than make up for the unpleasantness of quitters flu. The symptoms of quitters flu should also start to settle after a few weeks.

How long does Quitters Flu Last?

The length of time you may suffer quitters flu symptoms is variable. Some ex smokers may only suffer the symptoms for a number of days. For others it can last for months. My own quitters flu lasted on and off for several months, though only extreme for short periods of time, most notably over the first couple of weeks.

Over the longer term, I found that exercise enhanced some of the symptoms, but also helped clear out my lungs. If the symptoms feel quite serious or last for more than a few days at a time, I would suggest speaking to a doctor as you may actually have a genuine cold or flu!

What I personally find interesting, is that since quitting smoking two years ago, I have only suffered a genuine cold (virus) twice, and suffered for no longer than 72 hours. Prior to quitting, I would suffer two or three colds a year and they would last for around two weeks!


Tips for Managing the Quitters Flu.


Rest During the Early Stages.

Quitters flu is at its worst in the early days of a quit smoking campaign. It may help to rest and be as comfortable as possible, while allowing the healing process to happen. Consider drinking warm herbal teas to aid relaxation and relieve some of the symptoms.

Eat Quality Foods and Micro Nutrients.

The body gets the majority of nutrients needed to heal, from the foods we eat. If these foods are of a high quality and have sound  nutritional value, the more building blocks your body will have to aid the process. Consider eating more fresh fruit and vegetables and less processed and over cooked foods.

When You Feel Ready, Get Some Exercise.

Exercise promotes healthy lung function and helps accelerates the cleaning process. Consider starting with a daily, fast paced, five minute walk around the block.



  1. If I was to offer any advice, it’s to just quit, cold turkey. People that are cutting down to “One smoke a day” or “X puffs a day”, all you’re doing is prolonging the withdrawal process. You’re extending your misery. Until you actually quit, you aren’t helping the process by cutting down to a marginal amount of nicotine, you’re hurting it.
    You need to completely rid your body of the nicotine to get past the addiction, and that requires not imbibing it at all.

    It’s not going to be easy, it’s going to be miserable, but this is the truth.
    Day 24

    • Oh wow. OK from one Panda to another…I totally hear you. I have smoked for 25 Years. I think cutting down is helping but it gives me an out to have one. I never make new year’s resolutions but this year I really wanted to once and for all just quit. So new year’s Eve I have my last one because I now just don’t smoke cigarettes. I have cravings and I have a sore throat and I feel like poop…..But I don’t smoke anymore. 🐼

      • I quit smoking New Years eve after 25 years of smoking, and let me tell you I was certain I had the flu. I slept for two days and had some of the weirdest dreams. Intense craving for a cigarette. Anxiety is an understatement. I don’t know if I can go on. I went to work last night and snapped at a customer. Having cold and hot flashes, and dizziness. Is this really worth it. If it doesn’t go away I am afraid I am going to cave in and have a cigarette.

        • Just keep going! You have come so far already. I also quit on New Years Eve, after 10 years of smoking. It has been a struggle every day, and the “quitters flu” is setting in, but it will be worth it. In a month or so you wont feel the cravings as strongly. The other studies I have read on the subject suggest that the 3rd and 4th days are the worst. Just make it another 5 minutes until you reach the end of the day. You can do this!

          • King Jones says:

            Im on my 4th day. No cravings what so ever. I quit out of pure spur of the moment. Had a good tactic too. I wrote a fb status saying, “30 likes and I’ll stop smoking right now.” I must have got about 70 likes. So, now I feel like I can’t upset my friends. The worst part is that I’m so frikking sick I don’t even want to touch another smoke. Ever. I look at it as God’s way of saying, “you wanted to smoke for 15 years, now I’ll make you not want to smoke ever again.” I just hope I’m better by tmrw, because this man flu can’t make me miss any more days of work. Lol good luck everybody!

        • My husband and I stopped smoking on January 2 in the evening (7:30pm to be exact). We had that date picked out for about 3 weeks prior, so we knew it was coming. I have been experiencing cold/flu symptoms (extreme cough, stuffy nose, congestion, sore throat), but my husband has not. I’m actually going to the doctor today because I don’t know if it’s “quitters flu,” I think it may be the real deal. Anyway, something that helped me with quitting cold turkey was listening to a free app called “Jason Vale’s Stop Smoking in 2 Hours.” You listen to his lecture for 2 hours for your conscious mind, and then you listen to a 20 minute talk while you are falling asleep. I swear, I haven’t craved any cigarettes and I haven’t been irritable at all since I listened to that. He also has morning videos that you will watch every morning (they are about 5-10 minutes), and he also has SOS videos (for if you are craving a cigarette). I smoked for about 10 years — 1.5 packs every day, sometimes 2 packs every day.

          Just remember, everything you are experiencing with craving a cigarette is mental. YOU don’t want one… IT wants one. Don’t feed IT. You are stronger than that. Your cold/flu symptoms will eventually go away. Being free of cigarettes is totally worth it. Why become frustrated and “pout” about something that you don’t even want? If you wanted it, then you wouldn’t have posted a blog entry on this site, and you certainly wouldn’t have stopped smoking to begin with. It just takes time. Try out the app that helped me. It’s totally free, and it helped. I finally feel free. I am no longer a slave to cigarettes!

        • If you can afford to, use a stop smoking aid. My last cigarette was January 2nd. The 3rd and 4th days were definitely the worst but I got through them. I still have some cravings but it is now tolerable with the patch.

          • In my case, I agree with Megan. I was a 40 year smoker and tried everything with mixed results. My sister died of lung cancer two weeks ago. It was the most horrible death I have ever witnessed. I’m on day ten smoke free, but don’t think I could function in the working world without some help.

      • I also had my last puff on new years eve… I FEEL GOOD, but also terrible I have a sore throat and feel nauseated when I get off work. But I’m so happy I finally did.

      • Congratulations on quitting! I, too, quit New Years Day this year. Day 6 and I’m still going. I seem to have quitters flu but I will get through it. The physical addiction part wasn’t that bad for me to get over. For me, the hardest part is getting past the involuntary times I would smoke. For example, I smoke the most when sitting at my computer. Often times I would light up without even realizing it. Now, I still find myself involuntarily reaching for a cigarette that isn’t there. I finally catch myself and it’s made me realize just how often I used to do that. Keep your head up and stay strong! We can do this!

        • Amy Hager says:

          Congrats to all of us who have stopped smoking.Today is day 6 for me and i feel like im going crazy. I have called the smokers hot line. I cant sleep doing it cold turkey so i dont want to use patches or medicine now. Im just taking it second by second. Thanks Amy Hager

          • Hi Amy
            I quit on New Years Eve too and thought I was the only one who couldn’t sleep! I’ve been having 2 to 3 hours a night if I’m lucky and that been from 4 till 7 am. This morning I started with flu, dizzy, bad cough and going hot and cold. I’ve been on the sofa all day and am dreading going to bed. I’m very proud of myself though and no way I’m caving. All the best.

          • Hi..wat also helps with the chest pains is a good steam..i use the sauna at gym or u can use euculyptus in the sink and cover head with a helps with that choking feel wen u simply cant breathe..hooe it helps and keep it up

      • I quit for almost a year in August of 2015. I started up again in June 2016 and just quit again this past New Years Eve. It’s been 18 days and I have felt like total crap ever since. I just keep telling myself it is all worth it and it will pass. After 21 days all the toxins are gone from your body and your lungs start to heal fast. It truly is worth it and I hope each and every one of you keep going( including myself). I have had insomnia, dreams, muscle aches, sore throat, stiff neck, cough, and it hurts when I breath in. It will pass soon. I don’t need the extra weight I will put on but I can work on that after I get this under control. Well good luck to all of you. Just think of how happy and healthy you and your lungs will be👍🏻😊

      • i found it impossible to quit except by stringing five days together of non smoking. The problem with cutting down, i personally found (not suggesting for anybody but me) that the higher on the pleasure ladder you place cigarettes it’s just going to take longer to deconstruct it. By cutting down you are raising the value of the cigarette when the meta thing is to devalue each smoke, to mark its value lower down, closer to a piece of dog dung on your shoe, and far from treasuring it like a delectable chocolate or something high up the value ladder.

    • Hi..i agree..i went cold severe chest infection..doc gve me antibiotic to help the process..i feel skin is food tastes amazing

    • I quit on 1/1/17! I’m on my 23rd or 24th day of not smoking cold turkey and I have been ever so sick! My main thing is I can’t stop coughing. I had a cold before quitting so now it feels I’ve been sick since the middle of December. I’ve been taking everything trying to get better, but nothing helps. Antibiotics, musinex, some prescription cold medicine I can’t pronounce, steroids, Advil, cough drops, emergency immune, B12, and even hot toddies. Nothing seems to be killing it. I was exercising about 3 or 4 times a day. This past week I’ve done nothing cause I’ve been so sick. A 20 minute trip to Walmart leaves me a little clammy with a coughing fit along with anything involving a bit of effort such as house work for more than an hour. I’ve barely been able to do laundry and just pick up. I’m so tired of it!! I blow my nose a lot that’s about it besides the cough. I cough so much I throw up. I’m tired of coughing. My lungs feel bruised from the inside and it’s like someone punches me every time I cough. I actually seize up on my sides from even trying to wipe my ass. And on top of it all I’ve had 3 kids and I’m turning 40 this year so my bladder is not so good. So when I cough I pee. I feel like a dog marking his territory around the house just cleaner. More so an old woman who has to wear something equalvilent to depends as to not soil everything. I don’t have cravings anymore. That ended like week 2. Just someone please tell me this shit will eventually end so I feel like I can have a life now???

      • You will get over this and you will not ever expose your family to second hand smoke and you will live to see your grandchildren and will feel ten years younger and at fifty you won’t look and feel like your in your sixty think it’s a drug running your life .

      • My other reason for quitting and not to wait. My son had a boy my first grandson he sent me a link about off gassing of tobacco smoke on your clothes cars etc. And asked me that if I smoke don’t be wearing my coat and bring a fresh sweater to put on before holding my grandson. I read the link and realized he was right in asking me this . The last time I saw my new grandson and I was holding him he thought I was sick and I said not to worry it’s a flu from quitting smoking . The look on his face and his wife’s and the thankyou hugs I got its a drug addiction that gets into our friends and family from us is,that not enough reason. I will never expose anybody again. Read what we have been doing it makes me sick to my stomach.

      • I quit New Year’s Eve and I have had cough cold on off since then still poorly today but don’t give up I am hopefully never going to start again but with price of them can’t afford to smoke

    • Well I quit to feel better. I am trying to get over a,concussion and a,whiplash and felt nautious and fatigue so I thought that’s it quitting will help now I have smokers flu with all the miserable effects . I did it on the patch for about two weeks than through it away a week ago and have been going cold turkey but feel like a half dead duck with the combination of concussion side effects and smokers flu so much for feeling better but I know in the end result I will eventually get over this
      The weird thing is you feel to sick to even think about smoking just want my energy back or the woozy head feeling to go away .But one day when iam all better and smoke free I’ll look back at this and be happy it happened. The one thing I appreciate is iam not alone .It helps to think that nicotine is a toxic product to kill insects and you need a special license to use it picture taking the cigarette removing the nicotine and thousands of chemicals putting them in a glass and drinking them . That is what a cigarette is . Good luck

    • I totally agree with Bruce, when you deciding on quitting just quite altogether, don’t start small with one cigarette a day, just drop it all at the same time to get over it. Currently I’m suffering from quitters flu, I tell you it painful and hard to ignore but I’ll get there.

      Have a good and healthy life God’s love you.

  2. We are 3 in a house all packing up smoking myself and hubby smoked 40 years nowaking champix and 36 days smoke free but hubby complaining of body aches body shakes head aches and dry mouth ! Me I am fine a bit snappy but I’m as is my son but he smoked 5 years and not as many a day

    • Congrats on 36 days! I’m right with you & on day 33. I also quit with Chantix. I took the mess for two months and stopped taking it a week ago. I have to say I’ve had a very easy time quitting with the medication. So much better than my cold turkey quit.(which lasted 14 months.) I felt great while I was taking Chantix but ever since I stopped taking it I’ve had horrible depression & the corners of my mouth cracked! Ouch. I guess I’m dehydrated? And the depression has been soul crushing/life ending. What in the world is up with that?! I called my Dr. I’m still alive & still not smoking and that’s important. Im finally coming out of the depression after a week, yay! It worked like a charm but I should have kept taking it forever cause the aftermath is bad. Best of luck to all three of you!

      • Maverik Eugene says:

        Real happy for you guys!I should have took Chantex,but I had to manly and just quit.Hurting so bad at times I want to cry!Never going back to smoking,no way in hades can i endure this again.Coffe,tea,and jacuzzi seem too help with the pain though.Good luck to you guys!!

      • Jason M Smith says:

        My doc and I have a plan to slowly reduce the Chantix. She advised me to not “just stop taking the Chantix”.

      • My doctor would not give me Chantix because I am being medicated for depression. So, I went cold turkey. Four days now and don’t know if I can hold on. Sick.

        • Ssillyme – Hold On – It’s painful & if you’re anything like me, you have the filthy Quitters Flu in your throat (which seriously burns) and the depression (that you think its not worth it) – but ultimately, if you get through day 4, it will lead to a new day and life. 5 days for me at the moment. Keep going.

          • I lasted 8 days and started smoking again today! i am pretty pissed at myself .. all last week i thought i was going to die lol my whole body ached to the point i could not walk, after that my worst stmptoms are lightheadedness and craving a cig so bad.. i smoked 2 simce and am ready to try again!!

        • Go for it!! I am on day 29 and it gets better..exercise also helps keep the weight off..please dont start..its bot worth it…

  3. How’s everyone doing today?

  4. Almost 5 months for me, quit cold turkey. Never ever never want to go through that again! Worst 5 months of my life!! Good luck everyone!

  5. Sheikmohideen says:

    From 48 hour after quitting smoking feel chest tight ,feels unhealthy, feels some breath problem ,dry mouth as you all discussed.from now after 72 hours feeling some comfortable with breath. I smoked for 12 years 5 to 10 per day. I desided to stop smoking. Successfully i completed 3 and 1/2 days. Please motivate and help me to complete the task.
    Sheik mohideen

    • Im on day 12- not too many ahead of you! It does get easier. Also smoked for 12 years. Im going through the quitters flu right now… sore throat, congestion… but i am SO proud of myself. Every awful thing ive experienced while going through this process is totally worth not smoking… it really is an awful habit! Keep up the great work. Stay positive and stay motivated!

    • CJerry bomb says:

      I’m 9 days smoke free started taking chantit back in October and just stopped taking them December 13 and smoked my last cigarette that day. I’m not having to many side effects but this is a horrible journey to take but one I do welcome, I’ve smoked for 40 years and got up to smoking 2 packs a day so I’m grateful for others sharing their testaments because it helps me get through another day of being nicotine free. I say to you all let’s finish this nicotine free journey together because we can and will do it

    • I am on day 11…you can do this!!! I have had a sore throat, coughing up phlegm like crazy and have a stuffy nose and stuffed up head. I also am a teacher and I keep loosing my voice when talking/yelling at kids. I try to cough to clear my throats, but it isn’t working very well. I feel like this quitters flu is never going to end! I am not going back though. I smoked for 5 years about 10 cigarettes a day. I quit cold turkey and I feel like that is the best way!! Good luck everyone!! Just take 1 day at a time!!!

  6. i m 16 days smoke free after i smoked for 9 years..i m suffuring heaving coughing only in morning about 3-4 hours,wen i breathe weezing sound comes that also happens only in morning wen i wake up..then i m completely ok throughout the this the withdrawal symptom or anything serious has happend…i m too much worried…

  7. Hi i havent completely given up. I had a cold last week so didnt smoke for 2 days. Now im just on and off but havent smoked today at all. But have been bringing up alot of tar and crap of my chest. But have a awful sore throat. It kills when i swallow. Hopefully this will go soon and that will be the end of it.

  8. Day 1: played fufa all dayto avoid smoke.
    Day 2 and 3: headache
    Day 4: no cravings or any side effects
    Day 5 : light cough
    Day 6: Today, extreme cough (feels like smoking is better than cough)

  9. Hailey Parker says:

    I am currently on day 7 of my Cold Turkey quit. My flu started on Christmas Eve. I can’t believe the amount of tar I’m hacking up. Almost 7 years of smoking and I can’t wait for this flu to be over and to be done with tobacco for good.

    • Keep up the the good work I’m on day 13 myself. Today I was able to smell and taste again for a short period of time

  10. Day 5 of no smoking. Have had serious quitters flu for the past two days. The worst part is the sore joints and headaches. Strangely, seeing all the crud that I’m coughing up makes me feel like I’m doing a good job. I am already noticing my distaste for smokers. My boyfriend smokes still and I could hardly talk to him right after he had a cigarette. I hope this flu ends soon so I can get on enjoying my new smoke free life. I am excited. Get pumped for our new smoke free life!!! Woot woot, happy New Year everyone!

  11. Day 6!

  12. I am getting ready to quit “again”. I was smoke free for 4 months before my pasted at the end of July. I fell apart and started in again. Nicotine has always been my go to when stressed. I’m still grieving but I feel stronger now. I’m 50 soon to be 51. Its time to do this. I was so happy being smoke free. I have to admit I’m scared to do this again.

  13. I’m going to use the Nictiene patch. I’m scared but I have been down this road before. I have been smoking on and off for years and I want to quit.

  14. Day 3, I feel like I’m dying. I have pretty existing panic disorder, and my body is just going nuts. I don’t feel better and I start to question whether or not this was a good idea. I also have asthma, plus my kids are around and I want to be healthy and live a productive life for them. Just have off and on chest pain, coughing that is getting worse, hit and cold flashes, palpitations. Tell me it gets better.

    • Candie, it DOES get better. It’s definitely tougher to quit with an underlying panic disorder but it can be done. The worst of the physical symptoms last for approximately 3 days. The psychological withdrawal symptoms can hang around for a looong time. Talk to your doctor, look for a local support group, anything that will help. Your lungs will thank you (smoking is most assuredly an asthma trigger) and your children will thank you.

    • Hi. I’m in the EXACT same situation. I have anxiety already and asthma and my body feels like absolute shit. I want to be around for my kids and not living on an oxygen tank…but this is very difficult. I just want to feel healthy again. Best wishes and props for everyone quitting.

  15. Hi guys, I got a severe flu 3 days ago and I decided to quit smoking too along with it. It’s a bit …too much but I can blame all the effects on the flu itself.
    What I have is dizziness, runny nose, sore throat and severe severe cough, some muscle pain, chest paint… I will get over it!
    I’ve been smoking for 15 years 10-20/day.

  16. Collins John says:

    My wife gave me an ultimatum a week ago: Quit smoking or I’m leaving you. I obviously quit – since then I haven’t looked back and feel great. You might think her approach was too harsh, but I was smoking a lot and she didn’t want to see me die of a horrible disease or cancer.

    Bye bye cigarettes! Hello life!

  17. I smoked for 14 years. I tried many ways to quit, slow down etc.. One day, I went in for oral surgery, during that time period I was anticipating hypnosis to stop smoking (although I was far from having the money). What I did instead, was find a prerecorded, stop smoking hypnosis on YouTube, and played it as soon as i got home, while still feeling the anesthetics. I woke up feeling as though i never smoked! I had no desire, no craving whatsoever. I did use a patch for 1 week due to rageing withdrawing, but I’m still going strong without smoking. However being in my 3erd week, I think I am feeling this ‘quitter’s flu’

  18. I’m on day 3. I quit just before midnight New Year’s day. I’m in the U.S. so it’s still January 3rd for me. The horrors of “quitter’s flu” shared here have my nerves jangled. I’m snuffly and congested with a mild cough so far. I’m 44 years old and smoked for 16 years though (minus the time I quit and stuck to it for a month). I hope the flu doesn’t get worse although it indicates to me that my body is trying to repair itself. I’m excited about that.

    *sn* I almost fell off the wagon today. I found an old pack with some butts in it. I don’t like flicking butts in the ground. Usually I smoked to the filter and flicked out the cherry before putting the butt in the box, but apparently there was one that burned out on me. There was just enough stale tobacco in it for 2 puffs. I lit it…and let it burn away to nothing. It didn’t touch my lips, but Lord, it felt good holding it. I pray I don’t fall completely off the wagon this time.

    • I quit New years Eve and having a hard time with the quitter flu. I found my E cigarette and had one toke off of it. I feel bad for doing it, but seriously, it made me feel so much better.

  19. Well done everyone! I’m on day 18. Has anyone experienced indigestion as a side effect?

    • Yes to the indigestion, in fact, this is a pretty common side effect of smoking cessation. Talk to your doctor about medication. It doesn’t necessarily have to be prescription, there are some good OTC meds for heartburn, but should be used with your doctor’s okay. There are also herbal remedies available but if you are on any prescription meds, check with your doctor first.

    • Oh and do cut back on caffeine consumption. It has been proven that blood serum caffeine levels double, especially during the early days of smoking cessation, so cutting down on coffee, caffeinated sodas, etc. will certainly help with symptoms of caffeine toxicity (jitters, indigestion, anxiety, nausea, increased heart rate, sweating, dizziness….).

  20. I have quit before and every time I get sick, actually this time this is what helped me quit. Caught a cold at work, so since I only smoke 1-3 cigarettes a day, I didn’t feel like smoking at all, now I have had this crazy cold for 3 weeks, after a round of antibiotics, cold medicine and Aleve D, I thought I was getting better, but then tonight I had a sneezing fit and I’m all stopped again and coughing. Whatever it is, I just need sleep, and coughing=no sleep

  21. Hello, I made the conscious decision to completely quit on January 2nd. I found out I was pregnant on Christmas and though my friends told me not to quit because of the harm it could cause to the baby. I decided the little tadpole and I could champ through it now rather than have complications when he or she are born. I started with limiting myself and then the smell and taste became horrific which helped alot. I can without a doubt say that I am suffering from quitters flu. My “morning sickness” is 24/7, my body hurts, I’m not craving one at all honestly, I woke up this morning with a cough from hell and I’m coughing up all sorts of nasty crap, I’m irritable, I’m exhausted, my nose is runny, and just bleh bleh bleh. I keep telling myself it is a part of my journey and that it’s 100% better for me and my baby if I quit rather than say screw it and smoking one just to make all of this go away. I haven’t been smoking near as long as some of the years I’ve seen, I started when I was about 17 and now I’m 25, but regardless of the years, we’re all going through this together and I’m glad I found this thread because you feel really alone when your bf still smokes, your friends do, and your family either does, never did, or quit a long time ago. The quitters flu is 100% terrible but it’s not something that will last forever and that’s what I keep telling myself.

    • Hi, Amanda. I’m not sure why your friends would say it’s harmful to your baby to stop smoking. Your doctor and any other health care professional would readily tell you it’s the absolute best thing you can do for your unborn child and in fact, if you are successful in quitting before you reach 14 weeks along, your baby isn’t likely to suffer any harmful side effects of your former habit. Best of luck to you, hang in there. The symptoms of quitters flu do get better.

    • Amanda!
      I am in the exact same boat as you! Found out I was pregnant over Christmas, quit on New Years and the thought of smoking now makes me sick! My husband is still smoking but cutting down and not smoking around me which has helped, I have no desire to smoke but today my chest feels like a cold is coming on, my whole body aches, I am more exhausted then normal. This is my second child and I know I didn’t have these symptoms while pregnant with her…so I am definitely thinking its the quitters flu.

      good luck!

  22. Loretta Allen says:

    Hi everyone! I have some questions! So I quit smoking Dec 26 2016! I was using the Nicoderm CQ patch. I have not smoked since I quit. I went down to step 2 on the patches last Friday. On Saturday I broke out into a rash everywhere. I removed the patch and have not put another one back on so I’ve been patch free for 3 days still no smoking but I must say last night I didn’t feel well at all! I felt as though I was going to pass out! Has anyone felt this and why do you think it’s happening?

    • Hi Loretta,

      Sounds unusual that reducing from 21 down to 14 mg patch would make you break out. Are you sure it wasn’t something else that caused the rash ?

      I used the patch to quit and know several others who did also. Are you still hanging in with no patch ?


  23. trudy plug says:

    hi stopped smoking new years eve day 3 wanted to kill everyone the next morning it was gone thank God now feel like I have the flu can handle that Keep thinking how proud I will be of myself if I can quit for good felt so ashamed when I smoked wishing every best of luck to quit The horrid things that happen to u if u smoke will for sure get u one day

  24. Day 3. Never looking back. Sore throat and all but hey. I’m a tough person. It’s better than getting sliced and diced and having no retirement to look forward to. Even if you survive past 65 you’ll have no quality of life. F@&k cigarettes. Can’t believe I didn’t do this earlier. !

  25. My hubby and I quit October 23, 2016. We started by using the patches. Unfortunately the patches didn’t work for me. I was worse on them. I gave it all up cold turkey. Now if I could just get this “quitters flu”. It keeps coming and going! So sick of being sick. But with a grandson on the way there’s no going back now!

  26. Pawan Mukhiya says:

    I had to give a little break to my smoking habit due to Chicken Pox. I didn’t smoke for at least 2 weeks and there it was the quitters flu. As I started recovering from chicken pox I started to to get extreme hot and cold flashes, flu and cold.. I thought it had to do something with the chicken pox. Consulted doctor but I was told it’s just a regular flu. So because of cold and cough which I still have, I decided to stay away from cigarettes until I googled and found the real cause of being feverish with cough and cold. My body was actually healing itself. And that’s when I decided if I can stay without smoking for almost 3 weeks why can’t I quit it for better!

  27. I quit smoking 10 months ago. I quit cold turkey and never looked back. I am still a non smoker. I have sinus problems like never before. I can’t smell anything, taste anything. The one thing I do smell…..Is cigarette smoke, but not around it. It’s so bad, I feel like I’m giving myself second hand smoke.
    I am ready to go to the doctor to prescribe me something for it. I take sudifed and nasal spray. I can’t blow my nose on the left side. I don’t know what else to do.
    I don’t like cigarettes or the smell. I’m not having urges to smoke either. How long will this last? Feeling like I’m going in Spain. Only I can smell it.

    • Going in Sain not spain

      • seems that we have more health problems now than when we smoked..weird how the body heals itself that way..i use texa allergy for the sinus..others burn my nasals…i also want to know how long it lasts as my doctor says months…feels like i have one foot in the grave from chest a heart attack..cant asthma…eish..why did i start just to put myself through this 29

        • Mel,

          I would love to connect with you somehow. I’ve read through a lot of the posts on this thread, and I’ve had the same experience as you. It been 4.5 months for me now. I had the “smokers Flue for Months,” and I’m just starting to get over these symptoms and feel normal again. But I’ve had severe chest/cardiovascular pains just like you. At one point it felt like I was breathing through a straw everyday.

      • By the way..i cant blow my left nose either…????

  28. Please keep going
    I am on day 17. First 10 days I used the e cig. Now I’m just me with no aids.
    This quitters flue has certainly got with me.
    When I start to cough I literally feel like my entire internal organs are falling out.
    I’m going to see doc tomoz just to rule anything out as blood has now appeared. In addition my ears have closed up. If that makes sense!!
    Feeling like this just makes me want to never have a cigerette again.
    Can’t believe the amount of toxins that must be in one to make me feel like this.
    I just hope I start to be normal soon
    Keep positive. You can do it. X

  29. hello guys ..
    i have been smoking for 4 yrs and i m 22
    a couple days before i fell sick with chest infection and i have been taking medicine since 4 days but with a very little improvement since i haven’t smoked for 4 days .my cold doesn’t go out ..i m feeling like strokes of cold all over my body..and i have now decided to quit smoking…is that cold and fever because of quitting ..plzz help guys

  30. Hi everyone….I quit smoking cigs on Aug 31st 2016 – but was already vaping with 8mg of nicotine. Yesterday, I decided to vape with 0 mg of nicotine and have been feeling the effects of nicotine withdrawals….just super sleepy, hot & cold, and occasional anxiety attacks. Hopefully it goes away soon….or I might cave in and go back to 8mg….will give it a week or so. Good luck to all that are trying to quit…it’s def not easy…but Vaping sure does help!

  31. Hello, everyone. I just quit this past Monday, January 23rd, and OMG, let me tell you, my throat hurts, I’ve been coughing and wheezing, just feeling BLAH! I’m quitting cold turkey, so I know I’ll be miserable for at least the first week. Hang in there, people. Get up from your desk at work from time to time to keep your head from crashing into that keyboard! LOL I get SO sleepy at work, especially during down time. I like the Lemon Zing or Chamomile to help me sleep at night and relieve my throat. I’ll be popping in from time to time for updates and encouragement. Good Luck! Stay Clean from Nicotine! 🙂

  32. Richard sampson says:

    I’m 45 years old and from the day I was brought home I’ve been exposed to nicotine! I don’t blame my parents for not being informed of the dangers of second hand smoke, it was “the norm” back in the day.
    I eventually started smoking when I was 15 and continued for the next 30. It is a drug that is hard to overcome but it can be done! I’ve quit cold turkey 1 month ago and still have the occasional craving, I know the cravings don’t last long and wait for it to pass!
    I owe it to my kids who were persistent in getting me to quit! I’m from a family of 6 smokers , 3 sisters, a brother mother and father (died of colon cancer). I’m the first to break the cycle and hopefully they follow suit.

  33. I quit on Christmas Eve 2016. I had made these goals every year of quitting for New Years, but instead I decided I wanted to be a non-smoker by the 30th birthday. Feb 2018. It’s been roughly over a month and I’m just starting to get the symptoms and feel like crap. Tomorrow will be day 4 and I’m making a Dr appointment, just in case. I’m glad to know it’s something real, and it’s for the best.

    • Did the doctor give you anything?

    • Today is day 9 for me. Went to urgent care, then ER, then my PCP for chest tightness; I thought i had some major chest infection and was getting scared from the sensation that I couldn’t catch a breath. . All normal xrays, blood work, and EKG – it’s all just a side effect from stopping smoking; in my case anyway. Hang in there!!

  34. I stopped smoking 51 days ago on 15/12/2016. Since then I’ve had two courses of antibiotics – one for sinusitis and another for chest infection. My throat is constantly sore and feel run down and unwell. Regrets, none . After 40 years smoking 10 -15 per day, I knew it was only a matter of time before I got really sick. Patches keep me sane- a few days left of step 2 before final two weeks. I’ve had possibly the most stressful few weeks at work and haven’t caved in. Previous quit attempts have taught me the instant relief is longer there. So just having to ‘get on with it’
    Unhealthily overweight and not exercising also play a big part- need to just keep going in the hope (and I know it will) get better.

  35. My advice to anyone is to quit in mid week and have two weeks holiday booked in one week time you will need it if you get the smokers flu . Also if you go on the patch use a medium to low dosage for one week then loose it . It is a drug addiction. It is like an alcoholic drinking half a bottle and trying to quit . Lower your dependency on nicotine then go cold turkey your odds are better and convince yourself of how toxic your habit is till it is embedded deep. Do your homework this time I know you tried before but this time really prepare and do the research into it. Get mad and stay mad at the fact of what you have been doing to yourself and how they have been running your life in every aspect and it’s a time bomb ticking till a cold gets you or your on puffers to live or you die . We know it shortens life by minimum ten years and before that takes your quality of life for another twenty . You know look at someone who is a fifty yr old smoker and a fifty yr old non smoker it’s like day and night . So be in the right mind set and do it . And remember second hand smoke even off gassing from clothes or cars furniture etc is bad and you are getting it first . Your friends and family are getting your leftover . My son just had a boy my first grandson and my son sent me a link to a site about off gassing from cigarette smoke and asked me that if I smoked not to handle his newborn unless my coat was off and had a fresh sweater. I went to the link read it and was shocked. He was right in asking me to do this needless to say I am now on my third week of no cigarettes and when I last saw my grandson I coughed and my son asked are you sick and I said no I have the flu but it’s smokers flu cause I quit and got a big thankyou hug from my son and his wife. I’m in charge of my life now not a drug addiction. When someone does cocaine or heroine it does not get into family and friends systems but this does . Think about it and get there

  36. 11 days of not smoking and I feel horrible. Nauseated for the last 2 days, back ache, can’t focus, face is broke out and I’m an emotional mess. If I heard of this flu before I never paid attention and I should have.

    • Me to u was in shock. You might feel like crap but it’s worth it . I was relieved when I found out the flu feeling is normal and good it shows your healing
      Keep up the good job . I’m in my third week .

      • Good for you also. I guess it is a good thing, but after the first couple days of horrible cravings and emotional nightmare I was feeling better and thought I had gotten over the hurdle. Was a little shocked to have never heard more about it from fellow quitters. When I announced on FB I was quitting I had tons of comments and plenty of people referencing the cravings and the eating etc., but no mention of this. I’m not going to smoke to get rid of it, but sure hope it passes soon.

      • Jolene did you go cold turkey and how long did you smoke . And what brought your mind to say that is it enough is enough.

        • I cut back from 15 cigs to 5 for a couple days then just quit, cold turkey, no patches no gum. I have been smoking for 25 years. I have tried to quit before and just wasn’t ready I guess. Hypnotized twice and that only lasted about 2 weeks. I turn 40 this year and thought I have to quit by then plus I added up the money and it just made me sick to think how much money I have wasted. I am an emotional person anyways so that is my biggest obstacle. I just have to go away from people when I start crying for no apparent reason.

        • Eleven days is amazing you should be dam proud so many don’t make it past two days
          The ups and downs of the roller coaster ride start to smooth out soon but it is a long ride but really a week does go by fast and before you know they are passing easier and you can get off the ride.

        • I smoked for 25 years, about 15-20 cigs. a day. I cut back to 5 cigs. for a couple days and then quit, no gum, no patch just quit. I have quit before, hypnotized twice, and it never lasted more than a couple weeks. I turn 40 this year and I figured up how much money I have spent and decided that was ridiculous.

          • Sorry I thought my other comment never showed up.

          • Just back from physio
            Earlier this yr Feb fell on water at work tore tendons in right shoulder bad massive tear they had to reattach them by going into my shoulder from seven areas got back to work in July by Nov was ninety percent there when someone spilled liquid on floor in front of desk.We’ll you guessed it fell bad,hitting head on desk agrivating shoulder. Was back at work two days later on restrictions for a,week then back at it fortunately I heal well but three weeks later stiff neck got worse and it turned into whiplash and the head injury turned worse with a whole assortment of side effects including crying at the drop of a hat so I understand what your saying .I did look it up because it was embarrassing but you feel better when you let it out so was curious. It said when you cry you release toxins out of your body through your tear ducks and your brain releases endorphins that is why you feel good afterwards. Now me the side effects from the whiplash and concussion are pretty well gone and I start back to work tomorrow half days. But I don’t know if this helps but in physio I have seen some pretty nasty stuff people’s bones in there backs disintegrating and having to have liquid cement replacing or filling in so they can walk . It wakes you up and sometimes that is what we need to say to ourselves yes,I feel sick dam sick but there is a reason for it nobody forced it down my throat and iam going to be over this and will feel good this summer and have money in the bank and am going to treat myself to an all-inclusive week at a resort and it’s free not money up in smoke and will pay for a trip every yr . Iam already enjoying coffee without a cigarette but getting use to the smells is hard it seems like odours good and bad are strong and am hungry more often they say cigarettes are a suppressant for food. This time you’ll make it this is an x smoker . I know I’ll never start again and I’ll be damed if I let you . If you can smoke cigarettes for twenty five yrs and put up with that disgusting habit what’s a little flu for a while and fatigue compared to the cost and the sickness from cigarette. What I want to see is when I get a cold if I will be like a non smoker and get over it in a few days without going to a Dr and having him read me the riot act about smoking. Your family and friends must be happy also

    • Hang on in there…i have been smoking from the age of 11. I am now 54.
      I must have tried packing up at least 2 times a year and have never managed.Worst drug ever…..i was smoking 20 a day….i am on a familiar road at the moment…day 9.The best advice i can give is dont give in to that greedy little f…ing nicotine monster at any cost….your life will be much more worse at the end then what ever you are going through now… is all in the mind….you only smoke on average 1 hour per day and dont crave for the other 23….loose that last hour….better than loosing your life !
      I am so determined this time and i know all its trick to catch me….this time there will be only one winner !!!!
      Hope that helped !

  37. Kind of makes you ask the question why do people go back there is no upside only a downside and it’s dam expensive an a bitch to stop so why after so many months or even a yr do people go back I hate things that don’t add up . They stick in your head like a song that won’t go away . And when you quit and you see them out there in all weather woof ING down a cigarette you look and say that use to be me I must of been out of my mind . Maybe it’s the stimulants that are in them that give you a wakeup for twenty minutes . Or they fill in that void of time . Maybe it’s when your in your twenties or thirties you feel you have all the time in the world and if you fail or go back no big deal but by forty your thinking time is going faster and it’s time to wisen up take this serious make up your mind and do it and it hits you like a light bulb going off in your head and you wonder why didn’t this go off thousands of dollars ago and after having two week bouts of colds and dealing with a smokers cough that we make up excuses for like the air is dry in here or I got a tickle in my throat. You know when you carry gum or lifesavers or mints etc. Why . I’m just glad the light went off and it was pretty bright. Leaves you feeling like,a moron for not doing this ten yrs ago . Well were doing it now and there seems to be a lot doing it you go anywhere you are the minority and have to hide outside to have a quick one pretty dam pathetic time is ticking money is going up in smoke and we’re not as dumb . That is why we won’t ever cave in this time it took the information hyway to cement it in stone think about it if this was not available our odds would not be there we would not know this flu is normal and be able to reach out not only for information but even support . Maybe that is why so many people are kicking it more than ever. And because you went cold turkey like me your odds are greater look it up. Check it on the information hyway that I’m talking about . And you know no hypnosis or patch will do it you got to be ready to say that’s it enough is enough and stick to it. And do it . And girl that is what your doing getting your life back

    • Thanks Bruce. 🙂

      • I do want to plan some kind of trip as a reward or a goal to work towards. How rewarding would it be to go somewhere I’ve never gone and know I got there from not smoking. Hopefully this “flu” will subside so I can get to the gym. Won’t be going anywhere that requires swimwear if I keep eating the way I am. Unfortunately my “flu” includes nausea, but does not stop me from eating. I can eat right threw it.
        Sorry about your accidents and I hope being back to work goes well for you.

        • Well I went to work today great to see the people I work with but this flu leaves you completely drained and hard to function. Could not do this for eight hours five days straight. And anybody that can deserves a medal or at the least a two week holiday minimum . Thank heavens they are starting me two shifts a week of four hours . The sad part is from Oct till my fall in mid Nov I was in workharding for my shoulder Monday to Friday three hours everyday after work in physio working out building up and was in great shape but after concussion and whip lash had to stop work hardening then quit smoking and got this flu and now veg and eat and am starting to show it and I’m one of the lucky ones that stay at the same weight now my sister she looks at a piece of chocolate cake and gains weight but she goes to a gym and works hard . It’s a good thing for me because I love food and can really eat but stay thin except I can tell I’m gaining some with no smoking and laying around. This might help we don’t have the flu if we did on we were sick we couldn’t eat so I think I know what it is. Like your throat it probably burns like your smoking even weeks later it’s because it’s inflamed a bit it’s tender it’s like new skin very sensitive. Well your sinuses are inflamed and a bit swollen you can breath ok through them but you know something is off your head feels heavy you feel some pressure behind your eyes you lay in bed your ok get up and move around your nautious it’s your balance caused by your sinus and they probably won’t find anything if you go to a Dr but I’m starting to use a sinus rinse now because this is overwhelming and I have generally a lot of reserve energy more than most. And have none.My hobby is I love renovating places .like the house I own now I have a whole skid of flooring waiting for me in my garage to install I have this house three quarters finished and have been grounded. It’s a sick passion but I love it and am good and it comes natural to me.
          But the sinus thing makes sense it would also give you fatigue and a nautious feeling. But this has been three weeks of this and no sign of letting up. I’m buying rice in a bag that you add a bit of water to it and microwave for two minutes or fish that goes in the oven from box to pan no prep work soup and bread anything fast and simple. But food does taste better how can you feel so lousy and so hungry..Oh yea my accidents no big deal I’m back together better than new cause I’m smoke free and this nautious fatigue lousy feeling well it has nothing to do with my accident so that is a good feeling. I never let things get me down I have a lot of patience belive life is short am ashamed to say I like a good romance movie over anything and usually have to fight back tears or get embarrassed if someone notices . The trip I go on is a tough one maybe a boat cruise where you stop in at different ports or maybe an Alaska trip and see the whales or just somewhere your waited on and spoiled by the pool. You know when you get so far along without out a cigarette you feel so good about it and it’s like you just inherited a longer life or been granted a better one.And because I know without a shadow of a dought I will never go back cause there is not even an interest now it’s a good feeling and weird feeling. But nice . Got to go have horrible sweet tooth need ice cream it’s calling me from the fridge .

          • You might think this is stupid but maybe some people do this also. I had someone that I worked with who had a heart attack who quit smoking. He decided to retire also I saw him three years later and he had blown up like a Pillsbury dough boy and saw this happen to someone else to. A ND the last time I quit I started to put on the weight and was working and my job is physical so between the cravings and the weight gain I was worried and thought I’ve been fit all my life no way and went back but this time when I will not gain because when I get my energy back I don’t have cravings and will not replace them with junk food.And have read juicing helps but nobody says what they are juicing . And have never juiced and maybe some things work better in a juicer
            If you have recipes for what works for this let me know I’m asking anybody out there share your recipes
            Thankyou. It seems like we all have this dam fatigue and nautious but able to eat but no energy .

          • It’s Thursday I don’t have a lot of energy but enough to get through the day and physio afterwards and still nautious but less I think the sinus rinse is helping or its the time frame of just over three weeks everybody tells how bad it is but I need to know there is good days coming and I’m telling you I’m having one today and that means you will to wait for it its like when you are getting over a infection you can still feel it but less
            throat still sore but the nautious is less . If I never said it thankyou for all for your advice and imput I never would of made it this far I would of caved in for sure.

          • I think I am over my “flu”. Was able to make it to the gym this week, only once but better than not at all. 21 days today, and yes it does feel like you have a new lease on life. Still not finding a ton of energy and eating way too much, but focus is getting better. Day by day.

  38. Ok here it is I’m sixty two have been smoking fifty one yrs don’t have anything wrong with me. But am terrified of colds when I get one it’s bad otherwise can even run on a treadmill for forty minutes no problem. My father smoked two packs a day and at eighty died from an inherited aniourisym. Well I quit a month ago cold turkey now I have been suffering with this dam smokers flu and as much as it is brutal I should of done this year’s ago so my advice to all you young ones listen to this stubborn old dog. Life is short so do it stop this starting and stopping or you will be like me don’t live in the world of excuses . I have no excuse why I didn’t do this thirty yrs ago. But then I think the tobacco companies were still.trying to convince people that they weren’t all that bad but either way still king something in your mouth lighting it on fire an inhaling the smoke well it’s not rocket science it can’t be good so I have no excuse neither do you it’s very simple it’s not rocket science quit and don’t buy any more or gamble with your life so suck it up toughen up and get down to business. Do you think someone wants you you smell of smoke your energy level is low yellow stains on teeth hands your car smells. So now tell me what is making you think twice and fail at this. Must be how cool you look with it no that can’t be it you look stupid and weak with no willpower. Oh well if you fail you will think of some excuse you started smoking and only you can finish it . I’d wish you luck but you need stubbornness and willpower not luck.

  39. Jolene great to hear me to for two days I have started getting to feel better getting over the flu after four weeks starting to get some energy and starting to finally see a light at the end of a four week nautious flu so yes not a lot of energy back but enough to feel I can do this. And it is perfect timing as much as now the thought of a cigarette doesn’t appeal to me it actually scares me with the thought of puffers oxygen slowly loosing my lungs and dieing I was at the breaking point where it was either I start feeling better or I give in because I hear horror stories of people who six months later are still in the flu symptoms and no way could I do this for six months . It feels good to cough cause I’m not smoking and I can see a better cleaner life my God my hands look so clean and my teeth and to drive to work in the car without a cigarette I feel like a normal person not a drug addict making sure I get my fix on the way to work . Now is see my coworkers out there smoking and I wish I could make the light go off in there heads but they are younger than me and they are in there smoking little click that I use to belong to and I know like I use to be in knew it all and don’t want to be an x smoker that tries to lecture smokers. But yes I feel good so I no where your coming from and the extra weight well it’s going to come off as the energy gets there we spent a lot of time smoking that’s why if you hadn’t noticed we have more time. Which means soon twenty minutes of exercise three times a week and I can look at a fold up exercise piece of equipment for the bedroom after all its not money being burned up in smoke. I’ll use it during commercials then rest. Off topic you ever crave a nice toasted tomato sandwich everybody craves nice fluffy mashed potatoes if you have a craving after eating for a cigarette and you wonder where that came from tomatoes and potatoes are some of the foods that have nicotine in them so if in say six months it happens maybe it’s something you ate just worth thinking about. What’s nice is I’m not gassey as much or at least I don’t constantlysmell like sulfur and not feeling like I need to go all the time. My throat doesn’t burn as much either. It figures I go to physio today and I tell my physiotherapist how I feel much better nautious feeling gone so what do they do make me do these eye exercises while moving my head from side to side and you guessed it makes you feel sick and nautious real bad different than smokers flu but it only stays for a few minutes after but give me a break. But I’m still on cloud nine and to know your still holding in there and feeling better well it makes me really happy. But step by step I’m changing my life it’s not just giving up smoking it’s eating better more fruit vegetables juicing which I never have done I guess I can ask the women at work what to juice and it’s weird I never have eaten in the lunch room before we only have thirty minutes lunch so that would normally be a coffee two cigarettes and a muffin maybe so being in the lunch room even for break is a new experience I think even for the regulars they kind of look at you like your here why you never come here. I think also I’m going to go out of my way to do something different this summer after dinner I’m going to go for a walk around the block or to the corner store not just eat and veg right after. They say it takes twenty one days to develope a habit or loose one so I’m going to try it this summer. I think it’s good to plan things in baby steps so you don’t become a couch potato then you get down and start slipping so I’m going to start like normally I never eat breakfast it was coffee cigarette out front then off to work now it’s tea and a bowl of cereal every morning. I bought a three lb bag of apples after dinner now for a snack I have an apple . They are baby steps but it feels good. I don’t eat white bread but whole grain bread. The big test will be when they say ok to go back to work full time but I think it will be easier than being at home so much. Anyone out there remember this smokers flu may last one to four weeks it’s worth it. I think it’s rare to go longer so hang in there the feeling you get when your over the hump well now I can say it was worth it .

  40. 34 Days gone and i still feel terrible, no energy whatsoever, never felt so tired and exhausted, waking up in the morning is the worst, just don’t want to get out of bed then takes me about 3 hours to actually lose the brain fog after waking up, horrible horrible feeling , But i don’t have any symptoms like coughing or producing flem “which is worrying” since it would be good to know my bodys getting rid of it from my lungs , also putting on so much weight in such a short period of time i’m begging to look as if im pregnant “and i’m a guy”

  41. Ok so I’m roughly around the 36 hr Mark and I’m feeling tired and kinda lime I have a bloated chest and once in a while is aching and can feel it kinda in my back.Is this normal I’m 26 yrs old and feel like I’m having an anxiety attach cuz how I feel.

    • My answer Jacob is yes it is,normal. Nicotine is a stimulate so you are,not getting it also your brain releases endorphins from nicotine that make you feel good which is missing and your body is working overtime to heal itself and you experience anxiety because your brain just lost its drug fix that has been convincing you for years is your friend. Think of it another way also when you consume a big meal your body is digesting it you are so tired no energy well imagine how much energy your body is expending to heal itself in so many areas that is working on . It’s like a good workout afterwords you ache all over but you know it’s for a good reason this is the same only you not only ache but feel like crap but you keep going cause you know it’s worth it and it won’t last forever. Eat healthy for energy get rest moderate exercises and remember why you are doing this. Hang in there good luck and stay commited

  42. Hello all! I just recently decided to quit smoking as of 2/26/2017, a buddy came into town and well we partied pretty hard and I smoked ALOT. After he left Sunday morning I cold turkey quit. I have always lifted weights and stayed fairly fit. Also I added 40 minutes of running a day to my routine. I now have on and off chest pains and the dreaded “Quitters Flu” I refuse to let this rule me and continue running and lifting through out it. The power is in our minds!!! I wish everyone luck!

    27 y/o, have smoked for 7 years, frequency varied

  43. I quit smoking on February 16 because Im having back surgery at the end of March. I too have the smokers flu or quitters flu. I have had it for about 3 weeks. Very bad headaches, hot/cold flashes, cold. running nose, post nasal drip, even some vomiting a few times, hard time sleeping, fatigue, very tired, no energy…the list goes on. I have quit smoking several times for a year or two at a time and I have never been sick because of it. I smoked Marlboros for years, quit for 2 years then started again smoking all natural Spirit. It took an all natural tobacco to make me feel like crap. Im a single mom with two very active preteens. I don’t have time to rest and baby myself so I just keep going. I hope this goes away soon cause I feel like Im starting to lose the battle. I don’t want to start smoking again, only cause the thought of it makes me feel even sicker. I really wish this constant headache would go away though.

  44. Stephanie says:

    I am on day 85! And still get the hot flashes and chills and headaches! Not everyday but pretty close to it! And not to mention the anxiety! Holy crap! That’s by far the very worst!!

  45. Hi all. I am 35, pack-a-day smoker 18 years; quit 9 days now. I originally quit bcas I got sick. I am past the physical cravings, well into the psychological withdraw at this point, but it’s not near as bad as I expected it to be. My biggest issue is chest tightness. It feels like someone is sitting on my chest and it often takes me yawning to get a deep breath. I want to share my experiences of the last week in hopes of putting someone’s mind at ease, and perhaps saving them some money as well. I have been to Urgent care twice, the ER and my PCP all within the last 9 days; and I never go to the doctor, like never. I have had multiple chest x-rays, 2 EKGs, blood work & urine analysis twice. They checked me for infections, blood clots, you name it & they checked for it. I am otherwise very healthy so they we’re checking for anything at all. ALL of my tests came back normal. My oxygen levels are 99, basically perfect, & my PCP told me my chest x-rays don’t even convey that I was a smoker. The chest tightness I feel is a mere side effect of quitting. It is the process of the cilia growing back and the lungs repairing themselves. My PCP explained that it is like slicing open your arm, & as it heals the skin grows tight & stretches. I can tell you tho, that it can feel like you’re suffocating. There are countless times where had I not been able to focus & breathe, I could have easily had a panic attack. The sensation is scary as hell! I feel like an idiot running back to the doc over a combination of anxiety and lung healing (both effects of quitting) but at least it gave me some peace of mind, which is why I shared my story here. With that being said, is anyone here past the chest tightness phase of detox that can give me an idea of how long it lasts??? I would love to have an end in sight! Stay strong everyone! We can all do this! It will be well worth it! Sending positivity to all of you!!

    • Jonathan says:

      Thanks this has put my mind at ease as iv had these sypmtoms ., i suffer from anixitey as it is ., so im constantly listening to my body for an little sign to absoulty freak out … but this has helped thanks ., im currently going thru quitters flu … just looking tips on here staying postive

      • That really helped me as well. I am 27 yo, smoked for around 10 years quit, 3+ weeks ago . Atm,I have a ‘second wave’ of the quitters flu- had it in my first week and now it started again today 🙁 Although I never had a smokers cough (not even during the quitters flu) I have chest congestion and occasionally freak out cs of it . Just like you I had multiple checks done – physicals,blood tests and x-ray came back normal. And yet I am freaking out from time to time. Anxiety is a real b***h, BUT hang in there at least you know you are physically healthy, the rest will get better as well! 🙂

        • Ellie, I never developed a smoker’s cough while smoking either, so when I had this chest tightness I was worried. It actually took a lot of research to find out my symptoms were quitters flu (I had never heard of it prior). Yeah, the anxiety from quitting is completely new to me. I have never had an issue with being anxious, so I am hoping it goes away with time. I am hanging in! Knowing that the symptoms are temporary helps a lot. The placebo effect is underrated; merely believing we will get better helps us heal. That was in part my intention here. Good luck to us all!! Hang strong!

  46. Jonathan says:

    Just past 2 weeks with out one smoke ., iv been smoking over 15 years . I just went stright cold turkey ., defo think iv got quitters flu (which i didnt even know was a thing) ., some days worse than others ., is there any thing i can take to help ., and would going to the gym ., trying to power through it help or make it worse ?., ., any advice would be great thanks 🚭🚭🚭🚭🚭🚭

    • 3+weeks was just getting better and today I got it again 🙁 Get some rest and drink lots of water and tea, stock up on lozenges (if your throat is sore). Take vitamins – vit C or vit B complex might do you some good, otherwise just take multi or whatever vits and supplements you have.. Hope that helps Good luck! 🙂

    • Today is day #17 for me, still going strong! I lost my chest tightness like 4 days ago, so at day 13. I too went cold turkey, and it does get easier! I am finally feeling physically better and my appetite has returned. I say, yes, Jonathan, exercise is great, it has helped me immensely, but I have noticed, I have to keep my exercising moderate – no heavy or strenuous exercising. Eating clean has helped me a lot as well. Lots of water and orange juice, and dairy seems to make the healing process slow down… The quitters flu for me lasted about 2 weeks. Once I got past the two week mark, I have been feeling much better each day. I still get occasional chest tightness and a slight headache for a few hours, but all my symptoms seem to be fleeting, and don’t really hamper my day. I also get a cigarette craving a few times a day, but they too are fleeting.

  47. I am on day 25 of not having a cigarette. I am not coughing at all but I am having other issues. My lungs have hurt for the past 3 weeks and I feel like I can’t get full deep breaths without really concentrating on my breathing. It causes horrible anxiety which makes the breathing And lung pain/tightness way worse. I take ibruprophen every 4 hours for the discomfort and I’m not sure if my lungs are inflamed or not but that’s what it feels like. I went to the emergency room back on February 20th, “The day I quit” because I had horrible bronchitis and thought for sure it was pneumonia. The doctor did a chest xray and EKG and said every thing looked normal so I know the pain I’m having in my lungs is not pnomunia or COPD, or cancer. Can anyone PLEASE tell me when this chest discomfort will go away??? It’s making every day a struggle and it reflects on my work performance. This shit needs to get better soon!

  48. Hi, I’m 38. I quit 5 months ago when I had a bad cough and flu that didn’t go away for 2 weeks. on and off I had blocked ears for a year before but after I quit, it got much worse, I was having nasal congestion, went to ENT, nasal endoscopy and it was scary. I had back pains and muscle pains, chest feel tights, I felt like lying down all the time. I was smoking on and off 1 pack since I was 15. Quit a couple of times when I gave birth. It’s not worth it and I wished I had never smoked at all. Lungs try to heal and it takes 10 years. I hope everybody stay strong and find ways to heal, doing meditations, find peace. I used to be active and exercise when I was smoking but now it seems like my body is still not ready.

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