Understand and Work with Your Cravings.

Man Craving a CigaretteFor years, it has been said that recovery from nicotine addiction can be broken into two different stages, the physiological stage of chemical withdrawal and the psychological stage of breaking the habit. This notion is somewhat incomplete.

Addiction is now considered a chronic brain disease and not simply a habit. Whilst cravings may be triggered psychologically, the disease itself is entirely physiological.

The cravings ex smokers feel during the healing process can be physically observed, physically measured and physically predicted. They are the result of neural activity in the brain and weaken as neural connections physically break down.

The Basic Physiology of Cravings and the Healing Process.


If you are not familiar with Neurons and Neural Activity, please read the Know Your Addiction section.

There are several areas in the brain that become hijacked by nicotine addiction. One such area is the Striatum.

The Striatum, a part of the Basal Ganglia, is linked to the reward centre of our brain and becomes active when we feel pleasure. It is an area central to the learning of new habits and basic decision making.

The Striatum is also one of the first major areas within the brain to be hijacked by nicotine addiction. Certain neural networks within the Striatum are triggered by the chemical dopamine, which is released into the brain by neurons receptive to nicotine.

The release of dopamine produces feelings of both pleasure and satisfaction. Feelings that serve to reward positive behaviours which enhance our ability to survive.

Over time, the Striatum begins to see nicotine and the cigarettes that provide it, as being critical to our survival and in turn, creates habits that will help ensure a constant flow of nicotine into the brain.

Nicotine addicts not only become almost permanently hungry for nicotine, they instinctively seek it. To make matters worse, neural connections and pathways associated with nicotine addiction spread into areas of the brain that control factors such as emotion and stress.

When triggered, these neurons will also initiate a craving.

Addiction is a physical, neurological condition. Every time you successfully defeat a crave, you physically cause neural connections associated with nicotine addiction to weaken and break down.

A significant amount of healing is achieved during the first 6-12 weeks, when large numbers of neural connections and nicotine receptors connected to the Basal Ganglia metabolize.

During these early stages of chemical withdrawal, cravings are at their worst. As time passes, this area of the brain significantly heals and ex smokers will start to notice more pleasure coming from natural triggers such as food, physical activity and life in general.

They no longer feel a constant hunger for the chemical nicotine.

However, once the chemical dependence to nicotine is overcome, there are still areas of the brain that remain hijacked by nicotine addiction. These areas will still need exposure to a large number of environmental and behavioral triggers in order to heal.

For example, neural pathways linking emotional stress to cigarettes and nicotine consumption will only physically break down as the ex smoker overcomes cravings associated with those particular triggers.

Work with Your Cravings and Influence Your Own Healing Process.

Because we can physically control our environment, we have the potential to deliberately influence our cravings. We can physically choose when we want to attack various individual triggers.

Of course, there will always be triggers that are beyond our control, such as emotions that come from various unpredictable life events. However, for the most part we do have the opportunity to take control.

The main thing to remember is that each and every time we encounter a trigger and win, the brain heals just that little bit more. Because, neural connections associated with the addiction weaken as we do so.

Neuroplasticity is the term used to explain the brains ability to create new neural connections and break down old ones, such as those that are a result of addiction. This You Tube clip shows Neuroplasticity in action.


Five Tips For Managing Your Cravings.


1. Take time off work and focus all of your efforts on healing the neural regions dependent on nicotine and overcoming chemical withdrawal.

Your goal is to quit smoking, not quit smoking while keeping up appearances.

When you first quit, the brain undergoes enormous physiological changes due to the abstinence from nicotine or reduction of its intake. Take the time to focus on healing areas of the brain chemically dependent on nicotine.

Do not risk your quit and your life, for the sake of appeasing employers or peers. In reality, you are doing them a favor.

Once confident, you can then attack areas of the brain active during stress, problem solving, completing tasks and feeling emotions.

Those on NRT and Medication should also consider taking a couple of days to adjust.

2. Avoid socializing until after the chemical dependency is broken or substantially weakened.

There are many triggers, such as having a beer or hanging out with other smokers, that will require a concentrated effort to overcome. Approach these environments one at a time and only when you feel confident and prepared to do so.

When you do attack these triggers, you will likely find yourself thinking almost non stop about smoking for the first 20-30 minutes. After that it gets easier.

Try to mix things up by holding conversations with NON SMOKERS and exploring new social environments.

3. Change or mix up your daily routine.

If you regularly drank coffee or tea with a smoke in the morning, consider switching to eating a regular breakfast and drinking juice instead of a hot drink. Avoid coffee until you have overcome the chemical dependence.

When you are confident, consider taking steps to re introduce the things you enjoyed.

For example, when you first introduce coffee you will crave. Having beaten the chemical withdrawals,  you will be able to focus all of your efforts on healing the particular area of the brain that is influencing the crave. The more often you attack this trigger, the quicker it will break down.

4. Use dopamine inducing sweets to help you attack habitual and emotional craves.

When addiction took over the Striatum, it ruthlessly created intense habitual triggers to smoke during everyday activities and emotional experiences. Heavily addicted smokers will light up when they are driving, taking a break, talking on the phone, finishing a meal, waiting for the bus and relaxing after a hard days work.

They are also likely to “chain” smoke during negative emotional experiences. Nearly all activities and emotions a smoker experiences are linked to smoking via neural connections that will need to break down.

To assist this, try introducing sweets that will give you a small dopamine hit as a reward. Small lollipops like Chupa Chups can be very effective as they also involve hand to mouth movement. Of course, speak to your doctor first, about sugar intake and how it may affect you personally, as there are risks associated with high sugar diets.

5. Exercise daily.

The brain loves physical activity. Ex smokers go through a long period of neural change as the ex smoker breaks down old neural connections and creates new positive and healthy ones.

Exercise stimulates something called the brain-derived neurotrophic factor which contributes to the creation and strengthening of new neural connections. If you exercise as part of your recovery, you will enhance the effectiveness of the healing process.

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor – You Tube Clip.




  1. Darren Gaudry says:

    This is really good stuff…

    Thank you!

  2. Thanks Darren 🙂

  3. Mr Dominic Oremus says:

    The most informative site i have ever come across,i am now into my second full week of giving up the cigs,after 30 years of 15 a day, reading virtually everything on your your site i have never felt so confident,my first attempt at giving up(pray my last).from how the brain works etc,the knowledge i have gained makes it so much easier for me.i can only heap praise on you all,and all ex smokers,without you all i would have not taken this journey of a new beginning.Thanks.

  4. I’m on week 3. I’ve been scouring the internet for info and this is the best site I’ve found. It’s helpful to know what I am going through is the norm. Thank you!!!!

  5. Jean-Pierre Boucher says:

    After 28 years of smoking, I called it quits 13 hours ago, I don’t think I slept last night. I also lost my job a week ago… I sure picked a good time to quit. Your website Cameron is really nice, it greatly helped me understand the physical transformations the brain takes over the next 6 weeks. Thanks again sir.

    • Hi Jean-Pierre,
      Sorry to hear about your job, but, I am most definitely happy to see your not afraid to continue your quest to be free from addiction. Shows great strength on your part.

      Good luck and stay strong!


      • Jean-Pierre Boucher says:

        Hey Cameron thank you for your encouragements, I’m now approaching 96 hours/4 days of cessation. The physical effects are quite noticeable: coughing-out phlegm has stopped after two days, when the cilia will start working again, will coughing return as well?

        Lastly, I think the stress of not working/worrying if I’m gonna live on the streets is greater than fighting the urges to smoke. And so in my case, finding work will be a great test…

        I’ll let you know


        • Thanks Jean – Pierre 🙂

          Well done on 96 hrs!

          I would expect the coughing to come back, it does tend to come and go as your lungs clear out. Exercise may also hasten the process.
          I still have rare, small bouts of coughing as my lungs continue to heal. Nothing compared to when I smoked!

          You are right about the tests. I think that as long as you go into it well prepared, you increase your ability. Especially once you have beaten the chemical dependency to nicotine.

          Good luck! 🙂

  6. Great site; I am on day 7 today. It does help that I don’t have to go to work every day and to take care of this addiction. I didn’t smoke at work (didn’t even bring cigarettes with me) because we could only smoke outside and it is too cold in Canada for that :). But I would make it up when I come home after work. So far so good; cravings are there but they are more annoying than anything. Have some headache almost every day but not too bad. Good luck to everyone that is quitting!!!

    • Hi , I just passed my first 12 hours.I used to smoke 20 cigs a day. Pray for me

      • Great job, Robin! Not really sure how we will be advised of a response to our postings, but here it goes anyway! I have made it throgh 27 hours…so far so good. I am 30+ year smoker of about 30 cigs/day – hard core! Everything in my life revolved around smoking. I even chose my hotels based on if they had balconies I could smoke on! I am trying to focus on the addiction part of it – the science – this time. Reading, I have a coach who calls me…an 800 number I can call for really bad moments. This is IT. I just have to do it.

  7. Day 5 for me – an awesome site! The first 2 days were the worst for me – My head was throbbing, and I thought it would eventually explode. I took my blood pressure to see if it was higher than my usual 140/85 reading – it was 120/78. I couldn’t believe this, so I took it 3 times to make sure… I’ve been checking it for the past 3 days and every time it’s the same – normal! I have also dropped 5 pounds (weird, because I thought everyone gained weight when they quit).
    The headache today is barely noticeable now, and I’m hoping it goes away soon. Good luck to everyone else quitting – Great job on this site!

    • Thanks David!

      Grats on quitting and it’s good to see you actually lost weight as opposed to gaining it. I am only just back to my starting weight, nearly two years after quitting. (I was pretty big when I quit anyways.)

      • Officially 2 weeks off smokes now – lungs are working better, and I seem to be sleeping better at night. The lost weight came back, so I’m back where I started, but that’s okay, since I’m not “that” over weight (215lbs at 6’2″). I actually went to the gym with my son 2 days ago – of course, I was a bit over enthusiastic and now I feel like a car accident… gotta remember to keep it slow and steady…
        I really like the website Cameron, and review it every evening after dinner, which is when I want a cig the most… The cravings subside quickly when I put my mind to reading this site… Thank you again!

        • Well done on 2 weeks David!

          Gym is good! I am in same boat and go there a couple of times a week at least. Weight is slowly stripping off, but it is getting there. Fitness makes a big difference to my quality of life too, I think.

          Thanks for your comments too btw 🙂

          Stay strong!

  8. Week 3 of quitting. Cravings almost gone! Can quiting effect Blood Pressure a lot? This week I feel some dizziness and no energy. I take BP medication. Should I be calliing my doctor or is this normal withdrawl symptoms?

  9. Hello thanks for info:) today is day 7. On day 2 I started experiencing nocturnal panic attacks,,( i think thats what they are. The moment I fall asleep i jump up in a panic, it happens about 8 times a night until i finally fall asleep. Do you think this symptom can be related to quitting?

    • Hi Karen, grats on 1 week!

      I’m not sure if the the panic is directly related to quitting. I do know what you are talking about though, as it sometimes happens to me. I am not sure what is behind it, maybe anxiety? It comes and goes with me and seems to happen more when I am thinking about life, death, the universe, existence and all things deep lol. I looked into it once before and found that a lot of people do experience it. If it worries you, I would ask your doctor 🙂

    • Hi Karen

      Congrats on completing 1 week of being a non-smoker.

      The panic attacks you’re referring to is quite common and it has nothing to do with quitting IMO. I sometimes have these attacks as well and when I had those, I was sucking in 40 sticks a day, so def not related to quitting

      Good luck and keep it up!

  10. Ann-Maree says:

    I have justs come across this website at the right time. I haven’t had a smoke for just over 24 hours and the irratablility is definitely there. Not all the time but it has been there.

    I’m trying to keep busy and get through one crave at a time. I have found reading this website and other peoples comments very helpful so thank you.

  11. emma walker says:

    i have qite smoking for 7 months now,,i never ever coughed up once…strange i know..and i have also developed a skin rash over my belly , arms and legs and itch like mad and i constantly feel like an anxiety in my body ..this started about 4 and half months in to giving up and i never had any thing like this before..would you say that this is all part of giving up…i used to smoke 20 cigs a day for 30 years and my husband says it might be the toxins coming out of you body..i;ve had my liver and every thing else checked and every thing has come back normal…how long before you start to feel like a normal person again

  12. My second serious attempt at quitting. The last one lasted for 15 days after which I again got myself addicted to smoking (still repent for that)

    This time I am more determined to stick to the no smoking plan. It has just been 48 hrs since I smoked my last and even though the cravings are there (was smoking 20 a day before), I am taking the help of nicogum to tame those cravings

    Really helpful info on this site and it’s great to read the comments above and see how well people are doing with their no smoking attempt. Really inspiring

    I hope I can finally kick this 15 yr old habit once and for all this time.

    Thanks a lot!

  13. Brittany says:

    I am just over 50 hrs with no cigarette. My husband quit a month ago and he made it seem effortless. For me, it’s a complete different story. I take Wellbutrin which seems to be helping sometimes. I started coughing today, have had a few nightmares, and EVERYTHING has irritated me. I’m just wondering how long before I stop feeling bipolar and can be approachable again 🙂

    • Hi Brittany, grats on 50 hrs!

      My first real breakthrough came after around 5 days. Though, having said that, breaking the chemical dependency does take several weeks. I had a tough spell around 2-3 week mark, followed by an improvement. Another tough spell around 5-6 weeks, followed by big improvement. After that, the walls come and go over time until barely noticeable. Most walls are followed by a significant improvement. The details of my own recovery are covered in “The Next Twenty,” blog/section.

      Stay Strong!

  14. I just gone through the article.Its my 43 rd day of quitting the habbit of 12 years.I am gaining a lots of weigh but it feels really great .I just wanna ask u that inow days i am feeling quite aggresive,,its common???

    • Hi Sushil, grats on 43 days!

      The agressive feeling is pretty normal, though should weaken over time. If it continues to be an issue, especially after around 12 weeks, then I would maybe talk to a cognitive behavioural therapist and health professional like your doctor.

      Stay strong!

  15. md ikhwan says:

    Today is my 4th day quitting smoking and I did try to quit for 4 times already and this time I want to do it seriously because I just got married 8 months ago and I kept my habits a secret from my wife all this time. I kept coughing like crazy. Now I got it why I got so moody today thanks to Your article are so infomative.

  16. Quit smoking 1/7/2013 8days later and im still very down and tearful i really feel like iv lost a bestfriend?? alot of issues in the past iv dealt with are returning to me now and aking me feel very sad, is quitting really worth this? im scared for my self bcause this depression i feel is so strong and lonely i never felt so alone, even tho i have support

    • Hi Edel, I recommend treating the depression as a separate issue. Smoking does not cure depression and in all likelihood makes it worse. Talk you your doctor and look at therapeutic options for treatment. I am a big fan of cognitive therapy myself.

      As you heal, you will miss the smoking less. It does take time though, because your brain needs to adjust physically. As neural connections break down, so to do all those thoughts of missing smoking!

      Stay Strong!

  17. Margaret says:

    Wow this site is far superior to any other smoking info site I’ve ever seen.
    I’ve been a week without smoking, and I feel great! That said, I am petrified that I am going to slip up and start again. I think my brain is conspiring to make me think that failure is inevitable in order to get me to smoke! Stupid brain. I will power through and stay cautiously optimistic.

    • Thanks Margaret 🙂

      The “junkie” brain certainly seems conspire against quitters. I remember it very well. Being aware of it makes a huge difference though, so well done!

      Stay Strong!

    • Best comment I’ve read 🙂 … I feel exactly the same

      This is my third attempt at quitting. The last two lasted almost 1 week and I didn’t feel super bad/anxious during the quits.

      My biggest problem was travel (and I travel a lot) … when I land in a new country/ city, I have the urge to smoke one stick and go back to being a non-smoker. The following evening, I’d have a couple of cigarettes while drinking and the day after that I’d return to being my bad old self – smoking 20 cigs a day 🙁

      Now on this quit … I’ve managed the first 3 days pretty well but my mind seems convinced that I’ll restart once I travel. Thankfully, the next trip is 2 weeks away … any advice on how to tame the urge will be appreciated.

  18. Jim Kuhn says:

    I’m 54 years old and have smoked since I was 15. Today is my 154th day without smoking. This is the first time that I can actually say that I have not broken down to having even a puff. I contribute my success to many factors but sites such as this one is in the top 3. Education, Eduction, Education…… you just can’t get enough. In my earlier stages of quitting I found myself spending hours on researching and reading to get me through them craves. Its a great tool to use and before you know it, the crave has passed. I wish all well and the best in getting through this journey. YOU CAN DO IT !

  19. Day 22 and man the cravings is so bad but I keep busy to take my mind off them really like this site

  20. Great advice just stopped a craving!!
    Day one here .. Fourth attempt!
    On champix medication day 12 and wham just woke up and didn’t feel like a smoke. But I do get cravings and they seem to pass ok.. Cannot wait to say I have beaten this dirty habbit!!
    Why did we ever start!! If we only knew !

  21. 6 weeks now on a cold turkey, no nicotine sub journey. Been quite the roller coaster ride. Still having moments. And I wont deny that this hasn’t been tough. I found a quit smoking app that keeps track of how long I’ve quit, money saved, days gained back and cigarettes not smoked. Has been a motivational tool. I’m 56 and smoked for 40 years. I will not let myself fail, much to the delight of my family and friends.

    • Congrats on your success!!! You have given me hope, as I am 43 and have smoked since I was 14. I haven’t had a cig for almost 24 hours though, and already looking for help, lol. Like you, I’m going cold turkey.
      I am also going to look for this app you mentioned. I have friends using apps like this to lose weight, so will definitely check this out!!! Thanks for your post

  22. This is better than any government or hospital site. Really helpful. Today is my day3.

  23. Andrew Lungu says:

    Great stuff indeed. I’m now 14 days off the smoking habit. Thanks a lot for the info Cameron.

  24. Ali Trotman says:

    It’s been 8 days for me. I, however, smoked cigars (black and milds) and stopped smoking by default. I had 3 wisdom teeth and one root taken out and was scared to death of dry socket. I do think about smoking, know I don’t want to smoke anymore, but wonders if I’ll be able to contain myself when the Dentist gives me the OK.

    I feel great and like to be around my friends
    that are not smokers our being around people in elevator without thinking I smell like an ashtray to them, per se.

    Good luck to you all.

  25. I just wanted to say it’s refreshing to see a site which treats people like grown-ups. I personally have no patience for emotional support groups and similar efforts (not trying to decry those who find these things useful), but I DO find the scientific/medical information both interesting AND motivating. We’ve all seen countless facts about the benefits of quitting, but I particularly like the medical treatment of addiction and the associated video of neurons in action. Now every time I have a craving, I think of healing my brain by fighting the feelings. It works for me!

    35 year habit, 20+ per day. Now nicotine free for 6 days.

    Cameron – please keep up the good work.

    • Thanks John.
      It is very encouraging to see people such as yourself gain value from the site.
      Stay strong and congrats on your quit! 🙂

      • Hey John, It is now day 6 for me today. Smoked and wasted my time for 30 years ! Yep, 20+ too. Can you believe it. Just we were young those years and it was the “in” thing. What a mistake ! I still have cravings – lightheaded, bit dizzy etc. When I have my coffee – that’s the hard part – but I face and beat my craving, Just lasts for 5 min only. Im not gonna give up my coffee ! Love it to much. Strangely enough, when I have my 1 of 2 beers, I dont crave too much ? Anyways, Cameron, excellent site, it boosts me alot ! And message to Edel : I also found occasionally like being sad, even though im not alone. Keep it up girl , you can do this !!!!

  26. What a great site, thank you Cameron for the very helpful information.

    I was wondering if you or anyone reading knows, what goes on in the brain/body if you have a slip after going cold turkey for 2 weeks totally nicotine & smoke-free?

    I gave in to the craving this morning and now I’m wondering if I will experience the first 72 hours withdrawal stuff all over again. Will it be easier to get back on track or is it like starting all over?

    • Hi Sarah. Thanks for the comments.

      I would recommend reading the tutorials I have written on how the addiction works on the brain. That will give you a better understanding what is physically happening.
      If you get back on the horse immediately, the damage done by relapse will be minimal.

      Click here for tutorial…

      Don’t give up on giving up! It is worth every single struggle!

      Stay Strong. 🙂

  27. Day 69- 10 hours and 45 minutes
    For the past two weeks my sinus has been so bad I can’t stop sneezing my nose is sore

  28. DAY 1 coming up. I have 1 cigarette left in my pack. I’ll have my first granddaughter being born in a few days. God help me ! I am a 2 pk a day for the past 30 yrs. I must quit, and today is the day. Your site breaks it down nicely. Someone says quitting lowers your immune system for a few months, is that true? Wish me luck. Everyone I know, has no confidence in me… so strangers, wish me the best.

  29. praveen kumar says:

    Hi,i have just quit smoking after 7 years of smoking.Till yesterday,i was smoking 15 cigarettes a day….I have not smoked for 11 hrs ….Wish me luck for getting myself over with this …

  30. This is day 5 and I sure hope that this gets better!!! Thank you for all of your posts – it really helps me and I don’t feel so alone (and crazy) and BOY have I have been a loon lately. I really don’t even feel myself and my mind is playing tricks on me – > like oh, you can always quit later, it will be fine just to smoke on weekends. We all know that it’s bs…I KNOW that I can do this – it just really hurts a lot right now; almost feel paralyzed by it – anyone know what I mean?

  31. Hi Sarah i know what u mean im on day 3 and was trying to convince myself oh i’ll probably start again so whats the point, strange how the mind works! Just have to keep realising its just in the mind and thats it.

  32. Kirsten Maddison says:

    I’m at 4 and a half months cigarette-free, felt an overwhelming urge to smoke yesterday while considering quitting from a toxic work environment. In the past, I would have polished off at least half a pack while I agonized to my friends. I realized it was just a powerful trigger, this huge decision and I didn’t smoke (not even a puff from the E-cigarette). Keep up the good work, friends in nicotine detox. N.O.P.E.

  33. Jamie Crawford says:

    What a great website, completely empathic in a way none of the ‘official’ offerings are. I’m on day 8 of maybe my tenth attempt at quitting, having smoked for, bloody hell, 30 years. I’ve given up for up to 6 months at a time, using Champix (weurgh!) and other unpleasant chemicals, The Book, and will power, over the years. I’m using the concept of mindfulness this time around, and am finding it to be more effective than anything else I’ve tried. It isn’t something I’ve looked into hugely, just came across the concept a few times and liked the theory of it. When I get a craving I just think about something else – literally anything; the texture of something nearby, a friend in a foreign country, an ideal holiday for the family – and I’ve found that with a bit of practice I end up doing it automatically. I still have these phantom longings for a fag, which don’t feel like a craving, but I think it’s just the brains way of trying to get around my current resolve. Anyway, good luck to everyone engaged in the good fight, and thanks, Cameron, for providing a much-needed pragmatic and cheerful resource 🙂

    • Thanks Jamie. I am glad you find the site helpful! I think you are spot on about consciously changing your thought pattern during a crave being helpful. I found myself doing it as well during my heal. 🙂

      Stay strong!

  34. I agree that mindfulness is an excellent tool for quitting. I am on day 40 of my new nicotine free life. I actually work at an addiction treatment facility and mindfulness exercises are used on a regular basis with our clients. I wish I could say that was all it has taken for me, but I have a prescription in addition to the unfailing support of my workplace family, and of course the at home group, as my husband is on day 41! Yay! for us, and I mean all of us who have decided not to be controlled by nicotine. Thanks, Cameron, for giving us another wonderful tool to help us win the fight!

  35. Great site, 28 yrs smoking, day 2 smoke free, craving driving me nuts, but i am going to win the battle.

  36. Great Site , 30 yrs of age, 6 days smoke free, craving makes me crazy, but Im gonna make it, I’m gonna escape from this parasite world….

  37. I’m 27 and iv been smoking for 9 years at least half of this time I was a chain smoker due to a stressful lifestyle, one year ago I got acute asthmatic bronchitis…I still feel tight in my chest and get wheezy and a year has past iv also previously had a nodule in my lung 4 years ago and had heaps of scans done but was told possibly an infection at the time..I quit, smoking for a while on Champex say for 3 months n I’m frightened about what damage I may have done to my lungs. My Dr says I’ll experience an over production of phlegm n coughing etc but I also get sharp little pains in my lungs atm and I can’t cough anything up.. I’m scared to get a scan and I kno I should for a peace of mind but I just can’t cope if I hear bad news . So my question is….when going thru withdrawal mode has anyone experienced pain ? And if so do u kno if it’s a sign of cancer or any other nasty thing. I seriously feel like an idiot I kno I should just go get checked .. why is this so hard

    • The sharp little pains seems to be pretty common. I used to get it a lot. Nowadays not so much. I had chest scan done and all was good. I suggest every smoker and ex-smoker gets a scan and blood test by default. Talk to your doctor about your concerns, no matter how big or small they may be.

      Stay Strong!

      • HI, its funny you should mention these little pains. I have never had chest pain as a non smoker but heaps when i was a smoker. Im 7 and a half months in and today i had serious pains in my chest. It felt as though something was inside my left lung nipping it from the inside. I don’t know if it is common to get them but hearing that you have had them and the other poster i feel much better.

        As to the second Blogger, I will take your advice and have a full medical soon. I would like to know how much my breathing has improved… I have put it off because if they say i am extremely healthy i know my mind will think that i can get healthy in 7 months so attempt to justify starting again… If he says i am still really ill/poor health then my mind will think, oh well, you are ill when you dont smoke and ill when you do… again i will try and justify smoking! It sounds stupid, this is why i have put off going to see a doctor!! This addiction is really cruel at times.

  38. Age 59 want to live to see age 89.

    I think there should be a clinic that people should be able to stay just like other addicts. This is very, very difficult habit to break. I have tried so many times to stop and I am on day 3 and I think today is the worst I am Light headed and real bad back pain. I am using the lowest dosage of Nicorette and drinking plenty of water. I am not giving in or giving up. I know quitting is the best thing I could do for me and my health.

    • I’m also on day 5 after smoking for 40 yrs!! Lost job, 2 deaths in family the previous month,,,,,,,What was I thinking?? But is there ever a GOOD time for this?? Want to jump out of my skin today, all I did was eat. HELP!!! Tell me when the cravings ease up. I have to do this!!

      • Hi Dee, the intensity of the cravings should begin to start easing soon, my first big breakthrough came around the 5 day mark. Having said that, the next breakthrough was around 6 weeks from memory. It is a journey where you progressively get better until one day you realise its been days, then weeks, then months between any thoughts of smoking.

        Stay strong… 😀

  39. ummm……..did everyone jump ship????

    • Folk tend to pass through here and comment now and then. I have put some links at bottom of page “get help from other quitters,” and at top of page under “online support,” if you would like to check out some good online communities centred around supporting each other. I would check them out! 😀

  40. I am 3 days away from 6 months without a hit. My wife and I quit together and had smoked for 40 years each. It is still hard for me to deal with these cravings and the weight gain. I thought the cravings would have disappeared by now! But i will fight on. My fear is 1 hit and I would go back to my pack a day habbit. If that happened all this time would be wasted. My nest milestone is 1 year but every minute I don’t smoke is a victory. Thanks for this site and articles Great service for people like us trying to shake this nasty habbit

    • Grats on the approaching 6 month mark Tom. You are right in fearing the one hit, that is all the evil weed needs to take away your freedom. The cravings do linger for a while, I found my last major breakthrough was around 10 months. At 1 year I was weeks between craves, and they were so small that it barely registered. Now at two years, I find it easy to forget that I was ever a smoker…

      • Thanks Cameron for the encouragment. It’s funny but before I posted on this site I was really having a rough patch with the cravings and yesterday I was fine. I think having a place like this is extremely helpful

  41. Trevor Roberts says:

    Hello Cameron (and every other reader on here).. To start, allow me to thank you for starting this site. I stumbled upon it tonight while googling ‘If you survive the 2nd day of quitting smoking’… And go figure, I’m on Day 2 🙂

    I am a 20+year smoker (started on a Wednesday evening in September 1993) and this is single handedly the EASIEST quit I have ever done. Someone in this thread mentioned (in different words) that it’s a huge benefit to recognize and understand all of the little schemes & tricks that our minds will set up and present to us when we begin craving smoking while quitting.

    It has now been just over 48 hrs and today was extremely tough: New job, still learning, trying to make a good impression… And on top of it, I felt very disorientated (as if I was spun around several times) for the entire afternoon. When I got home after work, I had to take a few Ibuprofens and sleep for an hour from my headache.
    Then my girlfriend came home and decided to make it very clear that she was angry with me.

    This did NOT help matters. After a 15 min walk, I calmed down significantly. So did the cravings.

    My point is this: I’ve proved to myself over and over just ONE THING in the past 2 days, and that is if you really want to quit smoking for good, there is nothing and nobody on this earth that will be able to stop you.

    All you need to remember is that YOU made the choice to quit for good, and that you are going to stick with that choice no matter what.

    I’m looking forward to coming back on here in 1 week/2weeks/1 month/1 year/etc and read this post and look back and smile.. Knowing I DID stick to quitting.

    Good luck to everyone reading this. We can do it.

    • Hi Trevor, it definitely makes a huge difference to recognize and understand the junkie mind and the tricks it plays on you. While I will never say quitting is easy, (it requires guts and determination IMO,) I will certainly agree that it can be made a lot easier, by being motivated, resolved, well informed, having support and being prepared. Good luck and stay strong! See you soon. 😀

    • Really well done i enjoyed reading your first two days of quitting! This is exactly how i felt for the first few weeks, i almost felt drunk. When people used to talk to me their voices seemed quiet and then my mind would race a lot… Stick at it you sound like you have exactly the right mind set to get through this absolute crappy addiction!

  42. This is a great website, so informative! Thank you for the information! I’m on day 3 today of cessation, I have a 1 year old son and this morning was a little more trying than the last two but we made it through and I’m doing okay. I’m very happy I decided to quit, i don’t smell like cigarettes anymore and I’ve washed all my clothes and anything that smelled like cigarettes to help with the cravings. i really want this to be the last time I try and quit so I’m hoping I can get through the cravings, but I think if you can make it through the first week, you’ve got it made! Here’s to hoping!

  43. Awesome page! It’s great hearing so many people doing so well in there fight against the cigarette. I myself am on 7 days so far, had bad cravings here and there but just a matter of keeping the mind occupied and the cravings soon pass. I quit for a few years a while ago but picked up the habit again after some stressful times at work… Am
    Determined not to let anything get in
    My way this time!

  44. Naveed Shariff says:

    O i would seriously say its not that easy but its not impossible, But with a bit of dedication & efforts its is possible
    & Luv this site

  45. Naveed Shariff says:

    O i would seriously say its not that easy but its not impossible, But with a bit of dedication & efforts its is possible
    & Luv this site

    Smoke Free 34 hrs passed & feeling gud & Dont want to loose hope till the Victory

  46. 4 days, 14 hours into it. Good site. Contemplating an e-cig for a couple of weeks but fear that is not a good choice since I think I am basically nicotine free at this point…have drop dead date of 3/15 for 4/15 surgery…I am done with this but especially mental today. Xanax is not helping!

  47. I am 7 Months and 2 weeks into my Quit.
    I decided to quit cold turkey as i have tried NRT before but found little success. My logic, if you are trying to break a nicotine addiction why would you continue to take it? I have heard of people addicted to chewing gums, inhalers the such.. I am hardly surprised as nicotine is one of the most addictive substances known to man.

    However, the reason i write on here is that i have been suffering from serious cravings lately. I do not know what has brought it on but i do live with two smokers. This hasn’t really affected me too much in the past but it is becoming worse! It’s nice to read this site as it reassures me that i am breaking down those brain cells that make me want a cigarette.

    When i first quit i sucked about 20 candy lolly pops a day. It really does help and you can pick them up relatively cheap at pound land etc.. After i got sick of sucking them, i changed to normal basic chewing gum. Every time i have a serious craving i chew gum. Orbit is really good for this as it has a lot of sugar in it. I don’t have a sweet tooth at all but it does certainly help with the cravings as this site suggests.

    I really wish all of you the best of luck. Keeeeeep going, it does get easier. I find that my cravings are extremely intense but much further spread apart than when i first gave up. There are days when i don’t even think of smoking. It’s really nice to have the physical energy and the ability to train hard in the gym. I’m a moderately good runner now..

    For men out there that struggle putting on weight. I struggled my whole life to put on weight. I am 5ft 10 and when i smoked i weighed a mere 9.7 stone. I didn’t look too good believe me… Since quitting i have put on weight. I now weight nearly 12 stone and have a very nice body to show for my work out at the gym… Nicotine completely ruins your appetite and i think its because it ruins all of our senses!!
    Giving up smoking is a must for those who wish to gain weight.. However, for those who do not want to gain, i have to say that i was conscious to eat more when i gave up smoking and have continued that new mind set. I am sure it is just as easy to not put on weight if you do not wish too. I know people who lost weight when they quit because they started to get fit… Its a really great weight to avoid temptation, surrounding yourself with non smoking healthy people.

    These are some of my experiences, i know other peoples experience will differ to mine but we are all different.

    Good Luck :0) Never Quit Quitting!!

  48. Wow, to the creator of the site, we quit on the same day except i quit in 2013! Great stuff, must be something about August 10th lol!

  49. grant fournier says:

    Two weeks today. Have been using the nicotine gum for the first week then it started tasting gross. I feel like a million bucks! Can breathe way better already, the “night rattles” are subsiding, and I’ve got a ton of energy. I am eating more and I’ve put on a couple pounds but its a fair trade. Should have done this years ago but like a true addict the idea terrified me. If you are on the fence or struggling with the decision JUMP IN! It sucks for a little bit, but its totally worth it.

  50. Today is day 30 for me. This is the second time i quit smoking. The first time was for one day shy of six years. …Two years ago, I was in a job that was making me miserable. I was totally unhappy in life. I mistakenly thought that a puff or two couldn’t undo six years smoke free. I was wrong. I smoked for a little over two more years and have now been smoke free for 30 days. I smoked 1/2-1 pk per day.

    I tell you all this because even after years of having quit, it’s that easy to get hooked again. Stopping is so simple, yet so difficult.

    The first time quitting came with minimal symptoms. this time around has come with “quitters flu” like symptoms. Sore throat, ear pain (I’ve convinced myself I have a neck tumor). Muscle and joint pain, constipation, horrible dreams, anxiety, and lack of joy for life.

    I know all this will pass, and I will go to the doctor and have each of my symptoms checked out to relieve my anxiety. ….But, I write to you all today, here and now…..If you’ve gone 72 hours without a cigarette, and have determined to QUIT….never, and I mean never put a cigarette in your mouth ever again. Nicotine addiction is a stealthy addiction and will grab you back before you know it.

    Best wishes for continued success for everyone here.

  51. Day 6 into quit and found this site when googling runny nose as have no cough at all just the nose thing and feeling generally crap, no sleep, nausea etc. 25 a day for 20+ years and most ‘official’ stuff I found seems to say I should be starting to feel amazing by now nicotine is gone etc. Thank you for the honesty on this site as it does help to know I’m not alone and it is quitter’s flu not my imagination!

  52. Grrrrrrrrr – that is all for now!

  53. Dick Forrester says:

    2 months today since I quit after 45 years @ 30 a day – how inspiring you all are – wonderful – I have BEATEN this!!!!!!!!!!!! Hang in there everyone XO from Aussie

  54. It has been one month today since I quit smoking. I’ve smoked a pack a day or more for 17 years. I used the patch the first 2 weeks. I feel like each day is harder and harder emotionally! I cry all the time and I feel out of control! I found this website helpful to understand the changes in the brain – rewiring from the addictive behaviors, how long will this last?!?!? thanks!

  55. well 2day is day 121 of my journey. my hubby and i were hypnotized with 73 others
    in a banquet hall. i had no faith as i am very hardheaded. however i put my faith in
    a higher power and said lord if you can get me rid of them for one day i will do the rest. so one hint was to take a deep breath and exhale when the craving hits. it has
    worked well for me. hubby and i enjoy our home being smokefree. my car smells great.
    we are both gaining weight and tired all the time and sleep way 2much. but we are
    working on it. one addiction at a time lol. truly my being able to breathe is gods blessing. i was on sprriva and advair daily and now i am off of them both. at 67 years

    of age i am beginning to wise up. i choose health good luck 2us all in this fight for uor life. thanx 4 a great site millie k

  56. don clive says:

    Feeling really good after quiting since 6 days

  57. Susan Dant says:

    Today is day 19. It’s been a hellish ride. I smoked 1.5 packs for 30 yrs. I’ve always suffered from extreme anxiety and depression and this was how I thought I was helping myself cope. Now I’m letting go of the crutch so I can more easily get to the roots of my issues. The anxiety has significantly increased during this time. It’s different tho. Closer to the core issues I’d say. Meaning of life, what happened to me way back when etc. so, I feel it’s a necessary crutch to let go of if I ever want to fully heal. Does anyone else have this type of journey? I know they’re all unique. Thx for listening.

  58. Sue Ashton says:

    I’m on day 7 and think I’m doing ok. Feel a bit of a fraud, I only smoked 5-7 a day so I am full of admiration for those who smoked 20+ a day! I am most worried about weight gain but not sure if because I didn’t smoke a lot can I still expect weight gain? Is it to do with metabolism or subconscious munching!?

  59. Hi, I quit 12 weeks ago tomorrow and have been looking for help on many websites since day one. Some were helpful and others less so. This website is far and away the most helpful I’ve come across. Mr Kellett, you have done marvellous work here and have helped me enormously. I’m sure many other quitters feel the same. Thank you very much!


  60. Pack a day smoker on day 3 after 20 years. I really think this one sticks, just trying to keep in mind how foolish what I’ve done to myself is.

  61. Thanks for this article, it really helps a lots! It is my 6th day quiting and everyday after work I always make sure I go to the gym.

  62. Its been almost a year to the day for me, (July 5) but dammit if I still get bad cravings after eating and when I’m stressed out.

    • Eulipious says:

      How long did you smoke for? I’d smoked for fifty years before quitting and had got used to doing just about everything aided by Nicotine. 30 – 40 cigarettes for 50 years 100g of pipe tobacco for ten more years. I’ve quit cold turkey – no NRT. Each day is bringing new symptoms of the smoke free life and they aren’t all good but I’ve got a lot of time addicted and habituated to Nicotine. It’s proving quite a steep learning curve.

      • You sound like me… six days into no more nicotine, no NRT and new sensations everyday. Many good, some bad and some plain weird.

      • Are you still a non-smoker? I quit in February cold turkey after 30 years. I find that my cravings are worse now than when I quit 3 months ago. I am staying strong but don’t know how much longer this torture will last!

        • Google “the icky threes”

        • I am only 27 hours smoke free…but have quit previously and that is exactly what happened to me. My cravings never went away…the feelings of anxiety, restlessness, etc would worsen and build until I finally couldn’t take it anymore and gave in. I’m hard core addicted. Every facet of my life revolved around smoking. I mentioned earlier – I would even pick my hotels based on if they had a balcony so I could more easily smoke. At any rate, I choose to go the NRT route this time. I’m hoping that by dealing with one thing at a time, it will help. I know it will lengthen the process…I’m just hoping it will bring it down a notch or two! This is my last time quitting – I say that because I will never start again! Still confident after my first day! lol Good luck to all…

  63. forty + years…………i’m scared!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  64. I love how this article breaks down the way smoking effects people in ways a smoker or ex smoker can understand and relate to. I just quit smoking but feel very satisfied in knowing how im helping myself with quitting amd knowing that yes I do want another one but I know after a few weeks it will be a thing of the past. Im trully motivated by others comments and would love to hear more detail of how they did it as more inspiration for myself and others. My e mail is babygirl_8274865@yahoo.com. please share your story with me. Thank you.

  65. Thank you so much for the stages.It helped me quit.I now am 4 months smoke free.I hardly get any craving.I plan on staying smoke free for life.I joined a gym and took up exercise and healthy eating instead.I feel so much better.

    • coldturkey217 says:

      HI Valerie & Debbie – its really nice and encouraging reading about your quiting. Although i know it would be different from one person to another. I quit for almost a month and im really going through the withdrawals such as shortness of breath, dizziness , have you experienced same as well although you’ve quit for a longer period already? Should i go to the doctor already? I do not have someone to join me in this endeavor and it would be nice hearing from people who have the same ordeal. I hope you can share some inputs for me as a guide. Ill share mine as well. Thanks

      • I have those very same symptoms. 6 weeks and 3 days quit! I quit cold turkey. I am 50 yr old female and have smoked for 35 yrs. It was time I grew up! I’ve felt like such a hypocrite, meaning I work out, I eat extremely clean and green, haven’t drank alcohol for 14 years and I smoke! I normally smoked 1 to 1/2 packs a day and was up to 2 packs a day the last 6 mths as I knew I was going to quit. I have the same symptoms as you talk about, dizziness, feeling foggy, depressed, no shortness of breath though. I just had an app’t with a naturopath as to why I actually feel worse now that I’ve quit. My joints are achy, I just feel whipped. I continue to work out, actually hitting the treadmill anytime a craving gets almost out of control to the point that I’m on there 2 hrs a day most days. I have already put 13 lbs on and seriously I am eating way less than I did before plus working out more. No, it’s not muscle either. Frustrating but I will deal with the weight later. Quitting smoking is my top priority, I deserve it! I’m also having crazy digestion issues. Very bloated and gassy, stomach is distended and need help with pooping. Senna tea, piles of fiber and exercise isn’t straightening things out. As a smoker, every morning I’d have 1/2 cup of coffee and two smokes in and poof, off to the washroom. Quite amazing actually how my body has become so dependant on those chemicals and rituals just to do my morning duties. I really need to get this figured out as I do not want to be dependent on laxatives. If anyone has any suggestions, please please fill me in!

        I’m still trying to figure out what to do for my ‘breaks’. It was always a smoke (or three!) My craving are still so sporadic and I totally am staying away from smokers. Actually I am kinda ‘hermitting’ up. Socializing, talking on the phone are big time triggers for me….I will push on!

        • I really admire your drive to continue. I quit smoking cold turkey about 6 weeks ago and I am also still having brain fog and energy problems. I’m still having mood swings and get really angry over small things. I was not like this before I started smoked or while I was smoking. I always get discouraged when I read these timelines, because I always seem to be experiencing symptoms that should have gone away by now. If these symptoms never go away and I am stuck like this for life, I would rather die of lung cancer than go through life with these problems. I suppose I will give it a year. I have to be better by then right..

          • Mary Van says:

            I wonder if any of you took Chantix to quit? I used it a few times, but started up again because my husband was still smoking. (He was also a stresser for me.) Anyway, I found that the Chantix added moodiness after about the 3rd time I used it to quit.
            I am now without my husband, so I tapered off my smoking to under 1/2 pack a day. Then I took a week’s vacation from work and totally quit. It’s been 3 weeks now and I feel much better. Am still having some cravings, and the dreams of smoking, but it’s do-able… and this time, without Chantix or nicotine replacements.
            Good luck to you all! Hang in there!

          • NOPE… You are never better from your addiction, we can make excuses but we also need to be responsible for our moods, its the addiction not anything else its the way you think about life and things positive thinking and keep moving foreward, I am so sick but I am not gonna break in to my quit for an addiction, good luck

        • Joy Brooks says:

          I am 10 weeks 1 day quit! Feeling great and all of a sudden, I was surprised when I went for a walk a week ago like I usually do and was having shortness of breath and feeling borderline shaky almost like my sugar had plummeted. Very strange. Not since…but there are certain things that still get me irritated and very short tempered. Yesterday I nearly gave in thinking it would be easier to just smoke again. I didn’t. Hanging in there. I signed up to speak with a counselor. I’ve spoken to her once ~ several weeks ago. I know now I really need this support.

  66. I quit cold turkey with alot of mints and gum.I had a great support system at work.When I wanted a cigarette my co worker’s would tell me.Your doing great don’t give up and have one.One lady I work with would say to me your the strongest women I ever know .You can do this.See inspired me everyday not to give up.

  67. I am on day 18 and still having a really tough time. Although cravings are getting farther and fewer in between they still come with intensity that worries me. If I am around smokers, I am worried I would slip up! I am doing good, but thought that I wouldn’t be feeling this stressed and anxious this far along!

  68. Winding down day 5 of cold turkey after 40+ years of smoking at 2+ packs per day. The first days were bad but things are looking up. Still have constant cravings, but so what… This article, IMO, tells it like it is. I know what my brain is trying to do and why, so I just have to decide to say no. My recipe so far has been sunflower seeds (constant) and twizzlers as a special treat. I think the most important thing is to really want to quit. every other time I stopped I didn’t want to quit, I wanted to not smoke. Now is different. This time I made the decision (out of the blue, so to speak) so it is basically impossible to go back on without making a new and equally strong decision to continue to be a smoker with everything that that entails, and I just don’t see that as possible. That said I still limit my exposure to other smokers, at least for while yet.

    • Today is day 5 for me. I have quit smoking many many times. Chantix, patches, elec cigs, vapor cigs, perscriptions from Dr. I always go back..I am doing good this time, except I am having night sweats bad and can’t sleep. I hope these pass soon. I am trying to stay clear of smokers. Wish me luck, I kknow I’ll need it!

    • i wish you the best of luck ken

    • I will not be around smokers , I quit and I stand strong on it…no smoking is no smoking especially second hand smoke… 40ys , 3 months into my quit its not easy but so what nothing in life is if its worth it.. Good luck

  69. 3 weeks into quitting a 30 year, 2 pack a day habit. The first few days were a little rough, then it got very easy after a week. Today, I can’t get the thought of having a smoke out of my head, but I won’t do it.

  70. I hate quitting smoking… I hate it, I hate it, I hate it. This is I guess 3rd try for me, pack a day- 19ish years. And I am so pissy all the time! Like dangerously irratible, road rage, snapping at people, just a total monster… I also smoked a lot of pot with my tobacco (splifs?), and they are all intertwined now– which I think makes the quitting that much more ugly. And anyone who says marijuana does not have withdrawl symptoms has not smoked it for decades… Like double all the symptoms, except appetite, at least I’ll lose some weight… Anyway, it’s just very unpleasant.
    What is keeping me going though, isn’t mentioned here, and I think it should be. If you can quit before you are 35ish, your life expectancy is nearly identical to someone who never smoked at all!!! Like 1 year less life, not decades. And that is just great. I can get to have enjoyed cigarettes for years without any of the real punishments. As long as I can make this work….
    If you are older the losses are greater, but, of course it’s always (supposedly) worth it… But before I knew that, (in the back of my head when trying to quit) I’d think, why am I making myself so miserable, I’m already gonna die early, I might as well enjoy myself on the trip- I’ll have another. But I won’t die early, if I don’t have another!!! And so, this time, I will make it work.

    • Omg ! Totally the way I feel. I’m pissed !

    • I’m doing the same as you. Quitting both cigarettes and marijuana at the same time. I’ve always smoked both as they go hand in hand for me. I am a functional pot user who has been smoking daily (morning through night) since I was 15. I am now 36!
      I can’t figure which one is bothering me more.
      I miss smoking. I don’t know myself as a non smoker. I’m struggling to fill my time. I’m battling the cravings with anger at my past choices costing me so much money (that’s my big motivator). I understand I do not want my children 10 & 13 to follow in my footsteps with the cigarettes but I do not think Canadian society would allow that from them anymore as smokers hide in shame here. However I miss my weed….I choose not to have it for the link to cigarettes and the munchies it creates.
      Double the symptoms indeed…sleep helps a.lot…I definitely cannot be around my smoking friends yet….just feeling lost. I smoked pot all.through university, every job I’ve ever had…I can barely think without it…but that’s a whole other issue. The quit timeliness are a great tool to help through those awful moments…otherwise this is sheer willpower and determination. Whenever you quit it’s a good thing. Every smoke is takes about an hour off your life ( I read that somewhere and it might not be true but I’m choosing to believe that. ) whatever…Quitting smoking sucks. It’s hard, it’s painful … but one life right..We get one life on this planet. I’ll always like smoking…I.just need to choose not to hurt my body.

    • The same…I’m brazilian, 34, lawyer and pot smoker too, so I guess you guys can go easy on me if my english is no the best you’ve ever seen (how did I ended up here, anyway? Hahaha). Ok, I’m in my 48 hour or a few more now. Last sunday, by midnight or so…I was so frustrated on how I felt my health, my smell and my chain smoking ruining my mouth or the way it tasted like some trashy thing. I used to smoke pot in smal amounts, by puting my pot in the tip of my cigarret (taking the tobaco of arownd 2 centimeters of the tip ad fullfiling(?) it with the pot. I never needed much pot to get high and besides all I ever wanted was the relaxation, not the crazynes. But everytime I ended my “special green” cigarrete I used to smoke another normal one. And hey, im a lawyer big coffe mug all the time. 48 hours ago I got that very strong pot from a friend of mine as a gift, I went home and smoked it…and then after the 3rd cigarrete I started to have intense feelings of depression and feel like i was going to die, very paranoid about my health and I decided to go cold turkey, but not as much…I had one last 21mg nicotine patch from a failed atempt and some 30 or more zyban (bupropiom) pills. So I did it the stupid way, I took two zyban (shouldn’t, only one 150mg per time) and put my niquitin patch. And got rid of all my tobaco. But…I was thinking I could maybe make some cookies with the pot. I just dont want any smoking to get inside my body voluntarily(is that right?) The cravings are coming but I decided to have a candy or a Hall’s, and a glass of wather at every time I get a craving. Im not having cravings for the pot. But yeah…I feel like Hulk in a bad mood day. I wanna crush and destroy things and beings and I wanna punish my self with cold turkey. Seems to me like the pleasure you had, now you pay in pain…and you deserve every piece of it. I decided to go hardcore on me without any pitty for ONE REASON: DESPERATION. Thats it, I guess there is no other better motivation than desperation. Are you desperate? I am…so I will try and do it…no matter what. Im not letting my self surrender or falling back. Its like Don Pedro Segundo, liberator of Brazil: Independence or death. Thank you guys. Dont ever let your government invade my country and be welcome(to the jungle) any time.

      • bostongirl71 says:

        Your not alone, I have 13 days smoke free and I wish I could say it gets easier but I would be liar. I’m doing it cold turkey and started smoking cigerettes at 11 and have smoked pot daily since I was 18. If it helps your not alone. I know there is no turning back. I just keep telling my self I will not be controlled anymore by nothing and no one..

        • Me from Brazil says:

          Hi Boston Girl71, thanks for the reply. Boston, by the way, have one of the largest brazilian communitys in the US. Im on 22:23 hour of day 3. Haven’t had a smoke since day one. Have met and hang out with my 5 best friends that are all smokers. We used to have pot and tobacco together and they smoked both in front of me today. I didn’t felt the need while I was with them. I felt a craving but I hold my self. Nobody pressed me to smoke. In the first 5 minutes somebody lit up a nice smelly joint of a really fresh bud. I thought it was all lost for like, I don’t know, maybe five seconds. I was ready to pick that joint and smoke it but one of them cough so bad, that I suddenly realized I didn’t wanted to do it. Some hardcore awareness of how I wanted to preserve my health. I didn’t walk out the room immediately, but move by the window, and man…the fresh air of the begining of the night, made me feel empowered. I had resisted for day 3 in the face of tempation and won today. Of course a few minutes later I gave them as a fake excuse “people calling me on whatsapp”(mine is always on silent, so nobody noticed it hasn’t even vibrated), and drove back home, along the way I passed by 3 places where I used to buy my packs, and stoped in the last. Bought my self a fine suply of groceries and my favorite ice tea (flavour peaches) and no tobacco at all. Damn I’m hapy. And this site…is helping a lot. I had to practice my rusty english and by reading and writing I’m doing both learning and being helped. If any body notice any mistake in anything I type or the way I use sentences (little lost in the translation), please feel free to correct me. P.S.: I’m curious about how Lanny, Patricia, Rachel, Sherry and You are doing.

    • Nobody knows when you will die and whether you’ll be a smoker or non smoker then.

  71. I quit smoking 2 days ago and I am wearing a nicotine patch. Why am I having such strong cravings? When do they let up?

    • On my 2nd day too

      • Ok all bullshit aside…quitting sucks and it’s tough soooo tough and you should all be very very proud of yourselves. A few thoughts I am now quitting for the 3rd time in my life…I’m a glutton for punishment! The first time was for about 9 years and the second was about 2 years …the cravings don’t ever go away..you just learn different ways to cope with triggers so the cravings get less and less. You also learn how to deal with the cravings when they arise. When I am preparing to quit I put myself in battle mode. I am going to war with this nicotine addiction and will no longer be a slave to it. And every craving that comes that you don’t smoke is a victory. My point is recognize you are going to war so you need to pick your other battles wisely ….it’s like napoleon don’t have too many battlefront or u will lose the war. This article us spot on with taking time off to fight this…its exhausting

        • Me from Brazil says:

          (excuse-me if im commit writing errors, English is not my native, nor everyday language) I feel just like you said. Battle mode like. And I have a weapon/motivator that have helped me once and will have to do again: Desperation. Yeah…good old survive or survive mindset. Independence or death. Of course I’m getting all the bad torturing part of it…and I guess I made myself deserve every piece of it. So yeah…Its time for punishment and suffering, and fighting and as one of my favorite american bands sung: This fight could be the last fight.

          • Me from Brazil says:

            Oh…yeah…and Im like 48 to 52 hours. First day I have used a niquitin 21mg patch that lasted from a failed attempt last year and some zyban/bupropiom/welbutrim capsules my nurse sister gave me. But Im not exactly following the treatment, I just take one pill at every 12 hours since hour 00:00 first day without the preparation 2 week period before quiting. I went all crazy horse on the thing, I know…but this horse will cross the damn desert or it will die in the process.

  72. In one hour I’ll be 48 hours without a smoke. I’m 49 yrs old and have been smoking for 35 years. Went to visit my granddaughter, had to climb a very high staircase, when I got to the top I couldn’t breath & thought I was going to die right than & there. I was shocked as I’m in great shape, eat right & pretty damn good looking too 🙂 I just couldn’t believe that a set of stairs kicked my ass ! Anyway, that’s the only reason I deceided to quit. I loved to smoke and I’m angry that I have to stop. I feel like I’m saying goodbye to a best friend who’s been with me through the good, bad, ugly, and great. My lungs are killing me, I’m very emotional, I’m tired, and I feel like I’m out of breath. Honestly, I feel like shit but I do feel just a tiny bit empowered too. I’m just rambling I know…just looking for an ear I guess

    • Me from Brazil says:

      My dear, I wish I could hug you and say…sshhh…its gonna be alright. My heart embraces yours.

  73. I am at day 13 smoke free. I opted to use the patch because I know that I am not strong enough to quit cold turkey. It has been hell. I feel like someone has ran me over. I have been pushing myself everyday to exercise and not give in to the eating cravings. I do feel like that I am battling this fight all on my own. It has been very tough but I am not giving up!!

    • Renee M Clerk says:

      My heart embraces you. I too am on day 13. I’m using the patch, the Word of God, and educating myself about the benefits, etc. of quitting. I’m so determined not to go back. I’m 47 years old. I smoked a pack a day for 32+years. I have cravings from time to time and continue to remind myself that I’m a non smoker. I drink water, or grab something to snack on as I am 116 lbs and looking forward to gaining 15-20 lbs. I’ve been this size since 14.

      I’d like to encourage you to stay strong and know that you are not alone. The more we say no, the more this addiction loses its power over us. We take our power, health, and money back that we have given to it. As a result we are empowered and have the ability to inspire and strengthen others.

      • Samantha Lange says:

        Thank you for your inspirational post. This is my 2nd time around; and I am 9 days free, as of March 15, 2016; 58 years old and smoked for 39 years. Wow. I never added up the years before today.

        Well, it is tough. But this article is the best I have seen on the subject and has inspired me a lot.

        I had a horrible day Sunday, as everything irritated me and I was very rude to people and family. That is so not me…everyone was shocked. I was too.

        I hate making excuses about anything, and I had to defend and explain myself to family members who said it was a smoke screen to my wanting to do something different, when I told them I was having a “nicotine fit” associated with the cigarette cessation. I am sooo e-mailing the link to this article.

        I am having headaches, irritability, waves of cravings, and mild depression. I pray and seek the Lord’s help, am eating good n plentys and peanuts, and holding a fake cigarette to trick myself.

        I have been able to get off of 4 medications for Asthma (Prednisone, Mukomist, Claritin, and Spiriva)! Yesss! Praise God!!!

        Everytime I even think of a cigarette, the Lord reminds me of the fact that my lungs are healing, I am off of some medications, and that “it’s not all for nothing”.

        I pray that we all run our race! In Jesus Name.

  74. Today is my 12th day of not smoking and I am very proud of myself. However, I cannot take all of the credit considering I use Chantix the best medicine they ever created to aid you with quitting smoking. It sends messages to the brain and reduces cravings. There are side effects and throughout using the product I only had one nightmare. I do go through cravings especially tonight so I decided to post because I am going to beat my addiction that I have had for over 45 years. It’s never too late and I want to live! So far I am breathing better, I can walk up a flight of stair without becoming winded, I can taste and smell much better. I cannot wait for March 22, 2015 totaling 21 days of quitting smoking because that is when the nicotine leaves the blood and urine. Tonight was a tough night of cravings but I will not give up this time I am going to do it. Oh yeah the craving has gone just fight and you too can make it.

  75. thacker3211 says:

    I have been cigarette free for 18 days now and dont plan on going back. I have smoked for 40 plus years this atical helped me. Loved readng the stories. Gave me confedence, that i can do this

  76. Richie Woolfolk says:

    Day 20. I told myself that I would quit when I turned 50. I am now 55 and I finally said “Enough!” I cant tell you all how better i feel about myself. I realized that I was a slave to this dirty habit. No More! Never going back to that again!!!

  77. Day 8 of cold turkey, great to read up on the success quitting articles. Cravings.. sucks…

  78. Ending day 3 cold turkey today (Apr 26). Been a heavy smoker for exactly 60 years. I’m 74; so, quitting isn’t to prolong my life. I just decided one morning to see how long I could go without a cigarette. I hope the Drs are wrong and I get a little lung healing and regeneration. Just a little would be just fine. Once I got past day 1, I thought “This isn’t too bad”; then came day 2, the inquisition!!!!! OMG, If only I were a masochist. Am now, 19 hours into day 3 and it hasn’t been too bad. Seems like my body swapped day 2 and day 3, which is supposed to be the “big” one or the “big” one is awaiting in day 4/5.
    I beat alcoholism in 1981 and now this is war between me and nicotine.
    When going sober, I didn’t stay away from bars/restaurants and when I finally had control, I was amazed at the ex-alcoholics who couldn’t be any where near where alcohol was served. This morning my wife sat down at the table and lit up.
    I didn’t say a word and later she ask “have you had a cigarette yet”? I said ” no, and you don’t have to change your life because I’m not smoking”.

    If I can get past day 3 after smoking 2 packs a day for 60 years, you can do it. I admit it was a pure ^**%^%*&^ and a $^%$$%#%$#. Day 2 kicked my butt but I’m still not smoking, One Day At A Time!

  79. zulfiqar says:

    day 5th of quitting smoking…now feeling irritable and feeling abdominal cramps..but it is improving day by day…the signs and symptoms of nicotine cravings are declining day by day…i will stay strong with my decision of quitting smoking…just pray for me…

  80. Me from Brazil says:

    17 days…341 cigarettes not smoked. Cravings remain, but not all the time. Like “that time of the day” only. Without any medicine now for two days. I strongly advise people not to try my way of doing it. I highly recommend people to take medication like zyban or welbutrim or bupropiom the way its indicated by the labs that made them. Start taking the medicine 2 or 3 weeks and define a specific day to stop. Yes, it sucks in many ways when you quit, but I’m feeling so much better. There is an app called “get rich or die smoking” for android, it is very good, evryone should try it.

  81. bklyn chick says:

    I am really happy to have come across this site. Lots of other quitting sources neglect to explain the mental aspects addiction has on your brain. People smoke and quit for very personal and different reasons. I am on week 3 cold turkey after 20+ years. While I don’t really feel a lot of cravings and rather pity smokers when I see them, I have been such a grouchy, angry and hair-trigger time bomb. Even my sweet cat seems to vex me. Will I always be so volatile? I don’t want to smoke but feel like a hypocrite when I feel mean towards people who do. There are many reasons to quit but my primary motivator is vanity. My skin hair and nails already seem healthier and I don’t have that embarrassing rattle in my cough and being a clean-freak (ironic, right?!) I am so happy not to smell of stale smoke. But even this aspect has made me a snottier person. I use to feel like smoking made me more approachable and dimmed my shininess (which it probably did). Now that I’ve quit, I worry my ego will go crazy and I will antagonize and pick on people (which I have been doing). I hope these negative feelings go away. I went from such a sweet generous person, to a spoiled petulant person. Ugh…..How can I feel so proud of quitting yet have such self loathing and distain for nearly everyone?!

    • I am on Day 3 of quitting. I am an idiot who somehow started smoking in his mid-thirties. I was around 3/4 of a pack a day for the last couple years, more on stressful days. I have tried to quit three times and have never gotten past 24 hours. This time I am determined, and I am about 65 hours in, going cold turkey. I truly hope those above succeeded. I find other sites do not talk about the brain chemistry and psychological issues the way this one does, and so I have appreciated this site. I also think a lot of the timelines make quitting seem easier than it is. That may help people start the quitting process, but I don’t think it helps them follow through. For example, it does not matter if the nicotine is out of my system after 48 hours. That has no bearing on the fact that the cravings continue, and I don’t like that some sites emphasize how one should feel better after 48 hours. Bull. For me, Day 1 was way worse than Day 2, and Day 3 has been worse than Day 2 was. I have a constant restlessness that sort of morphs into cravings on a regular basis, at lease once per hour. I also started this while on a mini-vacation, and now that I am back to work on a Monday it is far harder to distract myself. When I started this I threw away all of my lighters and matches, which I think helps, so I can’t even go bum a cigarette off somebody. I am climbing the walls of my office though, and having a great deal of difficulty focusing on doing anything. Also, time feels like it has STOPPED. I felt like three hours had gone by this morning, and I looked at the clock on my computer and only 40 minutes had gone by. Truly strange how the mind works.

    • Renee M Clerk says:

      It sounds like you can use some introspection to get to the bottom or root of the issue. I found journalizing to be quite therapeutic and revealing. It helped me to understand why I was feeling what I was feeling and then I would deal with it on paper just to address it in order not to explode on anyone.

      Hope this helps.

      Wishing you the best!

  82. Day 3. My 2nd time quitting. Really great to be reading all articles above and somehow it kind of motivates me. I am quitting and that’s it! I am 31 this year, don want to go cold turkey at an older age so now its the time!

    We all can do it!!
    lets do it together!!!


  83. Day 4 – headaches (and numbness??), very irritable, sleeping really well though and feeling much better when I get up in the morning but my god my brain is constantly thinking about smoking, hard to concentrate at work – think I am going nuts! Can’t believe I let it get this far that the only thing on my mind is smoking……otherwise I am an intelligent person…or I think I am

    • I posted back in March when I had quit..again. Needless to say that didn’t work. However now as my “New tomorrow” begins again these last few posts reminded me that those days do pass. The headaches go away. You learn to focus again after a week or so. You start to recognize the wins you are having.
      The cravings lessen enough for you to notice that oh my..it’s been two hours and I haven’t thought about smoking!
      However….then the thought of…oh one won’t hurt me. I’ve got this. It’s been two weeks and I’m ok. No way! Worst idea ever!!! This is the perpetual trap that I set for myself. I will hope you all survive this battle. This is my warning to you and I will use this post as a warning to myself when next week this time I will not have smoked for 6 days. Good luck everyone. It’s a ridiculous battle.

  84. I was diagnosed with a heart problem called atrial fibrilation, I drank gallons of coffee and smoked at least 15-20 a day and it was increasing. I quit smoking cold turkey 3 1/2 months ago after smoking for about 35 years and my heart problem went away; However, the first week of quitting was horrendous, I woke up crying one morning, I couldn’t stop sleeping and I didn’t know what to do with myself and all the spare time. I started eating oranges to help with the craving and to get vitamin c back in my body and I drank lots and lots of water every time I got a craving. I joined a gym started detoxing and eating clean, I haven’t lost any weight but it is a healthier lifestyle. I really enjoyed my cigarette and was totally addicted to smoking it was my crutch and companion. Now I can go through days and hardly think about smoking and other times I crave a cigarette badly. I will endeavour to keep smoke free and breathe deeply and blessings to all of you for quitting, stay strong you are all doing amazingly well…

  85. I’m on day 11 & thought it was going so well. First time I’ve ever done cold turkey. The side effects & cravings/withdrawals were slowly getting better & then today they just hit me all over again. The worst day I’ve had – angry, craving & don’t know what to do with myself. Really didn’t see that coming. Hope it gets better because I can’t keep this up.

  86. im on day five on the gum i find it verry hard im trying my best i feel tired a lot the gum does help but loning for fag still on my mind

  87. im going too keep going and do not want too smoke i suppose each day is progress im a 40 cigs a day smoked for 30 years

  88. I’m into my 9th week of quitting and I’m finding it harder now than any other time. I’m going through a new phase of forgetting everything. I even forgot how to get home the other day !! Has anyone else experienced this ? Or am the only nutter to have this pleasure !!! Lol

    • Smokedandregretsit says:

      LOL – ur nut of a kind!!

      JK.. I do the same thing .. I get foggy.. My cravings morphs and disguises all the time I analyze the new feeling to see if it’s a new craving or should I see Doctor.. As soon as I tell myself it’s a craving and work through it .. It goes away.. Then I forget what I was actually doing at that very moment..
      So – no worries — you are a Norm.. In my book anyway ☺️

    • Completely normal. One day on my 6th week I felt particularly foggy-headed, so I decided to spend the time doing some simple tasks like cleaning out my den. I then took a box of unwanted stuff to Goodwill. Unfortunately, I picked up the wrong box and donated a couple hundred dollars worth of electronic equipment. Doh! Just have to laugh at ourselves and remember that you can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs. 😉

  89. Well, after 26 years of smoking. I’m quitting. Again. I quit when I was pregnant cold turkey and it was easy. Probably be used my withdrawal symptoms were masked by pregnancy. I started back again before my daughters first birthday. (I blame my divorce) but now I’ve been smoking a pack a day for 5 years. I’m really feeling it. I want to be healthy and feel good. And I don’t want to die because of something I’m doing to myself. My daughter would be lost without me. So I tired quitting cold turkey again. But it didn’t work. So this time I’m on the patch. I feel great. Probably because I’m still getting the nicotine and so I’m not miserable. My worry is that once this patch comes off, William
    Then feel withdrawal so bad that I cave? I hope not. Taking it one day at a time. It’s my 2nd day but already I feel so good about myself. Olive that I’m doing this. Anyone else have patch stories? Just want to know what I’m in for. Sleep was horrible last night but I have so much energy. My house is clean for once.

  90. Hi
    I have quit for the last four maybe five days. I don’t want to count because for me it’s simply a daily measure and my focus is to not smoke today. It’s not been hellish but it’s not been easy either. The toughest bit is to remind myself that I can’t reward myself with a cigarette for not having smoked for the past many days. My mind keeps saying how I deserve one. But I know that one cigarette that I might enjoy will lead to 100s of cigarettes that I will hate myself for. My teeth feel better, I don’t feel guilty, I am not feeling about for cigs. All that is worth the trouble cause by the occasional craving

    • “The toughest bit is to remind myself that I can’t reward myself with a cigarette for not having smoked for the past many days. My mind keeps saying how I deserve one.”

      Well said! This is the best way of explaining the insidious nature of a nicotine habit that I’ve read!

      • Agree with you both so much. That little monster saying “go on, you did so well, just have one. Won’t hurt ya!” Oh yes it will, been there before and don’t want to be there again.

  91. I have quit smoking for last 8 months. but from last two months in the brain my nerves are paining like hell when i feel stress.and left side of the body sometimes struck. i dont know what to do can i anybody help me. and i smoked for 9 years. and now my age is 26.

  92. I’m over three years on quitting and feel absolutely awesome for quitting. every now and again I’ll feel a slight crave (memory) passes instantly. At 59 and started at 9 it is an absolute miracle to me I’m still in good health, although I feel some shortness of breath at times. Quitting was the most wonderful gift I ever gave myself! Give yourself the gift and stay strong!

  93. Former smoker says:

    Greetings all –
    Smoked 1-1.5 packs a day for 25 years and got diagnosed with COPD a couple of weekends ago. I was so severely addicted that I likely wouldn’t have quit without having the daylights scared out of me by sudden onset of breathlessness and other COPD symptoms. Fortunately I detected it early, I’ve made the firm decision to quit, and so the COPD isn’t likely to severely compromise my quality of life.
    I’m writing to all those who have or are trying to quit: if you think quitting is hard or scary, it doesn’t compare to the terror of regular breathlessness and waking up to the reality that you’ve done irreversible damage to your lungs, and thus to those that love you. I consider myself lucky to have a relatively treatable/manageable diagnosis. Stop smoking today, right now, and don’t let anything or anyone fool you into thinking/feeling like you don’t have the strength or reasons to do so. I don’t say this from some sort of moral or judgmental position: I thoroughly enjoy smoking and wish I could smoke all day. But hey, sooner or later you have to accept your mortality. … Don’t forget that when you lose something you gain something. Sometimes its hard to see the latter when your struggling with the former. The consequences of smoking are immune to your rationalizations. Quit now before you contract some sort of condition that doesn’t care whether you quit or not! Sending much encouragement to all those struggling.

  94. This is a great site. Made me understand more about my addiction. I quit smoking 6 months and 15 days ago. I still feel the odd crave from time to time and actually gave in to one on a recent night out. I have not seen this 1 cigarette as being back on the cigarettes and it was only the 1 I had nearly 2 weeks ago. I was a 15 a day smoker for 25 years. I though the cravings would be gone by now but I still get the odd one. Well done on the site it’s fab.

  95. Thank you to everyone who has shared their experiences so far. It *really* helps to know I’m not alone!

    My non-smoker friends, family and coworkers have all been very supportive and sympathetic..but there’s just no way to understand how tough it can be unless you’ve actually experienced (or are experiencing) it.

    I’ve been smoke free for 7 weeks now (with caveat which I’ll explain). I’ve had most of the side effects that many have you have already mentioned: anxiety, panic-attacks, depression, inability to focus, cold/hot sweats, insomnia.

    Although I haven’t smoked a cigarette that’s not to say I’ve been nicotine free this whole time. I’ve been using a nicotine patch and have weened my way down to the last, smallest dosage and am on schedule to stop wearing them altogether in another week.

    This has me nervous though, because on a few occasions, I forgot to replace a patch and that’s when the side effects hit me the hardest…but these usually go away within an hour of putting on a fresh one. I suppose I could buy another box worth of patches as a back up but this kind of defeats the purpose (and if I keep buying more patches..this will get really expensive).

    By a happy coincidence, the date that I’m scheduled to stop coincides with an upcoming week long vacation…so that’s probably a good thing…but even this has me anxious because in the past, one of the most satisfying excuses to reward myself with a cigarette was after finishing the trials and tribulations of a long flight. Yeah…I realize how pathetic that is…rushing outside a terminal with all the other junkies to get our fixes…but I know it’s going to take all of my will power to resist. I don’t have a fear of flying…it’s more of a dread of the whole ordeal of getting to the gate on time..making my connections..being stuck in small space for a long period of time, etc.)

    Does anyone care to share their experience and/or advice with weening off the patch altogether?

    And does anyone have advice on dealing with things like air travel that we are used to rewarding ourselves with nicotine?

    Thanks again to everyone who has shared before me!

  96. Hi,
    I am 71 years old and have been a smoker for 53 years. I have already suffered two heart attacks — I wear two stents — and one TIA (temporary stroke). I quit cold turkey 45 days ago.
    I experience the fatigue you have described here; but I am more worried that I experience unstable angina like breathlessness at nights for the last three nights. If I sit up and take some deep breaths, the breathlessness feeling goes away,
    Is this OK?

  97. Hey,

    this really helps. It is day 4 for me today and I only have lasted once that long before in trying to quit.
    Thanks heaps Cameron

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