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. Crystal Tillotson says:

    I’m on day 89 of not smoking. I’ve been more sick being a non smoker than I ever was when I did smoke. I’ve had non stop post nasal drip, issues with my throat, and I’ve been on many antibiotics and nasal sprays for it. I’m hoping it will all slow down and stop soon! It’s been almost 3 months and I’m tired of feeling sick all the time. It’s been such a pain in my butt! Any helpful tips or tricks to start feeling better?

    • Me too three mounths haed aches body aches still sweating bad taste in my mouth shoulders sore arms i hate it but going to stick it out

      • hey Clayton..i’m having the same. went to ENT and the doc prescribed me with nasal spray. i’m going into 68 days of cold turkey. had bad taste in my mouth (acid reflux??) and sometimes i would sweat and then get a feel of shaky/slight tremors. body aches came after the sweat but it gets milder each day…do you had excess saliva building up with some ache on your jaw?


        • Yes my jaw on the left side hurts and my throat is killing me just had ultrasound on my throat they said its fine but i wouldnt think so

          • Aches and tremmors. Fully clean since st party’s

          • C. Saylors says:

            Clayton~ I don’t know your history, your family history, or your age but with a history of smoking and left sided jaw pain you speak to your physician and have a cardiac work up if you haven’t already, just to be on the safe side. Take care and hope you feel better!!

    • Stick it out… You’ll feel like a different person after the 1st year! I was hospitalized twice with pneumonia the 1st year I quit… It was horrible…. It wasn’t until after that I felt better and perhaps finally normal! Completely detoxed….

      • What sid they put you in the hospitals. For i wounder if that is what i have i have a hard time breathing and its been 10 months i walk around every day with my breathing steips on my noise. Any info woukd be great

  2. 16 days clean. 33 years old been smoking sense 16/17 easily a pack a day when I quit cold turkey.first few days felt great as if I was healing already. more energy positive attitude toward this great thing I am doing for me and my family. day 14 worst stomach pains ever flu like vomiting cramping bloating… slept 20 hours straight woke up cover in sweat… went to work almost passed out first time ever leaving work due to illness day 15 slept another 18 hours sweat out another bucket eating healthy drinking lots starting to feel myself again… never again.. I love my son so much I want to live.

  3. Been a smoker for 20+ years, decided Mar 21st I was going to quit, slowly cut down to 2 a day, finally today Mar 29th I have not had a smoke.

    Past couple of days I have felt like I have a low grade fever, chills come and go, throat hurts, nose is stuffy.

    I hope this passes soon.

    • I’ve heard it’s smokers flu, I’ve had it 3 weeks and it’s not getting better. I will stick it out if you do 😀

  4. Three weeks smoke free after 24 years. Been on champix for 4 weeks fantastic,no cravings. For the first week sweated buckets all night, blocked sinuses for 3 weeks, im tired and ache all the time. Now the cough has started and seems to be getting worse daily. I hope this doesn’t last months I don’t know if I could take it!!

  5. I quit smoking cigarettes new years 2016
    I experienced mood swings but besides that nothing!
    Just recently (3 months later) I have been coughing bad, it been dry and my chest hurts. Sometimes I can cough up white stuff.

    Could it be the pollen or from cigarettes?
    Anyone know?

  6. Hi I quit cold turkey after 34 years of a pack sometimes ok a lot of times more
    : ( I’ve been smoke free for 120 days now after crying and pretty much eating from my bed for the first 2 months and being completely insane I’ve gained 20+ lbs and I am now trying to workout and eat healthy but I feel like I have smoke stuck in my throat ? I don’t know how else to explain it, sounds weird but it’s like I need to exhale smoke but I can’t? Anyone else feel like that or anything similar ?
    Last year the Dr gave me a breathing test lets just say I did Not pass my Dad died from COPD, lung cancer and complications from it 3 years ago and had been on oxygen for years I didn’t want my grandkids watching me die like that so I finally quit. I had tried everything in the past patches, gum, chantix, anti depressants nothing worked I knew it was just going to have to be cold turkey and will power and I know now I’ll never pick up another one! I tell myself whatever happens or goes wrong in my life smoking a cig is not going to change whatever’s going on so why bother?? Good luck to everyone You can make it another minute watch the clock if you need to and then just make it another minute after that…Keep going You’ve come this far you can go farther!!!! 👍🏻

    • Thanks, at least I know it will get better

    • Just a note to a kindred spirit of sorts. I am on week 3 of my quit after 34 years of smoking. Seems like cold turkey is the only way to go. We can do this!

    • That’s exactly what I say, Mel…why bother…the problem will still be there & it actually makes u stronger if u know you’re dealing with the problem instead of thinking you’re transferring it, which they don’t have the answer anyway. Well done, this is my 7th day & determined to keep going, although like others have developed this cold/fever/aches & haven’t had s cold for 3 years…lol

    • Mel, In Feb I quit cigarettes after 30 years using an e cig and after a month of not vaping I can almost permanently smell vape way up in my sinus so I know how you feel. Exactly like you describe, it’s in my nose waiting to exhale. I guess after 30 years of abuse it’s going to take my nose more than a few weeks to return to normal, whatever that is

  7. Tinesha says:

    I quit cold turkey February 1, 2016. This was 5 days before my 35fh birthday. I decided to quit because cancer runs on both sides of the family. I have two children. Anyways for 3 weeks now my sinuses are out of order and my throat hurts on the right side. I didn’t feel this as a smoker. But overall I’m just going to keep taking it day for day. But I feel good mentally to know nothing can tick me off to wanna smoke a cigarette.

  8. Jeanine says:

    I quit on Feb 22. 2016 with the patch for 1 month and lollipops. At first I felt like I could run a marathon Now I am crashing hard. Tired, weak, muscle aches, chills, and the most annoying thing is the sensation of having to cough at the top of my lungs. Acrid taste when I cough. Feels almost like pneumonia setting in. My ears are also plugged. My lungs have become musical. They squeak when I inhale. I smoked for 30 years 2 packs a day in the end…. those home rolled cigarettes. I will never go back to smoking. Going to look at this quitters flu like a sign that something good is going to come out of something bad.

    • Hi Jeanine,

      I’m 78 days into cold-turkey clean of cigs. Those that you’ve mentioned were the symptoms of early signs of withdrawal. I had those while in 3rd to 4th week. It will gradually getting milders until it stops. I do feel some weird taste at my throat sometimes, and last week i coughed up black like substance. It gets better afterwards. Just to make you feel better these were the symptoms i faced for the first few weeks to 2months:

      -Chills and jittery (always feeling a bit colder even in non-airconditioned rooms) – gradually wore off after 2months
      -Muscle ache (it will shift to different parts of the body but my shoulders and bicep had most of it, went off after 2.5months into cessation)
      -Cold sweat (will gradually wore off after 1 month )
      -Headache ( had this while going into 2months, went off after a week or two)
      -Teary /bloodshot eyes (starting to have this while going into 2 months, still have it)
      -Sore Throat/Tightness – (1st week until now , but gradually getting better once my ENT prescibed the nasal spray and acid reflux meds)
      -Acid Reflux – ongoing since first week of cessation
      – Fatigue / Weak feeling – ongoing
      -Grouchy/Angst – ongoing
      -Anxiety/Depression – decreased greatly while into 2months of withdrawal
      -Cough – Had it for a week and crapped up some black/yellow phelgm

      Hope this helps! Just stay strong..if the symptoms doesnt get better anywhere between 1-3months, get help from your GP. {P/S}:i certainly did and all the docs told me i’m fine and healthy. :p

      • Hi St
        I went cold turkey Jan 1st had pretty much the same as you anxiety. Pain in lungs tingling in hands and feet not sleeping very well general aches Lethargic and can’t stop crying at times.
        No appetite.
        Please can you give me a little hope that things will get better soon.
        Thank you

        • hi bonnie,

          congrats on a life without those deathsticks. i wud recommend that you have a visit to your doctor and have a full med checkup before assuming its smoke withdrawal. but based on your symptom alone it looks like u’re having bad anxiety..word of advice stop googling all your symptom and trust it will go’re doing fine and you’re body is adapting to life without nicotine. i do realised alot of new and strange things happening to my body every single week(or days)


          • I have not had a cig. for 36 days. I was sick in the beginning with headache, sinus congestion and horrible cough. As of right now I am feeling much better. This has been the best I have felt in four weeks. Its been tough but I will keep plugging along and not smoke.

          • Hi st
            Thank you for replying
            I’m off to ent Monday as doc not happy with lung function. Still feeling tired and sick but on the hole a lot better.
            Hope you are still going strong.
            Again thank you for you support it really helps.

    • Hello,I’m 21 days I feel the same way.Felt better when I smoked in a sense, Also my voice and short of breath, going to doc. Next week everyone scaring me saying walking pneumonia,I haven’t told them I stoped smoking, I’m not sure they know it’s been 29th years lol.Tracy any feedback back?

      • My cough is weird started real deep if I talk to much or do to much I cough on top of feeling like crap.the shortness of breath is pretty scarry I thought stopping smoking I would feel good not sick and low energy and muscle access along with other stuff.It’s been 2 weeks

  9. I’m 16 days and my chest hurts like hell. I don’t have cough but I feel like my chest is burning. Very disturbing. I don’t know what to do cuz all my friend are smokers and I don’t know anyone who has quit. Anyone can help?

    • Jennifer says:

      Hi Rei,
      Like you, I also have a burning sensation in my chest but only in my left lung and I can feel it in my back. I’m a 40 year old woman who started smoking at age 14 and smoked about a pack a day until about 3 years ago when I began to notice a pain at the base of my left lung and quit. About 2 months later the pain was gone and I (stupidly) thought I could have one or two cigs on the weekends. Then I resumed smoking daily, about 2 or 3. Then about 3 months ago I’d quit again. Again, after a couple weeks thought I could have one smoke on the weekends. Then it was 1 one day, none the next, then 2 or 3 on the weekends – on and off but could never completely given them up. The one thing I’ve noticed since smoking only 2 or 3 a day is that my left lung has this consistent aching and burning sensation. About a month and a half ago I had a CT scan which came back clear (doc said nothing wrong, healthy lungs). (How this can be baffles my mind.) I (stupidly) resumed having 1 or 2 cigs a day, for about a week, and 2 days ago had my last one (and have sworn to myself to never have another). Yesterday, my left lung (the one in which I’ve consistently experienced this burning sensation and ache) felt fine. Today, the burning sensation and dull ache in the left lung have returned. The only thing I can attribute to the burning sensation you and I are experiencing (and, like you, I also have no cough) is that maybe we are feeling the cilia working to clean out the lungs. I’d noticed that on the days that I’d smoked I felt nothing in my left lung and would experience the burning sensation and dull ache only after NOT smoking for 24 hours or more. While I’ve rattled on and on about myself here, I hope that it may give you a comparison against what you’re experiencing. And if you’re really nervous (as I was – I was panicked), I’d suggest talking to your doctor about it and having tests done (as I did). I’d spent over $600 but the peace of mind was worth it. Also, there are foods/vitamins, etc. that can help repair lung damage caused by smoking – Google it. Keep up the good work in not smoking!!

  10. Bonny1951 says:

    I went cold turkey jan 1st never felt so ill
    Anxiety headaches chest pain not sleeping hot cold and really tired. think the flu part was before new year that’s when I decided to quitt still feel rubbish but no way am I going to give in

  11. smoking about a half pack a day, on day 7 without smoking, sore throat is one of the worst symptoms, fever is on and off, muscle aches come and go as well but joint pain is consistent,never thought quitting would make me feel like this, the first 3 days were some of the best ive had, 5th day is where things started to go bad, stuggling to make it out of bed in the morning. Today is the first day ive missed class purely because of sickness in years, after this i will never smoke again it is not worth the after effects while quitting.

  12. Hi guys
    I’m on 10 months of no smoking and still feel rubbish
    Colds/flu symptoms, hot and cold sweats etc
    Same symptoms as you all
    I’ve had a cold every month since I gave up
    All I can say to you all is STICK WITH IT GUYS

    • Hi claire
      My mum quit in dec and ever since suffering badly with hot and cold sweats they really knock her off her feet. Cannot eat when she gets them and they last for days on end then she has couple days without them then they come back. Is this a normal process as shes had pneaumonia too

  13. I am 54 this year and have been smoking since I was 14. I have decided its time to stop! Am struggling with it. Cold turkey is not easy at all. I have cut back by more than half and have all the symptoms of Quiiters flu! Wow! Its crazy. Aching joints, hot n cold sweats, no energy, breathlessness, coughing and insomnia. My father passed of emphysema and that was in 2004. That wasnt enough to make me quit. Sad really. But now I know its time. I have a huge struggle ahead but I know in the end I will get a few more years out 9f my life? Thanks for all your posts. It is very helpful. Good luck everyone.

  14. Been smoking since I was in Grade 8. I’m turning 30 in two months. I stopped smoking cigs 3 days ago and I’ve been using Nicorette’s QuickSpray 1-2 times an hour with only 1mg of nicotine in each spray. Its helping me quit, and the cravings are getting less and less with everyday, so less sprays in 1 hour, almost down to only 1mg (one spray) an hour. Been coughing a lot, raspy voice from coughing, a bit of light brown/yellow phlem comes up, usually in the mornings, but the cough lasts throughout the day. I feel a bit light headed sometimes but its do-able, and I have not had a cigarette in 3 days, which is a big milestone for me. I love my fiance’ and my toddler daughter so much, which is why I’m quitting. If anyone can quit, you can quit. – Remember, its all in your brain, once you stop, it takes about 1 month for your brain to create new stems and form that smoking habit into a NO smoking habit. Good luck to everyone on your journey. xo

  15. Kiara Ann says:

    Hi guys my names kiara I’m 19 years old I been smoking for 2 years now I know that’s a short period of time but i use to smoke a full pack a day and i decided to quit to have a healthy life style I quite smoking 2 days ago I been feeling sick I can’t sleep I wake up in the middle of the night my doctor prescibed me nicotine patches and there are helping with cravings but this morning I woke up throwing up I been using them as prescribed and i was wondering if this is normal I also feel tightness in my chest and my mouth taste funky and i been wheezing with cold chills and i get headaches on and off and i just want some advice and some moral support thank you

  16. Hi
    My mum quit smoking in dec. Ever since shes had awful hot and cold sweats for days on end. They drain her make her very weak cannot eat anything then she had a couple of days without them then they return. Is this a common side effect of not smoking as shes been in hosp with her breathing , had chest infection after infection, pneaumonia.
    When shes has hot sweats her temp etc is all normal.
    Had lots of tests done and all comes back normal apart from her chest infections. Been on few diffeent antibiotics and steroids but still suffering with hot and cold sweats.

  17. Hello everyone who is fighting the battle to quit smoking!! I have been cigarette free for about a week. eating healthy and getting enough rest is really important. your body is going to be more tired than usual as the nicotine leaves your body. I have been taking a probiotic that I bought at a natural market. and I have been going to bed around 830 every night to increase my immune system. you have to be vigilant every single day about not smoking. and after a few months it won’t even cross your mind.

  18. Hi Kiara Ann, …the tightness in your chest sounds like anxiety. when you start having a craving or when you feel like the walls are closing in take long deep breaths and hold them for 2 or 3 seconds then let the breath out as slow as you can. try to drink as much water as you can to help the nicotine leave your body. the nicotine patch that you are wearing may be too high of a dose for you and that may be why you feel like throwing up. do your homework do your research about nicotine patches and talk to your doctor and see if he can prescribe you the lowest dose possible for a nicotine patch it may just be too much for your body. of course a doctor went to college for his degree but your body is your own and no one knows your body like you do.

  19. I recommend everyone to try a probiotic made by RAW. And and also try oil pulling. oil pulling is using cold pressed sesame seed oil or olive oil or cold pressed coconut oil…use only about half a teaspoon put it in your mouth and swish it around for at least 20 minutes or as long as you can stand it it pulls out the germs and bacteria out of your mouth which will also help prevent respiratory and sinus infections.

  20. we all have to be patient with ourselves and give ourselves credit quitting smoking is not easy it’s really a genuine fight. I’m 36 years young and I have a 3 year old daughter that I have to live for and try to turn back time for. I have to live as long as I can so that way I can try to protect her longer and teach her more because the world is going to be a more horrible place when she’s an adult. and I really miss doing things such as hiking playing tennis and swimming I want to be able to do those things again and especially with my little girl. I know if she sees me smoking cigarettes she will also eventually 1 day probably smoke.

  21. everyone keep fighting everyone keep fighting. cigarettes kill you slowly. the damage that cigarettes do is very gradual. I lost my mother to lung cancer in 2001. the cancer spread to her brain and she died from about 6 tumors in her brain. she was only diagnosed with cancer one year.

  22. our health is the greatest investment that we can ever make for ourselves and for our children. if you do not have good health then you have nothing.

  23. hello everyone,
    I quit cold turkey on the 15th February 2016 after 25 yrs smoking about a pack a day of 10 and then some… I’m 46 next week
    After reading many of the posts i can honestly say that I’ve experienced nearly all of the horrible withdrawals & side effects of not smoking lovely filthy fags,
    oh how I miss smoking fags 🙁
    so, anyhow, i never knew that quitting was going to have such a drastic effect on me physically,
    At first, my smokers cough stopped within 24 hrs, which was very surprising,
    and the cravings and Very Bad Mood eased within the first week or two so all good…?
    NO !
    as the weeks have progressed so I have felt worse with terrible sore throats, really bad indigestion, aches and pains, bleeding gums, breathlessness and coughing up the worst black brown gunk….really bad…which i have to say after nearly 2 months is just starting to improve,
    what have I done…
    so, is there any good news..?
    well, I honestly don’t know
    feel crap and have put on a whole stone in weight…!
    OMG just can’t stop eating, everything… like crap mostly, sweets, chocolate biscuits, crisps, custard filled doughnuts…3 maybe 4 at once…! just always looking for something to shove in my mouth other than a lovely filthy smelly fag…
    im really questioning why I should bother, felt fine all the time i was puffing on lovely fags
    but yes, there you go just remembered the good reasons, my kids, running around the park, remembering what life is for… living !
    Got to say, even now as I gulp in a large lungfull of clean smoke free air with my chest still aching, that i severely underestimated just how physically demanding this is,
    just got to keep on going
    want to have a fag now, feel stressed writing this…aarrhhhh !
    oh well, I’m sure i will feel better for it one day…
    good luck to everyone and keep strong
    and keep looking at all the smokers out there,
    that’s what I do, just want to stand next to them….! So sad….
    quitting has got to be the right thing to do,
    hasn’t it….?
    Yes, we’ve all just got to keep reading the good stories out there and believe that a life without fags is a good life,
    good luck to all

    • hang in there Rob. I’m on day 5 & simply refuse to cave. I lived the first 17 years without cigs and will beat this. I’m 53 and must admit I love to smoke but smoking isn’t a requirement to live. Today my right ear was making noise- I cleaned it upon waking and removed black tar?! crazy!! I have to block out all the games my mind is playing on myself….trying to convince me of the 1000 reasons I need to smoke. Praying someday all this bs with stop & I will be glad I deprived myself of my favorite bad habit! One day @ a time sweet Jesus!

    • Hang in there. I know what you mean by shoving food in your mouth all the time. I eat all of the time. I miss smoking so much during certain times of the day. I almost caved in a few minutes ago but i started reading what all of you out there are going through that I did not smoke. I will not smoke today. Stay strongh!!

  24. I went for a walk on a trail for the first time since I quit 38 days ago. I could actually breath while walking. I’m still wanting one and struggling with mood swings. I get through one day at a time.

  25. I have stopped smoking for 5 weeks now and occasionally use the low nicotine vapouriser tohelp me through. I have smoked for over 50 years. I have been really unwell, sick, tired all the time sore legs bag and chest, headaches, sweats, shaking the list just goes on. How long is this going to last.

  26. Rough weekend wanting one but still smoke free. My digestive system is going through withdrawals. Stomach cramps at times. Its been hard but still I won’t smoke today!! Stay strong everyone!! Happy Smoke Free Monday!!

  27. After smoking 1 to 2 packs a day for the last 27 years I quit smoking with hypnosis on the 16th of this month; I don’t have any desire whatsoever to smoke, no irritable moods, no feeling deprived et al.. However, I have all the physical symptoms of “Quiters Flu”….I’m glad I found this article, because beforehand I thought I was coming down with the actual flu.

    • Congratulation Steve !! I suffered with “Quiter’s Flu for an easy 6 weeks. I have been smoke free since March 12. I started to cut back on my smoking this past December. Quiter’s Flu has come in waves during this jouney of being smoke free. Sinus congestion and coughing were the worse symptoms for me. I am no longer coughing and my sinus congestion had gone away.

  28. Dave Rolph says:

    Dave says:

    It will be 4 years in May since I quit, smoked a pack a day for 32 years, suffered through the quitters flu for the first 6 months along with many other side effects as the toxins leached out of me. toughest one was the feeling of not being able to get enough air in my lungs. I have since learned that they put the cocoa plant in the cigarettes to open up airways so when you stop you no longer have this. Everything is better now accept still coughing up tar everyday

    • 4 mounths here lots of blood work done xrays on lungs 3times 2mris and ultra sound on throat and still in painjoint aches ears and throat and stomache but it all boils down to smoking 35 years is alot of cleaning

  29. Hello, I’ve not had a fag for 4 mths now . I’ve got myself a vapour fag. Must say I probably couldn’t of come this far without it. I’m not dependant on it, buts it’s there when I get a craving. No body ever tells you how bad the withdrawal symptoms are. I must say I feel crap most of the time. I’m more tired now, have awful headaches, sleepless nights. I coughed so much I needed to go doctors. He gave me a inhaler which did help. I find now if I walk a good distance I start feeling breathless. I’m proud I’ve come this far, but do miss having a fag and seems very lonely also now. Must say I’m eating more now too😕sue

  30. My family worked on the yard and had a fire. So hard not to smoke while sitting around the fire. I noticed though that I could breath better and the smoke from the fire didn’t irritate my lungs like it use to. I have been smoke free since March 12 of this year. I went through smokers flu and am finally starting to feel the benefits of quitting. Stay Smoke Free!!!

  31. I’ve been smoking for 12 years since, then i started to quit smoking this month 3rd April 2016. After 5 days quitting i started to feel uncomfortable. my hand started to shivering and having a hard time. Then comes Anxiety panic attack, Insomnia, Mental confusion, Vagueness, Irritability, headache, Depression, Heart Palpitations rise all comes at once!
    I even wake up in the middle of the night caused by heart pounding and rush my self to ER. The doctor says it was normal to have this kind of heart palpitations because my body are withdrawing it self. It’s been 3 weeks now i’m glad those common symptoms had faded. But now i started to have flu, cough and sore throat! Feels like never ending. Cough every night and i even can’t use my nose to breathe causes by running block nose. i had seek the 4th time medical attention and finally the doctor gave me some medicine to ease some struggle! I’m hoping this will over soon and started my healthy life style with my family!

  32. I quit yesterday cold turkey. 04252016 I am 35 years old artist from los angeles. I began smoking cigarettes at the age of 17. The only significant memory of some success was in my mid 20’s i stopped smoking because I picked up kickboxing but that only lasted for 6 months.

    I saw this comment area is recent and active and will be coming here for some support.

    • Congrats David!! Quiters Flu is hard but its your body’s healing process. Stay strongh! ! Don’t let the cravings get you down. They do pass. Stay Smoke Free !!

      • Vicki
        .u are awesome. positive..thanks. we can do this!!!

        • Thanks……its been hard but each day I just tell myself smoking is not an option. I have certain times of the day that the cravings are So intense. Especially right after work. That’s the toughest time. But low and behold it passes. I would of felt really stupid if I had caved and had one.

  33. I am on Day 19 of quitting smoking. Today woke up with a bit of tightness in my chest and a small annoying cough. Smoked for several years but decided to quit when I started to not feel good 3 weeks ago. Turns out I had a herniated disc in my neck and it appears I am now dealing with the withdrawal symptoms. Headaches, ears plugged, mild cough, chest tightness. I have also been having major anxiety especially at night. Wonder if that is coming from the fact that I quit?

  34. Hey Mel, yes I feel like smoke is stuck inside and id feel better if I could cough it out. Good luck on your successful journe

  35. OMG Really, this is doing my nut… 3 months in lost a week at work so far due to flu no 2 weeks later again..
    Have stomach issues, throat issue, nasal congestion which i think may be a sinus infection, watering eyes, headaches and cold/hot flushes.
    Realise we have basically screwed our bodies up for a long time by come one where is the light at end of tunnel ie all above states same as i feel too but noone really posts back with on x day of n month i felt goood 🙁 humph so fed up smoking seems really appealing right now

    • Don”t smoke Grid!! You will start feeling better. It just takes time. I was sick for at least six weeks before I started feeling better. If you have caved and had some cigs don’t sweat it. Just drop those coffin nails down the toilet, throw them out your car window, bury them, give them to the homeless guy, you get the picture. Get rid of them and ride out the storm. Stay Smoke Free!!

  36. It has been 67 days since I quit. Has anyone felt a tightness in the top part of their chest? The tightness in my chest has gone away, its like it moved. Any advise

    • I meant top part of back. The tightness in chest has moved

      • Yes! I also have a tingling feeling in the middle of my chest.. It almost feels cool to the touch, like I rubbed A535 on it or vicks vaporub.. Its like a cooling menthol feeling. Im 52 days in with no tobacco.

  37. its been 39 days after i quit smoking and everyday i feel of having a slightly chest pain on the left side.. my hands and feet are tingling… and i have a mild headache… sometimes anxiety hits me specially when night comes.. and my upper back has already in pain.. and every morning when i already done exercising i spit a white sticky phlegm… i imagine that my body recovers.. but sometimes my mind thinking horrible… i smoked since 16 and now i’m 22… is there anyone who has the same feelings like me? i hope we all have a fast recovey… i realized that life is an important blessing for us and quitting smoking is one of the best lesson i ever had..

    • cassey says:

      Larry, i know how you feel.
      i’m expecting to recover from this withdraw as well.
      this is a great lesson for us who smoked in the past.
      life is priceless, and we will fight this thru!

      • We will make it Team. I quit January 30 and have relapsed 3x smoking 2 cigarettes each time and then destroying the rest of the pack . I have developed bronchitis, sinusitis, and allergies apparently . Mouth tasted like metal and sometimes had blood specs in my spit. Had chest X-ray and everything was good but the steroids and antibiotics haven’t seemed to help. Never got sick when I smoked . Pretty sure I was dying until I saw this forum today! I feel stronger and I know I’m getting better! Let’s hang in there !!

  38. DAY ONE: after being on Champix for 3 weeks now, have noticed over the past week. my body is trying to trick me, as my actual day to stop looms closer, my packet of tablets has more in it than it should…soooooo, TODAY is the day, with or without support, I have decided to bump myself off them totally today, …Here we go!!

  39. Treat yourself today!! You have earned it by not smoking!! Take some of that money you didn’t spend on smokes and treat yourself to something. Quitters flu isn’t contagious just unpleasant so go out and have some fun. Stay Smoke Free and enjoy life!!

  40. I really hope this is all my body rewiring but the past 7 weeks smoke-free have been so hard on my system. I was feeling great the first few weeks then all of a sudden when I thought I was in the clear I had racing heart, dizzy feelings, a cool menthol tingling in my chest, zero appetite and aching lower back. Ive also been to the doc and am getting my thyroid tested.. Doc said i was likely hyperthyroid (didnt feel bad before i quit).. So i hope this havoc on my body is all temporary and will sort itself out. Also have been wildly emotional (constanty crying). Will this last a whole year??!! When will it ease up.. (30 yr old female, smoked for 15+ yrs, heavily + pot) i still need the pot 😉

    • Update: i have figured out that the pot was causing the majority of the heart palpitations.. Going to ease up on the greens and see what happens. Might throw my brain for a loop but hey, if i can not smoke cigs.. The weed will be no problem. Here’s hoping. Other symptoms are also alot better today with mimized thc .. Interesting

  41. Grayham says:

    Hi there I started smoking age 16, I quit about 6 months ago, the beginning was hell clearing out the cravings, but I have no problem with quitting as I wanted to do it, I think if you really want to do something you will, well I just for 6 days have been bunged up, sore throat, blacky and greeny flem in the mornings coming out, even after 6 months you can get ill and have a good clear out, good luck to all, you can get through it 🙂

  42. Im 33 years and have been smoking for about seventeen years. I quit 24 days ago and was doing decent until four days ago when i started getting sick. Ive got body aches, headache, watery eyes, jaw soreness, dry cough, and congested sinuses with yellowish plegm. WTF. Right now i am confining myself to the bedroom cause im not really sure if i have a virus or something, and i dont want to get the family sick. I do still have a strong appetite, so that makes me think that this might be the smokers flu that you all speak of. I really like not having the smoker stench anymore, and im incredibly happy about the fact that my buddy down south seems to be doing better. Anyways, best of luck to you all. We can win this battle.

  43. Vicki here…… I didn’t smoke today!! I will not smoke tomorrow!! We can do This!! I have been smoke free since March 12. I have gained 10 pounds. I have suffered through quitters flu. But I will not smoke.

    • Good job Vicki! I’ve gotten fat asf right now but we can deal with that as our body continues to heal!

  44. cassey says:

    Updating my self’s been a month now since i quit cold turkey. 3 weeks of coughing and i still have my tight chest and wheezing.. this can triggered my panic attack because it makes me think too much..did anyone here experienced same as i was?

    • Cassey just keep on motivating yourself that your body will recover after a few months… Don’t think about negative thoughts.. Just have a positive thinking.. Now i’m not totally healed but i know good things will happen.. Just keep on praying too :)) i’m on the stage that i feel better but sometimes i’m not.. Get some run and drink a lot of water… Talking with your friends during night will help you a lot.. I’m from the Philippines and there is no such blogs like here.. Sometimes i feel like i’m the only one who have this withdrawal in our country but i’m thankful that i found this blogs :)) it helps me a lot…

      • Hi Larry! thanks for your strong motivation!
        And also you too, keep in mind that you are not alone 🙂 We quitter all can do it! By the way how are you Larry? feeling any good? I’m doing my best now! :))

        • Larry and Casey, hope you’re both well. I feel so much better after I found this forum today. I discovered I’m not alone and my symptoms aren’t uncommon. Thank you both for sharing!

          • Hi dallas :)) i hope you’ll become better… Just keep on thinking positive things and it will came back to normal… I hope we all here getting a group chats in facebook so we can update ourselves 😂

        • Cassey i’m not totally ok.. In every day i feel a mild headache And chest cramps but it will gone in a couple of minutes.. i feel dizzy when i’m in the crowded area and it will gone when i’m in the comfortable place.. My teeth are grinding every afternoon and it came back to normal… I hope it will gone before my birthday :)) 2wks from now i’m turning 23 :))) how are you now cassey?

  45. Help my muscles ache and i feel fluish for a week now…i quit 3 month ago amd im going outamy mind!!

    • 15 days smoke free! I went to the Doc 16 days ago because I was having trouble breathing. I had just gotten over the flu 2 weeks prior. I was sent to the ER by my doctor because my oxygen level was 89. It took 6 breathing treatments and 4 hours in the ER and a COPD diagnosis to make me realize I had to quit. I am now going to a Pulmonary doctor and he found something on the CAT scan of my lungs that had him a little concerned. I will get the results next week. Good luck to all of you. I also have the muscle aches and fatigue.

  46. Im on my fourth week of quitting. I feel better in the sense i can breath more easily, don’t use my asthma inhalers anymore and i can excercise without getting out of breath so quick etc. However, my first week i got horrendous flu symptoms (only had one cold in 4 years) and it lasted 2 weeks then seemed to clear up but now in my fourth week it seems to have returned, but this time i have horrible nose congestion through the night and constant nasal drip through the day (it is literally non stop, where does it all come from?! Haha) my throat also keeps swelling up and i get all the muscle aches etc too. Anyone got any tips for congestion? I have tried sprays, tablets, chilli, turmeric, cayenne pepper, the lot but nothing eases it, i can’t get a good nights sleep because of it.

    • Scotty Mac says:

      Hi, Jenny! I have had some success using “Alka Seltzer Cold/Flu” gel tabs for the respiratory symptoms at night. Also, just popping an Advil during the day helps with the sore throat I have been experiencing since going cold turkey recently. Careful you don’t use or overlap Advil with an over-the-counter cold med, tho, as you could wind up with too much acetaminophen in your system. I hope you are continuing to rock this!!! It’s gonna get better!

  47. Vicki here……I have had muscle aches all last week. My throat gets tight with wanting a smoke but I will not smoke! I have gained some weight. Ugh!! I am going to eat better this week. I can’t keep substituting food for smoking. Have a Happy Smoke Free Monday!!

  48. Lica Jobse says:

    Lica from South Africa. It has been a week now after smoking for 25 years… I only get headaches i the back of my neck. I have no cravings for smoke and if I do smell it or see it I feel sick. I am so glad that I made this choice and what really helps is that me and my hubby started this together so that does help a lot having him with me for support and being there. Truely blessed and happy with our new way of life. Blessings

  49. Andrea Bromley says:

    Its 20 days for me now and I will never go back to it but at the moment feeling worse than with the cigs. Breathless, aches and pains, insomnia, exhaustion. Just hoping it will improve soon. Have been very dependant on an ecig and peppermints. The thing thats driving me mad is a sore mouth and tongue. Is that smething anyone else has noticed?

    • My mouth and tongue got sore also. Sucking on ice cubes helped me. Also drinking ice water helped. Stay strongh!!

  50. I quit smoking last Nov. I’m 60yo and started smoking at 13 and steady at 16. I have severe copd but was able to get around ok and could ride my Harley. Since last Jan. I have been to the Lung Doc. 2 times and the emergency room 1 time with short breath. I’m still coughing up phlegm that’s looks like cigarette tar. I’m starting to think that I’ll never get back to my baseline before I quit. I did have my bike out this year, but after I backed it out of the garage I had to sit awhile and catch my breath before starting it. X-ray and Cscan show no new damage. Next week is a new PFT test, we’ll see then. Sometimes I wish that I didn’t quit. As long as I’m sitting I can tell that I’m exhaling and inhaling more air but when I start to do something I get winded. I guess that is somewhat of an improvement. I was getting winded just sitting or talking for awhile. Has anyone else had these things happen to them?

    • Good for you Howard for being so brave by quitting smoking. I quit March 12 2016 and I still get breathless. Its not as bad though as It was when I smoked. Your body is better off without the cigarettes. Even if your mind and body is telling you different. Stay Smoke Free. You will keep healing and breathing deeper and better.

  51. Hi vicky we are almost the same of quitting schedule… I quitted last march 21… CongraTs for being smoke free in 2months :)) there are times that i feel headaches and shortness of breath..But now i can handle it :)) how long have you been smoked?

    • Hi Larry. I have smoked since I was 22. I turned 50 In February. I think that’s what have motivated me to stay smoke free. I smoked a pack a day. I quit a few years ago but it didn’t stick. I feel more passionate about quitting this time around. Time to grow up. I still am pretty healthy and I want to keep it that way. Good luck to you Larry. When are some of your tough times to want to smoke during the day?

  52. Hi Guys, I wanna share something that can improve us after quitting smoking :))
    1. Consume antioxidant-rich foods such as :
    Blueberries, broccoli, spinach, grapes, sweet potatoes, green tea, and fish in particularly are high in anti-oxidants.
    2. Exercise Learn to breath efficiently as:
    Breathing from your diaphragm, as opposed to breathing from your throat, will help expand the capacity of your lungs and make them stronger.
    You can to sit on a chair with your back straight, and lift your arms above your head while breathing deeply.
    Or go take a jog in the park for 30 minutes in the morning or after working hours in the evening.
    We can improve guys! Just be strong and speak your mind! :))

  53. chris hankinson says:

    59 year old 45 year smoker here, I was hospitalised 12 days ago after collapsing due to shortness of breath. I spent 4 days as an in-patient and have had no cigarettes since. I feel lousy, flu like symptoms, constant blocked nose, coughing, spluttering etc etc, but you know what? I will never go back to smoking, the sheer terror of not being able to breath has made sure of that. I’m back at work on Saturday so hope the fluey symptoms subside.

  54. mesomom says:

    I’ve not had nicotine for three weeks. I was not prepared for how sick I feel. My mouth and tongue are raw and sore and tingly and nothing tastes good, but I’m hungry a lot. I gained 6 #s already. My stomach is so bloated my clothes don’t fit and I feel fat and miserable. I am light headed and have poor concentration. I feel unsure of myself and my actions. My face is all broke out and red.
    I only smoked about 7-10 cigarettes a day for a number of years and I got a virus and then bronchitis so I quit cold turkey. Not sure I should have done it this way, but I am 100% committed-I will never smoke again! I am not having real bad cravings just this awful sickness. When will I feel better? Someone please tell me it will be soon.

    • Mesomom……. Vicki here……it will get better. It may take longer then three weeks though. Your body is healing and it also wants nicotine. It will be a uncomfortable process to heal and learn to live without the smokes. Weight gain happens. I’ve been smoke free since March 12th. I have gained weight and at times felt horrible. I will not smoke though and finally I’m feeling some positive signs in my body.

  55. I honestly thought I was dying. I had not researched anything about quitting before I threw my pack away. I was laying on the floor with my three year old son a week ago watching TV and just felt…defeated. I didn’t want to die because of something I am actively doing to myself day in and day out. A pack a day and cold turkey…and holy hell I feel like I have been kicked in the chest, my lungs are on fire and I feel tired and irritable. I thought I was coming down with something until I found this site. Suffer through it…I got it now…

    Anytime I get a craving I look at a photo of my kid and go for a walk around the block….its working…so far…

    Good luck to you all!

  56. I’m 47 years old started smoking at age 11 and a steady habit of a,pack every two days until I hit 25-30 which was a pack a day easy. I’ve tried quitting g several times the past 4 years but could not kick the morning coffee house where I’d do my morning habit of coffee and a cig. I’m now finally on my way in my 4th week of no smoking. I started off with chest pain and noises when breathing. Then the chunks started coming out of my lungs yellow brown color the chest pain went away after a week and the hacking and wheezing is getting less but now I’m hitting the flu like symptoms. Hot flashes, fatigue and have to push myself for energy. My tongue color is back to red instead of brown and food is tasting really good. I got to be careful not to gain anymore weight. Just thought I’d share my symptoms. Oh and I’m really moody hot and cold like a Rollercoaster.

  57. I’m just going into week two of being smoke free, I’m finding the best way to deal with the symptoms are plenty of fluids and exercise. We just have to ride it out, the stuff I’m coughing up is more than enough to keep my mind focused on not having a cig! My GP has also advised me that the more you think about the symptoms the more they will show (placebo effect) and being ill is a part of the healing process. A few things I have found really helpful, write down the pros and cons of smoking (no pros for me) and keep them on you for when the cravings become unbearable, remind yourself you are extending your life, stay away from situations that tend to encourage smoking such as drinking alcohol (my worst temptation to smoke), place the money you would normally save in a jar I’m currently at around £140 (20 pack a day)! Good luck to everyone and keep the positives in mind.

    • Having a rough time. I honestly don’t think about nicotine very much but it seems I think about how lousy I feel everyday. Reading some of these positive comments really seems to help. I’m trying not to focus on my newly developed allergies and lingering cough and instead focus on what is better since my quit date of January 29: the metallic taste in my mouth is gone, my tongue is red again, no blood in my saliva and I have saved a lot of money. I went to GNC yesterday and got something to boost my immune system and am also going to start taking Vitamin C. If the GNC stuff helps, I will definitely share that information.
      Hang in there everyone: One Day At A Time!!!!

  58. Vicki here……trying to stay positive. At work we had to park in a different parking lot then we normally do. Its futher away from our building. In the past I would get breathless walking the distance. Not yesterday!! I will not smoke today!! I didn’t smoke yesterday and I won’t smoke tomorrow!!!

  59. Been just over a month, using diet and exercise to help with the transition. Able to jog more and more. Got hit with a terrible sinus infection, which may have been the quitters flu. But I can’t seem to shake the sinus congestion or chest tightness. Is there anything I can do?

    • Hey its Vicki…..My doctor recommended muscinex for chest and sinus congestion. If its quitters flu it will eventually loosen up. Just takes time. Good for you being smoke free!!! The medicine also helped me through quitters flu…

      • Thanks for being so attentative! I took some mucinex. The tightness feels like soreness, i think due to using muscles I’ve not used before. Should’ve taken it slower but I found it easier just to dive on in

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