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. I’m on my 4th day cold turkey , Day 1 not so bad , day 2 a little weird , day 3 was the worst , headache and light headed with borderline panic attacks all day, 4th day much better , I find drinking coffee intensified the panic and light headed symptoms , didn’t have any coffee and rode my bike to work made a big difference , also sore throat is kicking in now ,but I’ll take that over the anxiety. Nicotine is just brutal. Good luck . Keep pushing forward.

  2. Its been 12 days that I’ve quit smoking afyer 29 yrs. Am going thru the quitters flu now. Quite bad indeed. Hope I pull thru wt this

  3. Day 2 cant sleep, up and down all night. vomiting diarrhea headache its been 21 years i smoked a pack a day or more. I want to quit because im 35 and have COPD have been told i will be on oxygen if i dont stop smoking! I have 3 kids id like to live to see their kids. Good luck to all. I have been crocheting pot holders to keep my hands busy. Having a hard time focussing.

    • Papa Mark says:

      Best of luck.

    • Keep it up, well done! Love crocheting btw :)

    • maryann carrigan says:

      Hubby and I on day 6 feel like crap today but thats okay! Gunna make it, never heard of quitters flu before but it makes sense. Combind with plus 35 westher no wonder I feel like crap!

    • Joram wilson says:

      You can do it! You’re getting better, you’re changing for the better. Please keep going!

    • I am day 13, just started having symptoms of quitter’s flu.
      I love you, and I love your kids, and I want the best for you. I do not know you, but I too am an addict. It is so hard and I just want to cry sometimes (and I do cry, sometimes), but then I just breathe. Read a book (not about smoking), take a walk and just breathe. You are capable of anything and deserve a long, happy, and healthy life with your children. Keep on truckin’.

  4. This is my 4th day not smoking. I’ve been taking chantix which has worked well for me. But I feel just awful… no energy, heavy chested, horrible cough! Definitely quitter’s flu!
    I know it’s worth it, but I’m ready to start feeling human again!

  5. I started smoking at the age of 12.
    Smoked for 31 years, average number of cigarettes processed by my lungs in access of 9,100,000 (million cigarettes). Quit cold turkey last week Friday, tomorrow it will be a week exactly to the day.
    I’m experiencing “smokers flu” big time even though I cycle, run, swim & do weight training resting x1 day per week. I am consciously counting hours and will get through this. Focusing hard on the positives of smelling nice, white teeth and good breathe. Even taking whiffs of my most expensive cologne to stay motivated. It’s 03:15 am can’t sleep, restless, feverish, tummy flu ‘ ish feeling.
    Thanks to all for sharing your experiences.

  6. Heather says:

    Today im 73 days smoke free. I had the worst quitters flu for about 15 days and still did not give in. This started about 45 days into my quitting. Now im coughing up brown tinged mucus and loving it. Each time its a reminder of my success and my body healing. Seeing is believing. About 20 days in I thought i was having panic attacks but it was just my lungs expanding more than they have in years. Good luck all.

    • Hi Heather,

      Your story sounds more similar to mine than the others. On 11/11/15 I am 55 days smoke free (40 years / a pack a day). My difference is that I’ve been getting a nicotine fix by vaping – at least it is not smoking! I just started to have serious coughing spells; they are quite bad at night and sporadic throughout the day. Good luck with quitting and hope you’re very successful.

      Kind regards,

      Non-smoking Donna

  7. Crystal says:

    This information was very helpful. I am 11 weeks pregnant and on my third or fourth week of quiting smoking cold turkey. It has been a rough road indeed! I left work early twice for fatigue and nausea. Now I have been dealing with a terrible cold that has lasted 2 weeks and counting. The symptoms have been tourchering (sinus pressure, head aches, cough, stuff/runny nose, severe soar throat). I am completely miserable but trying everything I can to recover.

  8. I started taking Chantix for the 2nd time almost a week ago and have been smoke free for 2 days. It is FINALLY a $30 co-pay through my health insurance!!! Much less money that smoking. I have smoked on and off since I was 19 and I m 48 now. :( Going well, but I am extremely tired already which brought me here looking for reasons to be so tired. I have never been so hungry in my life. Any tips on not eating myself to death would be welcome!

    • Marguerite says:

      Hi. I’ve been smoke free for 7 days now (seems much longer) and am feeling pretty good. Was starting to wonder if I was catching a cold, and research led me to this page. Must be smokers flu. Thank you for being here.

  9. hi
    i really want to thank you for all the information that you’ve got in this article it’s amazing.

    i am on the 20th day of not smoking and tomorror i’m on the third stage :)

    curently I am experiencing a flu cough , should I drink medicine everytime i got flu , please tell me what to do.

    thank you so much.

  10. I quit March 22, 2015. Have smoked 40 years. Currently age 55. Have had quitters flu at least 6 times. This is 4 months of not smoking. Thought I was having a heart attack 2 nights ago while sleeping. Have doctored since January this year, including a couple of EKG’s, stress tests, chest x-rays etc. All comes out ok. I have heard the quitters flu can last for several months. I will never smoke again after going through this. So this is a reminder to myself everyday I wake up sick, makes me hate myself for smoking for so long. For people who want to quit, it is mind over matter. Do not let cigs control you. Find somebody who matters! Good luck.

    • I have been smoke free for 3 days! Happy but feeling tightness in my chest and occasional cravings sometimes I find myself day dreaming about smoking but I just busy myself so I don’t give in to the craving. The quitters flu assures me that I don’t want to go back. I am sorry you are feeling this way, since I am as well and now how irritable it can be, but it gives me relief knowing you posted this, I had the same symptoms and went to doctors had ekg, heart palpitations and tightness, thought I was having a heart attack as well. I am just praying I go back to normal soon because its nerve racking. I am mad at myself for smoking as long as I did, but happy I decided to quit!

  11. I have been smoking for 38 years. I have quit several times before, lasted for a year one time.
    This time is different I feel sick and tired alot. It’s been 10 days since I smoke a cigarette. I quit this time
    Cold turkey.
    Is there a difference in how you quit,cause I never had headache, flu like systems like this before when I wuit.

  12. not had acig since 23rd jan 2015 no aids went cold turkey
    i can honestly say i still crave a cig but wouldnt touch 1 again due to health which as not improved much bp still through the roof etc

  13. It is now my 9th day being nicotine free after having smoked 10-20 a day for close to 17 yrs. I went completely cold turkey, literally just woke up one day and didn’t want to smoke anymore and I still don’t. But lately (meaning the past couple days) I’ve been having some strange symptoms that I’m hoping someone can help shed some light on. I’ve been getting dizzy spells throughout the day that are kinda scary simply because I don’t know if it’s a normal symptom of nicotine withdrawal. Also, I’ve been feeling tightness in my throat that makes it difficult to swallow. And some acute stomach pains that feel like quick stabs. Has anyone else experienced these symptoms or am I just thep lucky one? On top of that, I’ve had the quitter’s flu with the sore throat, headaches, sinus pressure and ear aches. I guess I never considered that I would have to go through all this anguish by quitting. Nobody ever says anything about that. I hope I feel better soon. One thing’s for sure, after this, I will NEVER smoke another cig again I long as I live.

    • I pkd in 4wks ago and like urself have a tightness in my throut more noticeable in early evening but has usually passed when I’m ready to go to bed,mad 😡

    • I quit roughly 2 weeks ago after a very long battle with nicotine. I am sick almost everyday since a few days in. Massive fatigue wanna sleep all day. Tighteness in chest cold symptoms flu symptoms panic attacks sinus headaches you name it. Its horrible beyond horrible i dont even feel like a person. I was ready to quit but didnt expect this. Icant wait till its over. And good luck to you all hang in there i barely am.

  14. edwin f weirich says:

    i have quit smoking now for like 6 days and i am haven alot of pain in my chest .i have quit 3 times before but this time its for good ,, i am done ,i cannt even walk up a flight of steps and i am out of breath ..i am doing it this time .. i just wished that the last time i did it i wouldnt have went back but i did how long do i have to go before i see a change in my breathing ..

  15. Today is my first day.I feel crazy but proud.U can do it man.Good Luck

    • Day 4, feel horrible but I know it will be better eventually, the stomach pain is really,super annoying and makes me grumpier than not smoking, maybe it’s a good distraction

  16. Can you still get the quitters flu when using the patch, or is it usually delayed until after you are off the patch? I’m unsure what withdrawal symptoms are from the actual nicotine withdrawal (which you are still getting from the patch) as opposed to withdrawal from cigarette additives or the inhalation into your lungs.

    • Yes you can once you apply the patch after a day your breathing will improve which in turn starts to clear your lungs and then comes the throat infection 😵, coughing too much to clear your lungs inflames the throat and causes the razors currently in my throat , day 3….

  17. ingra turner says:

    I have been smoking for 24 years and I’m glad to say I have 4 children and I never smoked with them I am on chantix and I’m loving no cigarette for 3 weeks I’m having flu symptoms now a lot of coughing a touch of tightness in my chest but I’m happy for the doctor that helped me she really cared but it was really up to me to make the decision and I have 4 beautiful grandchildren to be here for and that’s why I knew it’s time

  18. Today is day 2 of not smoking. I have quit before when I found out I was pregnant and had no problem quitting – I don’t even remember having any negative withdraw symptoms. I’ve already got “quitters flu”, I honestly thought I was getting sick until I read this but it all makes sense. My doctor started me on Welbutrin so I don’t kill my husband while I’m in the early stages of nicotine withdraw. My husband still smokes – A LOT, which makes it kind of hard to quit because when he goes out to smoke it makes it hard not to go with him. However, I was on the porch last week smoking and my 3 year old came outside and said “Can I smoke a cigarette?” Umm NO. That was when I decided I was going to quit. She will learn by example. Hopefully if I quit now she will have no memory of a time that I did smoke.

  19. Been there and done it 3 different times. Lots of thought goes into quitting and can actually take from 1 to 2 years before you’re really ready to stop. I’m 63 years old and have just stopped for my 4th time on 8/2/2015. Always loved my menthol Salems so what I do now is is just suck on 1 while chewing on the filter. One cigarette usually lasts me about a full day and that’s a whole lot cheaper and healthier then smoking 3 packs a day. It’s been 23 days now and am feeling the nicotine flu now but was familiar with it when I stopped the last 3 times. Don’t let those little bas****s get the best of you and quit as soon as you can without broadcasting your plan to anyone until you actually get a week under your belt. Cold turkey is the way to go as you want to completely stop nicotine from entering your your body. Once you stop, don’t ever fire up again as that is the easiest way to start smoking again. Good Luck and enjoy the extra coins you’ll have in your pocket or purse. Allen

  20. My last light was 6 days ago. I FEEL HORRIBLE. I’m tired, I have the heat flashes, I’m hungry, I’m angry, I am congested, I feel achy…. the quitters flu it is. This is awful but to keep my daughter from ever smoking, I will have this hell to tell her about. I knew smoking was bad for me but did it anyways. Now that I know how completely and utterly horrible it is to quit, its a whole different story. Just glad I’m never gonna go thru this again. Fucking cigarettes are the worst

  21. On niquitin patches which are great. Stopped smoking three weeks ago now and have the cold like symptoms every week, nose runs like a river for 24 hours then nothing for 5-6 days, it’s killing me going to work feeling rubbish, determined to get through this but lungs feel healthier already

  22. OMG!! I am on day 2 and have already been victimized by the damn quitters flu! I am 42 and smoked since I was 12!! I had a few years off in there when I was in the military but I NEVER remembered feeling all crappy like this. How does one have a stuffy-runny nose?? What IS that??? I’m coughing and spitting up mucous and my nose is sore from blowing. To top it off I had a really bad dream last night that pissed me off and kept me up half the night so I was a HOT ANGRY IRRITATED MESSAGE today at work… I’m happy I’m quitting though so I’m gonna hang in here if it KILLS ME!

  23. I quit a month ago and had a severe sore throat since.. so bad I lost my voice a couple times. My doctors say noting is wrong with me 😩

  24. 9/14/15
    Day 6 for me smoked for nearly 50 yrs. have smokers flu with an exponent. I’m determined to quit this time. hot flashes and fatigue very evident up very late sleep late in the morning.I’m on oxygen therapy but can move around better and go longer before having to rest. Hope I can hold on this time,

  25. Irene Woodhead says:

    I gave up smoking 5 months ago. My diet did not change, I’m sugar, lactose and gluten intolerant. I have been thin all my life. No more than 48-56 kilos in weight.
    Since giving up smoking and my diet not changing I’ve balooned to 65 kilos. I am 60 years old now and wonder if age has something to do with this.
    So upset don’t know what to do about it. I’m active work 4-5 days a week, walk when three times a week and work in the garden. What’s going on. I feel fat and unhappy. Not smoking now is good and don’t have a need to go back but the weight gain is making me miserable. Irene

  26. Irene Woodhead says:

    Nicotine patches only feed the craving more. Give up cold turkey, it’s hard but worth it.
    Try and remember what it was like as a kid, we didn’t smoke then so why did we start?
    I’ve smoked on and off for 40 years. Now I’ve decided to give up for good.
    I admire my husband who smoked 50 a day, one year ago just stopped and has not had one since then.
    I decided to do the same. Cold turkey not hard I thought the first 24 hours.
    Then it kicked in, break at work, smoke. Lunch at work,smoke. Morning coffee, smoke, yeah we can go on.
    And weight gain if you read my earlier feed I am not a young woman any more. But how do we stop the weight gain? Love to hear from anyone who experiences the same things I do. Any suggestions need help!

    • Dear Irene,

      First of all, congrats for the 5 months! That’s amazing! The weight gain is very common side effect of quitting. Think about it like this: sigarettes slow down your system, so you need more energy to keep it going. When you quit, your body is able to break down the nutrients in your food more efficiently. Ex-smokers normally keep eating the same amount of food, or maybe even more due to the graving of putting something into your mouth, and due to the improved sense of taste and smell. This means that you are actually getting more energy/ calories out of the same amount of food once you quit. Your age might have something to do with it as well, since older people don’t need as many calories as young people do. My advice would be to eat smaller portions throughout the day, to eat more veggies, to exercise more often (walking is good, but you could try to increase your speed a notch, or do longer/ more frequent walks). You could also see your doctor just to make sure that there are no underlying illnesses, and (s)he could also recommend a suitable diet/ exercise regime. Hope this helps. And remember that you’ll rather have a few extra kilos, than keep smoking those nasty cancer rolls.

      Ps. Im on my 5th week without sigarettes, and hoping that this time it’ll be for good :)

    • I suggest dont go for patch or e-cig, thats upto you but it takes very long tome to nil nicotine cravings.. Stay on your decision dont give up…wish you al de best

  27. Day 7 here…… hit by what i believe it the quitters flu last night after work and getting out of bed this morning was a task. I started smoking at 12, so I’m on 27 years right now. I have heat flashes, red cheeks and an upset stomach. Chest is tight, and no patience for anything right now. Thought I was getting sick but after reading this it sounds like I’m actually getting better……..going to be a long tough road……good luck to all!

  28. patricia h. says:

    I quit smoking on the 1st this month. I didn’t feel too bad, until about 3 days into quiting, it’s like I have some kind of respiratory flu. Today makes 1 days no cigs, I did it cold turkey. I went to the Dr. today, and told him I just quit smoking, and he treated me for bronchitis. I feel like I’m going to die. I have had a sinus headache and head and chest congestion for over 2 weeks now, and very fatigued. I am hoping I can get to feeling better this week, and start enjoying some of the benefits to being smoke free. Right now I just feel awful.

  29. really useful to know that my “man flu” is a common event. Have gone 3 weeks and was sailing through having gone cold turkey after 40 years of smoking. Then at the end of week 2 started to feel lousy and now at the beginning of week 4 feeling a different type of lousy. but don’t want to go through this all again so just keeping on going.

  30. it’s now 12 days I keep my self out from smoking and having quitters flu now which is most irritating.

  31. I’m 20 years old on my 2nd day of not smoking this morning I was wide awake at 5:30 was very restless I have what is so called quitters flu as everyone else is talking about stuffy nose congestion in chest but I am coughing everything up which is nice even tho it’s just my second day I am so extremely tired I had to take a 2 hour nap today and just before heading to bed tonight I felt nauses I was told I’m a healthy young lady by my doctor the other day but I had to quit smoking due to these new pills I’m on and it puts me at an extremely high risk for blood clots in my legs that could go to my heart / lungs also I have asthma I amfinding it very hard I was a smoker for 7 years and it’s extremely hard that my husband smokes I’m hoping this quitters flu will buzz off soon! So I can feel back to normal good luck everyone

  32. I’ve quit off an on now after 15+ years of smoking having gone through withdrawals maybe 6-7 times. A large mysterious growth in my neck motivated me to get very serious this time. Each time I’ve quit the symptoms were a bit different. I quit cold turkey nearly two months ago and in a moment of weakness had two cigarettes at a concert over the weekend. I’m now going through the worst quitters flu I’ve ever experienced. I’m on day 4 and miserable. I’ll try exercise to hopefully tame the symptoms.

    Lesson: Once you’ve quit and completed the initial withdrawal period, even one or two cigarettes will bring you back to day one!!

    Good luck everyone!!!

  33. Just on Day 6 of Stoptober in the UK, started getting really bad mood swings and a flu, luckily I’ve got a couple of friends that I can call if cravings get too much which is great (not sure if they’re too happy about the arrangement though!)

    Good luck to all the other quitters!

  34. I’m so glad I found this page. I’m on day 6 and experiencing smokers flu. Very tingly and my throat is super sore.

    I hope it is not contagious. Does anybody know? I would not think so because it is your body going through withdrawal. I am not a doctor though. Debating to cancel my thanksgiving dinner tonight because I don’t want to get everyone sick. Any thoughts?

  35. day 3 going on day 4! Happy I am quitting but boy do I feel lousy! No cold symptoms yet, but just hate the tightness in the chest and the heart palpitations! Ugh, want to feel normal soon!

  36. I am on my 4th day cigarette-free, using Chantix (really helped in the past), been smoking on-and-off since I was 15 years old and most recently for the past year. The first day was great, second day started feeling flushed and exhausted. Yesterday and today have been full-on chills, nausea, feather-brain, plus the waves of chest and throat tightness and feeling totally fed up with…well, everything to do with life! Good thing I’m waking up insanely early and unable to go back to sleep :/

    But I know it doesn’t last forever, and when I’ve gotten through this I am going to be SO thankful I don’t smoke. My deepest gratitude to you all for sharing your experience – let’s me know I’m not the only one – and good luck!

  37. I’m on day 12 (13tomorrow) and I now no why I’ve been feeling so rough I thought it was just a co incidence that I had come down with a cold but 9 days after actually getting the cold I still feel crappy ( sore throat blocked nose lost my voice headaches feel sick going hot and cold) but I can do this and its all with the help of champix. At the moment I wish I could say I feel better for not smoking because I’d be lying if I said I did but my purse seems to be liking it a lot more after smoking 15 a day and smoking for the past 15 years 🙈
    Good luck everyone else ☺️

  38. I am glad that I am not the only one. This has been a scary week before I realized this was normal after quitting. I have been dealing with an extremely sore and dry throat. In the evenings it will get so bad I cannot even swallow. After taking some Ibuprofen, it settles my temp down. Keep up the good fight folks!!! We are better off without cigs in our life!!

  39. I’m on day 10, and my chest feels really weird, I get mild and sometimes hectic headaches…I have quitters flu and last week it was really bad. I even had to get meds just to kill the symptoms abit. I cough sometimes not all the time….and my tummy was going crazy around the same time my flu got bad…I’m ok now…I even enjoy food better the two weeks ago..but my stress and anxiety levels are off the charts…maybe its because I can’t wait to see my baby come to this world…he/she is one of my few reasons to quitting….and thank you all for sharing with me and everyone else….I love you all and wish you all the best on our journey to a cigarette free lifestyle….

  40. Just want to encourage everyone going through this to stick with it and have some well-deserved pride in yourselves for going through this – please hand in there!

    I’m using the patch and definitely experiencing smoker’s flu – chills, sweats, constantly-running nose, hellacious cough. But I am so glad I am finally quitting. 50 years old, smoke a pack and a half per day for the past 22 years. It has been really really hard to quit, to even WANT to quit, but I found a compassionate Nurse Practitioner who really helped me get the courage up to do it.

    I have a 14 year old son and I’d like to live to not only see my grandchildren, but to be able to do things with them. My mother passed away this past June, she went through 2 rounds of throat and lung cancer and died suffering horribly, with a trach tube, unable to eat food or enjoy life. She was a lifelong smoker until her first bout with throat cancer 10 years ago, when she finally quit.

    I just hope it’s not too late for me. It kills me that my son has begged me to quit smoking for so long and I didn’t do it. I don’t ever want to smoke again, or to go through this hell again. I don’t want to put him through it. And I don’t want him to have to suffer helplessly as I had to suffer watching my mother die in pain by inches.

  41. I have smoked 9 long years 20 cigerattes a day or more! Iam on 45th day since last smoking. after quitting 2-3 days black mucus started coming out as usual, but sore throat c@aused me throat and nosal infection on day 20, its terrible like quitters flu..

    Friends.. If you are completely stoped smoking, i suggest consult a DOCTOR!!! IMMIDIATELY if possible or wiithi a week..after quitting still there is chance of getting infected during cilia cleaning process..

    When I met a doctor, he said you are in developing stage of bronchitis may leads to phnemonia… he is a rude guy lol..(actually he is good) scollding me for heavily smoking such a long period. He gave me some antibiotics medicines to minimize the infections.. now im far more comfortble and he told me dont never come back to my clinic if again you start smoking.. :)

    Friends! Life is more important than our proffession as I was woking on a role having hectic work schedule to meet deadlines of projects, but meanwhile i forgot to takecare of my health.. I realised it now

    Quitting smoking isnt easy at all.. You have to believe in something you love or care about something like eg. Your wife and childrens.. health.,for why you are quitting, reason is most importan!! Or else cravings will ride over than your will power..

    good luck every one, have great healthy life!

  42. after smoking more than one pack a day for 40 years, i am pleased to say i am 9 months with no cigarettes, no cravings and no desire to go back. i generally feel better, i know i smell better! i do have to say that i have had the quitters flu on and off for the entire 9 months but each time is less intense and seems to be localized around my throat and lungs as i cough up more of the junk that has been accumulating for 4 decades. so for all of you that are thinking about it or working towards it… it is so worth it. i did it cold turkey with zero regrets. i had always heard that you really cannot be successful giving it up until you’re ready to be successful. when you make that decision, there is no turning back. Good Luck to everyone making a life changing decision like this.

  43. Angie asks says:

    Has anyone else experienced being like short of breath and feeling like u have aore muscles in in ur back around the rib area and in the front. I am on my 6th day after quitting and these are the things I am feeling. I imagine it would be the quitters flu but just didn’t know for sure

    • smoked28yrs&regretsit says:

      I have been feeling that since last week.. I thought it was the new mattress – but last nite was the worse. I ached pretty bad his morning.. am on 3 mo. Of no smoking.. I’ve had bouts of flu like symptoms every other week… I get dizzy spells but starting to wear off.. Sometimes when standing or walking I feel like the leaning tower.. Or I’m going to topple over.. I try to psyche myself and not think or focus on these weird sensations and that seems to help .. cigarettes are like a very bad stalker ex ‘s. … Never again!!!

  44. Eish the flu is driving me nuts and tight chest bt i can not go back now bcause i failed many time b4, its jst my chest is not helping coz sometimes i can’t do my road running or jogging coz i can’t breathe free.This is my fifth week first time eva i had gone this far and is for keeps!!

  45. It will be 14 days ago tomorrow when I quit cold turkey. I had no idea about quitters flu. I started getting a severe runny nose yesterday and sneezing…I mean it’s like a dripping faucet. I have no fever so I’m like, WTF? So then I’m thinking maybe it’s due to quitting? So I found this site and sure enough it is lol. I start a new job on Monday so I’m hoping it goes away by then. I’m going to drink a ton of water.

    As for quitting it’s been tough, especially since my wife smokes. I only get cravings after meals now so it’s manageable. Not only that I’m saving my health, I’ve also saved $100 so far. $200 a month is like an electric bill. Such a stupid waste of money all these years.

  46. Currently I’m in the day 66 after 21 years of continuous smoking. Tomorrow is my birthday number 36 but last two weeks was terrible for me in terms of flu and sickness in general. With your comments and experience I feel better and with more enthusiasm to keep my healthy anti-smoker plan and riding two or three days a week on my new bicycle.

    Regards from Mexico amigos!

  47. So I’m into my 5th week of cold turkey, I’ve been lucky enough not to have cravings but this week started with a cough, sore throat and nasty yellow crap being brought off my chest so found this very informative as I just thought I had a cold, it’s pretty sucky right now so looking forward to the positive effects of stopping smoking ( besides the money of course.) I found the stop smoking beta app very helpful as it let me keep track on all the stages of my quitting

  48. hiiv been stopped 4 weeks today and have a cough and sore throat is this normal ??

  49. Quit since Nov. 2. Been hell. Quitters flu is horrible. Dr., Urgent care and emergency room 5 times in 2 weeks because I could not breathe. Today I’m on day 21, and I refuse to ever be stupid enough to light another cig. I have come a long way, but have so much further to go.

  50. I just stop smoking at this very moment . Im a teenager and influenced by my friendship and my own stupidy . I started smoking an year ago . I dont even care if its a tough way to choose . I will try and conquer this path . I wish the best of luck to all quitters here .

  51. I quit 7 months ago and I’m coughing up stuff my voice comes and goes but I feel fine can anyone tell me if my voice will ever be normal again or will I be 38 and sounding like a 65 yr old for ever

  52. Those E cigs haven’t been around long enough, I don’t trust them, it is more chemicals you’re inhaling just different ones. You’re just switching monsters. Like drinking beer instead of vodka .

  53. Matt cook says:

    I agree Debra, I’ve tried quitting using various nicotine replacement in the past but I always go back. This time it’s cold turkey for me.

  54. I actually got really upset that a pack of cigarettes was $8. I bought them anyway.
    But that was the last pack I ever bought. (at least so far) I went the next day and bought an e-cigarette and all this fixings with a low dose of nicotine (comparable to the amount of cigarettes I smoked 3-5 a day). In 2 weeks I stepped that down to half. and by the end of a little over a month I have stopped entirely with ZERO cravings. I still drink alcohol, and don’t even have cravings then.
    While you’re not wrong, I do think that used as a cessation aid for a short period of time is less problematic than a life time of back and forth between smoking and not smoking.

  55. Hahaha… true that!!

  56. Not sure if thats true..i use e cigs to reaping all the benefits of not smoking, e cigs definately not the same as smoking, i breathe better, i look better, im a lot healthier, theres no smoke in e cigs, its the smoke from cigarettes that causes the harm.

  57. I’ve tried the ecigs as a “healthier” alternative. After several weeks I ended up going back to smoking cigarettes. The problem was that I was unable to regulate the amount of nicotine I was ingesting. The result that I was now smoking more cigs a day than I ever had before. It took several months to get back down to 5-10 a day.

    I agree, stay away from ecigs. They are more likely to exacerbate things because they only contribute to the problem which is, addiction to nicotine.

  58. I used exigent to I’m on second month and I feel so much better than smoking

  59. I tried the e-cigs briefly but simply went back to smoking. A big part of the addiction for me (besides the physical addiction) is the ritual of smoking, and e-cigs just reinforce that in me. So, for me, they don’t work.

    I am trying the patch and while I feel like absolute sh*t, it really is helping with the cravings while I try to break the ritual habit too. I have KickSmoking app on my phone so when I want to reach over for a cig I grab my phone instead and check my stats – keeps me motivated and encouraged.

  60. Tami, i suggest dont go for patch or e-cig, thats upto you but it takes very long tome to nil nicotine cravings.. Stay on your decision dont give up…wish you al de best

  61. Tami,
    How are you doing with quitting? I am soooo happy I found this page!!! I was searching flu like symptoms with crushing headache after quitting and found this.
    I am on day 17 , after smoking 1/2-1ppd for 30 yrs. Halloween was my last drag wahoo….. I have been using the patch I chose to start at step 2 (14mg) and it is doing very well, I noticed pretty bad cravings on days 12-15 but I try to remember why I quit, take deep breaths and suck on mints. So far no backsliding!!! I walk daily now at work on lunch instead of smoking and it helps.
    My biggest problem is around day 10 I became very congested with a severe headache, the worst I’ve ever had along with facial pain and neck stiffness, I truly thought I had a sinus infection as I suffer with year round allergies already. It settled a little on day 13-14 but ramped back up and now I have all of it again plus ear pain and pain in my eyes along with dizziness and… Well the best way I can explain it is kind of like a zap in my brain from time to time.
    I have been taking my Rx allergy mess, sprays and nasal washes plus 3 ibuprofen along with 2 tylenols 2-3 times a day and it barely makes a dent in the headaches and am not sure what else to do?
    Anyone else experience this intensity? Did you find something that helps?
    I am in this for the long haul, and will NOT fail, but a little relief from the headache at least would help for sure!!

  62. Tami – If you are really that miserable, I would at least check in with your doctor to see if it is really not smoking or something else. It could be your allergies mixed with now this healing process making it this bad. I have quit several times in the past (on day 11 this time around) and have never had symptoms that bad, all be it I never smoke for too long between quits (like a year or two) – for headache relief, just from personal head relief experiance you may try two things (1) lay on your back on the floor, place a tennis ball behind you neck at like the base of your skull. Then gently move your head from side to side (like you are saying no). It is a foam rolling technique for your neck and for some people it can provide headache relief. (2) take an ice cube and put it in that same spot on the back of your neck at the base of your skull.

    It sounds like you are already loading up on medications – those are just some non-medication things you may try that are easy (and cheap if they dont help at all!)

    I quit with the patch successfully my first time around. I was quit for 18 months. Second time I quit, I was pregnant and just quit cold turkey (only 1/2 pack smoker at the time), and now for the third and FINAL time I am back on the patch. We can do this!!! Just not another single cigarette ever again! Every time I kick it and think “just one wont hurt” I always end up hooked again!

    Good luck!!

  63. sorry above comment i meant for susan! :)

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