Quit Smoking Side Effects Timeline.

Welcome to the Quit Smoking Side Effects Timeline, a quick reference guide for smokers who want to find out what happens when you quit smoking. This timeline is variable and dependent on an individual’s level of addiction.  Some will experience all of the day to day quit smoking symptoms and side effects of nicotine withdrawal, while others may only experience a few.

Please note, if you are looking for a timeline on how the body repairs itself as opposed to stages of withdrawal, please be sure to check out the post, What are the Health Benefits of Quitting Smoking?


Quit Smoking Side Effects Timeline

Stage One

First 7 Days

Side Effect – Chronic Physical Cravings.

Chronic physical cravings begin shortly after quitting then rapidly increase in intensity until they peak somewhere between 48 and 120 hrs, at which point they begin to gradually weaken. Physically, this is the toughest stage of the quit smoking and withdrawal process.

Having a greater awareness of how and why cravings occur can go along way toward making this quit smoking symptom more manageable…

Read More…


Side Effect – Irritability and Intense Mood Swings.

These are largely influenced by cravings and will peak at roughly the same time as cravings. If the smoker is also quitting caffeine, the symptom may be worse. With a bit of planning and know how, this quit smoking symptom can also be better managed on a day to day basis…

Read More…


Side Effect – Intense Fatigue.

A smoker begins an intensive healing process when they quit smoking. This process can severely fatigue the mind and body. Again, if the smoker is also quitting caffeine the symptom may be worse. It is important to get as much rest as possible and explore ways that can potentially help by combating the fatigue and tiredness that come with quitting smoking…

Read More…


Side Effect – Headaches.

It is not unusual for people to experience headaches when they first quit smoking. It is possible that the headaches experienced during nicotine withdrawal are the result of fluctuating serotonin levels. This is also a common symptom of caffeine withdrawal. Again, there are some things you can do to manage the head aches on a day to day basis…

Read More …


Side Effect – Chest Discomfort.

Smokers may experience a tight and uncomfortable feeling in their chest. This just goes away with time. Some ex smokers may also experience sharp pains in the chest, and while this may be normal, it really is a good idea to speak to your doctor and have your lungs checked. Even if only for peace of mind.


Side Effect – Constipation.

Nicotine and tobacco smoking interfere with normal digestive functions. Upon quitting smoking the digestive system undergoes a radical period of healing. Because of this, the digestive functions of your body may become unsettled as they become accustomed to a life without nicotine and tobacco smoke. For many ex smokers, this manifests as constipation…

Read More…


Side Effect – Flu and Cold Like Symptoms.

As the respiratory system heals, smokers will experience cold and flu like symptoms. The day to day symptoms can be headaches, flashes of hot and cold, chest congestion, cough, sore throat and nasal congestion.  The smoker will also likely begin coughing up tar…

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Side Effect – Increased Hunger and Weight Gain.

Nicotine is an appetite suppressant. When nicotine users quit they tend to experience an increase in their appetite. Food, particularly sugary foods, increase dopamine levels and may decrease severity of cravings. There are ways to minimise the weight gain…

Read More…


Quit Smoking Side Effects Timeline

Stage Two

7 – 21 Days


Side Effect – Moderate to Severe Cravings for Cigarettes.

The chemical dependency to nicotine is significantly weakened by around days 5-7. However, there is still significant healing required throughout the brain and cravings will still occur, though not as physically intense or long lasting. Many cravings will also be related to emotions and everyday memories that are still associated with smoking. They will begin to weaken over time and ebb and flow in severity.

Read More…


Side Effect – Moderate to Severe Irritability and Mood Swings.

Again, this side effect is largely influenced by the intensity of cravings.

Read More…


Side Effect – Mild to Moderate Fatigue.

As the now ex smoker, approaches the 2 week mark, fatigue levels will start to drop. Many ex smokers will begin to experience greater levels of energy.

Read More…


Side Effect – Headaches.

Headaches should begin to clear up by the end of the first two weeks.

Read More…


Side Effect – Mild Chest Discomfort.

This should weaken significantly once the chemical dependency is overcome. It may persist in a much milder state, alongside cravings.


Side Effect – Constipation.

This will likely persist in varying degrees of intensity.

Read More…


Side Effect – Flu and Cold Like Symptoms.

This will likely persist in varying degrees of intensity. The ex smoker will likely cough up more tar, more often as the lungs begin to clean out.

Read More…


Side Effect – Increased Hunger and Weight Gain.

This will likely persist in varying degrees of intensity and be tied in with cravings.

Read More…


Quit Smoking Side Effects Timeline

Stage Three

3 – 12 Weeks.


Side Effect – Mild to Moderate Cravings for Cigarettes.

Ex Smokers will progressively notice large gaps between cravings. There will likely be a number of spikes in relative intensity during this period, followed by a significant decrease in cravings. By week 6, most ex smokers are well and truly in control as the chemical dependency is well and truly beaten. By 12 weeks, levels of nicotine receptors in the brain should be equal to that of a non smoker and cravings from here on are triggered by habitual behaviors and emotions.

Read More…


Side Effect – Mild to Moderate Irritability and Mood Swings.

Mood swings will become far less intense as cravings  weaken and become more manageable.

Read More…


Side Effect – Mild Constipation.

The digestive system should be back to normal by the end of this period.

Read More…


Side Effect – Mild Flu and Cold Like Symptoms.

These symptoms will become a lot less frequent.

Read More…


Side Effect – Mild Hunger and Weight Gain.

By the end of this period, ex smokers should be in a much better position to manage weight gain.

Read More…


By the 12 week mark, most ex smokers will feel comfortable with their new lifestyle.


Quit Smoking Side Effects Timeline

Stage Four

3 Months – 24 Months


Side Effect – Very Mild and Infrequent Cravings.

Cravings progressively weaken to the point of almost being non existent. A six month ex smoker will likely experience very weak urges that add up to seconds per day as opposed to minutes. However, this period is still risky, as the periodic “walls” of cravings may become frustrating. These walls and urges will continue to weaken and by 12 months, most if not all ex smokers will go weeks even months between craves.

Read More…



  1. This is the fifth or sixth time I am ready to quit smoking and this time I am very Confident that I will be able to do this seemingly easy task. Last time I tried to quit I quit for almost a week unless I started again. I am a university student and this might be the biggest of all problems. I had made many smoker friends and when they ask its really hard to say no.

    This time however I will quit no matter what. May God help me in this task…
    I quit now!!! and forever!!!

  2. I’m on day 7 so far so good I’m using an e CIG and just like the patch your decrease your nicotine.My husband and I have a family goal so every time I think I want a smoke our goal pops in my head!

    • Ali Rizwan says:

      Appreciate !!
      I have quit smoking too, since Feb’2015 (almost in the 7th month) but quitting nicotine immediately causing lots of problems for me, I have a regular cough and sometime it got on worst condition, my friend told me that this is happening only bcoz of quitting cig. I have started coffee to cover up some amount of edict-ed nicotine.
      do share if someone have kind of symptoms after quitting smoking.

      • I quit smoking in Feb, 2015 as well. I have this cough, and irritated throat. I also stopped drinking pepsi as well. I read about it, I guess the body is healing itself. Who would of thought that it would feel like this to do something good for yourself. That’s cool though I will never smoke another cigarette.

  3. Sophie Cook says:

    After almost 55 years of smoking 40 a day (I know! How bad is that! ) I have been smoke free since the first week of December- I feel so proud of myself. I am coming up 70 years of age, and never thought I could achieve one day yet alone two months! Smoke free. I could screem some days for just one cigarette, but knowing the craving lasts just a minute or two helps me a great deal, then the feeling of accomplishment is well worth the effort. People, if an old grumpy lady can quit, so can you. I take it a day at a time. I wish with all my heart that I had more courage to do this in my youth.. My only hope is that it lasts and I can make it out the other side so that I can enjoy the rest of my days smoke free.

    • It may not matter at all to you, but I am proud of you too! That is really awesome! You did it!

    • Sophie, My hats off to you. COngratulations!!!! You should be so proud of yourself even if nobody else is. This is a great accomplishment.
      I am 66 been smoking since I was 13. almost as long as you have. I started to roll my own when the price of cigs went up so high. Made it cheaper on me to continue this habit. I am taking my first step . My stop date is May 15. I can’t use the patch, I’m allergic to the patches, Was on Neurontin for them, but it had a reverse action on me. I smoked more. I am highly allergic.
      My daughter who is 43 stopped but she uses the vapor cigs I tried that but don’t like them. Plus they are just too heavy to hold on to. I have problems with holding onto things. Financially can’t afford to attend group meetings or therapy so I ahve todo this cold turkey and gradually for me it to even try to work.
      I quit one time for a year adn one late nite of playing cards with son and daughter n law. I picked on up. That ended it.l So now Sophie, please put me in your prayers for support for I will truely need it.
      Congratulations again Sophie………

      • You are in my prayers. I’m on day 7. I feel alot better and my mind is more clear. Thanks for reminding me that a year from now, I shouldn’t even try to smoke even 1. Its very easy to slip back. I will make sure the last cigarette I smoked 7days ago is my last till the end of my days. My beautiful “to be love of my life” (letting Gods will be done) said: you have a very strong will power, this should be easy for you. By those word, I felt like superman. And I pass on the same message to you, we all have strong will power. Its all in the mind set. 1 day at a time… YES YOU CAN !!!! : )
        All the best and keep me in ur prayer

    • Hi, Sophie, BIG TIME CONGRATS to you, you and me are close to same age of oldness, i quit on march 24, 2015, because i suffered a stroke, and smoking for 50 years really messed me up and caused the stroke. I only have 7 weeks no smoke, and some days are a pain suffering and dizzy , i pray daily that these bad feelings will leave me, i really enjoyed reading your last post, i hope there is hope 4 me too, may God bless you always, Mikey from Camarillo,ca.

      • Tiffany says:

        Hang in there. I’m only 60 days away from a whole year smoke free!!!! The last thing I EVER thought I could or would do in my life is quit smoking but with Gods help…. I DID!!!! Greater is He that is in you then he who is in the world. I’ll keep you in my prayers that God delivers you too. May God bless you always. ☺️

    • Sooo proud . Live , breathe , love yourself , you are never too old to live and enjoy ..

    • Hats Off!!! that’s an achievement and you should be proud of yourself, am sure you are. I have been a smoker for 10 years and finally I quit just over a month ago. I feel the same you felt. Going smoke free is a blessing which only a smoker can understand. I have few cravings since past few days and I normally take a brisk walk when I crave for nicotine. I take it a day at a time. Its an awesome feeling to be a non smoker. The hard part in quitting is the first day. If you manage to do so, you can spend the other days thinking if you can manage to go smoke free for a day you can go smoke free forever.

      Best of luck to everyone planning to quit and congratulations to everyone who already quit.

    • Patricia says:

      Good job, congratulations. And I stopped smoking going on 6 months now. I smoked for over 20 years. A pack a day since I was 16. what is so funny, is that I had no breasts , so now my breast have grown. I say all the time if I had of known. My breast would have grown, I would have been quit. Oh well I do feel much better know. So great Job to every one, swipe to the right.

  4. Mohamed Anas says:

    Hello everyone
    i’m Mohamed and i’m an addict LOL

    i stopped smoking for two weeks now …usually i smoke about 30 per day ..after one of my family was diagnosed with cancer i decided to stop ..im using an antidepressant ( Citalopram ) since the diagnosis ..it seem to be helping relief the craving ..it’s very mild ..the habit is what concerns me ..chocolate, gum, juice and walking can be a great help …my mind is more active ..my eye sight is better ..love the feeling of fresh air flowing into my lungs ..just little chest burns and constipation but i’m glad to read that it’s just a side effect but im going to consult my doctor just to feel good …keep fighting …if it’s not going to make you live longer …your mind will learn the right way to live..and your body is going to tell you that it feels right
    good luck to all :)

    • Hi Mohamed, I love your opening line….I’m an addict too lol.
      Day 6 for me and I need a ciggy!!!!! but oh well I will just have to get over it as I don’t want to start smoking again. My skin has become clear already and I am breathing a lot clearer. The cravings are still there but they are getting shorter. Good luck.

  5. Hi everyone

    This is my 6th day smoke free, and today has been the hardest so far. Don’t know why.

    Good luck to us all, and keep all of us smoke free n healthy (and rich) lol


  6. Whew! Yo I swear, I LOVED CIGARETTES!! My GF dared me to stop on NEW YEARS EVE, and guess what??? I DID!! I didn’t realize I had a permanent sore throat until I quit… I didn’t realize how bad my car, and bedroom smelled until I quit… I didn’t realize how I couldn’t Eat, Poop, Drink, Wake up, Have a convo with buddies, or even have sex without depending on those little jokers, until I quit.. Didn’t realize how bad my breath smelled, and how my teeth were starting to stain until I quit. I’m telling you, it feels good to breath again and actually save money lol.. On top of me being a musician, all my friends still smoke. I encourage them all to smoke around me just to challenge myself. and Im done! I’m sure it isn’t this easy for everybody, but who wants depend on something Man-Made to get them through life??? Not I! don’t go back people.. that poison takes over, and YOU become a prisoner in YOUR own body. Oh, and i can’t forget to mention the fact that they KILL YOU.. annd THEY TELL YOU THAT!! I really hope these words find the right person and help them!
    Cheers! -Kmar

    • hello my names carline and I’m on my 6th day of quitting smoking and in a weird way your post gave me more motivation to keep it up. Thought i’d share and hope that helps you continue your journey. Like you I’m doing it cold turkey. I have a three year old son and I’m doing it for him. I want to see him Graduate, i want to meet his kids so I’m saving myself from myself. Keep being awesome and that up beat attitude and thanks again for the pep talk!!

    • Christine says:

      Hola Kmar: Hope this message finds you positive and still smoke free, I am a musician as well. Although I play guitar my main instrument is my voice! I am 57 and I am still a working musician. These past couple of years I have started coughing on stage! I was a master at hiding it but it was becoming more difficult as time went by. I quit on my daughters birthday.! May 5 so not quite 2 weeks – cold turkey. I have no doubts, I will not go back. My mantra is “Smoke or Sing!” And honey… I love to sing.
      Thanks for you positive message. CK – Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

  7. Hey all,

    Glad to see other quitters :) This is definitely one thing worth quitting on. I’m 7 days in the bag, cold turkey. And, while I’ve quit for much longer in the past, I think this is the most solid effort (…actually, I don’t want to say effort, because this time is permanent). I read Alan Carr’s “Easy Way to Quit Smoking” and it breaks down the psychology/physiology of smoking. Great book and works well for someone analytically minded like myself.

    Good luck all! Keep pressing forward and remember: you’re not giving up anything.

    • I used the Alan Carr book as well and am currently on day 21. I’ve tried the patches, gum and pills but never lasted more than a few days, love the book.

    • A co-worker lent me Allan carr’s book. I had no real intention of quitting smoking and couldn’t find a reason to stop. I just happened to have a day where I had to stay home with my son because he was sick. I picked up the book that morning and by the time I finished it that evening, I no longer smoked. It was the same way with my wife! This book really works. 3 weeks non-smoker and there is no going back!

  8. 2mos smoke free, used hypnosis… Only works if you really want it to, but for me it was a way to quite cold turkey. Whitenend my teeth that was nice, started working out again and noticed my endurance really improved and my resting heart rate when down a lot. I use to have high blood pressure not anymore… It has been a 25 year habit and really has positively changed my life to quite…

  9. I recently quit too, about 6 weeks now and I’m so happy and proud :) I hated the trap of being addicted to nicotine, and the smell of it, and the cost too! I smoked for 34 years with a few breaks now and then but I am determined not to smoke again and I’ve done well so far. The cravings are few and far between now. I found this site because I was looking up about chest congestion and when it will clear up. But it’s all well worth it. All these comments are encouraging too. GL everyone!!

    • I’m 6 weeks smoke free..my chest is killing me..haven’t been to doctor yet but my cough is so dry..I have been vaping too..wish I’d never quit 8 weeks b4 my wedding!! I dunno if I’ve a chest infection..is a dry cough normal? Very little phelgm coughed up too:(

      • Vaping is not quitting. If you stop cold turkey the cravings go away much quicker. Vaping just prolongs your dependancy on nicotene.

        • Totally disagree…vaping was the only thing that helped me stop after 34 years of smoking and I am on zero mg of nicotine

  10. Kimberly says:

    I just started quit, I am on my first week. I didn’t realize how bad it really was until I decided to go for a run since the weather was starting to be nice. I was an avid racer and I could hardly run 2 miles. After the run was the worst, I coughed, and coughed, and coughed some more. It was so painful, I said enough. I am having some chest pain and anxiety but I guess that is to be expected. I hope everyone sticks with this. I lost both grandparents to lung cancer (which you would think would be enough for me to not start….smh) and my uncle as well. I don’t want to leave my family behind at a young age and that is what keeps me going.

  11. Bibin John says:

    This is my forth week…….

  12. I have quit cold turkey in last week of November 2014. Successfully been able to come till this day. I felt stomach issues, throat pain etc which were manageable. But still even post 100 days I am feeling problems in throat like mild pain, feeling of something at the back of throat, acidity etc. Please suggest is it normal or reasons of worry?

    As per my smoking History, I was smoked for 16 years around 10-12 cigarettes a day.

  13. Day 18 for me; been wanting to quit (and did before for small periods of time) for years now. 18 years a smoker, 30 cigs a day. This time, I quit cold turkey when I got hit with the flu. I lost the desire/ability to smoke through fever and coughing fits and decided, when I got better a week later, to just not smoke again. I was “lucky” to save myself the hard first-week cravings since I was sick, now it’s a matter of staving off the habitual / psychological cravings (I used to enjoy smoking quite a lot). Big rewards that keep me going: no more heart palpitations, better sleep and a LOT more money (you realize how much this actually costs when you don’t buy them anymore!) But the biggest reward is my eight year old son who told me he was worried when I smoked because he didn’t want to lose me early.

    I encourage anyone and everyone who is thinking of stopping; it’s worth it ! Yes you can be “lucky” and live a long life smoking without getting any diseases, but it’s a game of Russian Roulette you can live better without playing :) better health, better breath, better energy, you can do it !


  14. 1st day and very hard no cigs

    • Star Crow says:

      Hi Jodi,

      You can do this!! The Patch help me quiet!! Every Time I wanted a cigarette I would think of a tombstone with my name on it.
      Good Luck, You got this!!

    • It’s day 4…for myself…if i can do i, i know you can…i smoked for 20+ years…

      • Aly Abdou says:

        Go on… have the will… insist… and challenge yourself.
        You know that smoking is a habit. Forget the smoking habit, and remember the habit of not smoking. Don’t listen to the experts. Listen to yourself. Forget the crave, forget the headache, forget drowsiness, forget tension, forget frustration. Be serious. If you decided not to smoke; then don’t smoke. Believe me, I have been there. The only person who supported me, is ME.

  15. Okay. Long update in bound,first off officially 8 weeks cold turkey quit cigarettes, (no pen no patch no gum)also 8 weeks free from marijuana and caffeine, all after a 17 year addiction (pack a day) eighth A week and 20 oz of red bull and coffee daily, I was always active in sports,I cycle 25 miles daily. Since quitting I have not felt better at all,seemingly going thru an 8 week flu,angry,sad,chest pains,headaches you name it I have been going thru it.few days of “normality” come and go.i know in the long run I will get better.thou it seems so bleak I know victory will come soon,so on to anyone going through the same type symptoms as me let’s just hang in there and celebrate this chance to be alive and breathing. Btw 31yo male,135lbs.hope this helped someone out there. Glory to god,praise jesus don’t give up! I will continue to update. P.s thanks so much to this site,yall have been such a great support! Till next time :)

    • Same mate. I smoked for years and had all the above addictions. I am not feeling better physically, I am tired, getting palpitations, dizziness and have a tight chest but no cough. The only thing I do feel better is mentally. I am no longer chained to something and am confident that even though I feel crap it is actually healthier.
      Hang in there dude. I gave up before and it did get easier, I just had a big trauma and went back to it to null my emotions after months. This time I feel stronger though so if I do get really depressed I will deal with it like everyone else. X

  16. I’m on my 7th day of quitting and I feel like my heart is pounding ,anyone else have this feeling ?

  17. I quit those expensive “coffin nails” on Feb. 6th. I used “Smoke Away”, which is a natural thing. Lots of pill popping for a few days. It works though. It did make me very constipated! Messed with my digestive system. So, if anyone is going to do the Smoke Away, I would suggest taking a stool softener along with it.
    I have quit many times, but was always surrounded by cigarette smoke. My husband dies in Dec. and so I had made myself and God a promise that I would quit after he passed.
    I thank God every morning for the awesome way I feel, for not having anything like cigarettes weigh me down, for not stinking all the time, for having my car not smell, for having more $$ in my pocket. Lots of benefits !!!

  18. Kalyan Majumder says:

    I already crossed 4 Months smoke free.Yet i cannot say i am free from all aftereffects.Actually i want to lead a completely free life (As before).I just want to know how long it will take to lead a completely free life.
    K. Majumder

  19. Rob Latchford says:

    I’m 39 years old and had been smoking for 23 years until on sunday the 22nd march at 22:00 I decided enough was enough. I had been contemplating giving up for a week or 2 previous to this.

    I have had several half hearted attempts at quitting before but I’ve always gone back to putting those nails in my coffin. For me personally I feel that you have got to want to quit. If a person really wants to quit then they have more chance of success.

    Well I’m a week in and it’s not been as bad as I thought it would be. Don’t get me wrong its been tough but I thought it was going to be harder after the failed previous attempts. Yes I have the runny nose and the cough but I can deel with that as my body is repairing itself.

  20. Sohail rajput says:

    I smoked for 32 years and on 01 Jan 2015..suddenly I quit smoking …and Alhamdolillah until today I don’t feel like smoking again….just my will power I decided and quit and stuck to the promise I made to my self not to smoke again. …

    • Sohail rajput says:

      In fact I made a mistake on the date mentioned in my post it was 01 Jan 2014 when I quit smoking…

  21. Today makes 21 days without a smoke. I purchased Alan Carr’s book the easy way to quit smoking in November but didn’t read it until March 16th and haven’t had one since.
    After a pack a day for 27 years, the difference in how I feel is amazing. I had blamed getting older on how miserable I felt, but it’s clear now that I was poisoning myself with Marlboro’s. The nicotine addict in me is still trying to find an excuse to smoke and I hope I can continue to resist.
    Good luck to all of you!

  22. i quit smoking on Jan 2015. Now i am feeling something in my throat & chest. I cant explain what i am feeling. There is no pain but something irritating. Plz advice me.

  23. James Finnesey says:

    Just about week 6 for me. Started feeling a little better YESTERDAY. A little better today.
    Terrible experience…..fatigue, nausea, dry heaves, coughing up ack, depressed, impatient, thin skinned, testy.
    Very bad experience. From looking at info on websites I seem to have gone through the WORST quit smoking experience EVER. There were days when I could do nothing but lie down and moan with retching breaks.
    Any similar bad experiences?

    • Crazy this time says:

      I’m about three days behind you…..SAME THING! Day 31 was the worst physical withdrawal day I’ve had since day one. No progress in five weeks!!!!! It’s supposed to get easier. Just hanging on by the skin of my teeth at this point. The good side? I am still focused on the physical withdrawal discomfort stage and haven’t even approached the mental game stage yet……..

      • Hey guys, hang in there just a little longer. Its got to start getting better. Remember if you give in, its all the way back to square one and you have to go through this horrible stage again. I remember how crappy I felt when quitting. No….I did not have it as bad as the two of you, but I do know that going back through the quitting process is not for me. If you have not tried it, an NRT might be what you need. Depends on you and how you feel but I will be completely honest…with out the patch I do not think I would have been able to quit. Good luck!

  24. I started smoking at 13 year old-now I m 33…………………………….13-03-2015………had….. my last cigarette……..

  25. I enjoyed smoking for the last 14 years. Only smoked 10/12 a day, kinda light when compared to everybody else, so I didn’t think it was a prob. Until I stoped breathing one night. lungs filled up with mucous, and I was wheezing so hard, both inhale and exhale, that I couldn’t sleep. The heart palpatations scared me, but when my heart actually stopped for two beats and I almost passed out, that was the “Ah Ha” moment. Quickly took an aspirin and propped up all night acknowkedging the fight for my life was tonight. It’s been 7 days, and when I need an inspiration not to light up again, I need only reflect back on that night, and the only urge I have is to live. Finally my lungs are clearing up and although I have a long way to go, I know I’ll never go back. I’ve never felt better.
    Good luck to all.

  26. Baba Ka Ntontoh says:

    I am on my 6th day today witout touching the cingerate and counting. I still crave and still got mood swings but m holding on fr my dear life, dnt want to smoke again… Never.

  27. You can read about my 6 heart attacks from my online magazine from the link to my website. I am now 7 days without a cig. im on a quit smoking nicotine patch. Regardless of what others say, quitting is not so easy when you have been smoking like me for the past 50 years, but im a point in my life where it is a matter of life or death, and i choose life.

    • Randy,
      Don’t listen to anyone but yourself. You know your body and your mindset better then anyone else does. Do what feels right for you. It absolutely drove me insane and spiked my temper to hear someone tell me, “oh, its not that bad, you can just quit. I bet you don’t even need the patch. I didn’t when I quit.” I swear each and time I heard that remark my temper would climb. I told one poor soul, “I am so happy you are super man and I am a poor weakling, but I don’t really care how you quit. All I truly care about is how I am going to quit and I am going to do that by my own way, not yours!”

      Other people may have the absolute will power to quit cold turkey or what ever. But they are not me, and they are not you. You find your own way, listen to yourself, do what feels right to you. People do not realize how hurtful mindless comments can be.

    • Ann beck says:

      Hi there,
      Well done you… I have smoked since I was 14 and have tried many times to quit without success.
      I started using nicotine patches on March 17th 2015 and have t smoked since.
      I just hope it isn’t too late and I will be ok.
      I have been eating a bit more but I expected that, luckily my weight is ok and I am now watching what I eat.
      The good thing is that things taste better and I have extra money for treating myself.
      Keep it up and I do hope the patches help you. I am now in 14mg for another 2 weeks then going on to the 10mg … Eventually no more patches …

  28. Hey guy im tauseef ive quit smoking 5 months now feels good but i do get pains in my sides n my stomach feels loose inside n like everything in my stomach like jumping around .i would love to hear from other ppl who hav experienced this feelings.stay strong ppl thanks

  29. I quit February 4, 2015. I used the patches and followed the program according to how it felt for me. I knew with every “step down” I could expect a 3 day to 2 week “off key” period (from previous attempts and from trying to listen to myself). I have been grouchy, upset, eating everything. Some days are good, some were really bad, and now….every now and again the craving hits but it is nothing like it was in the beginning. So far, the want has not went away, but it is easier to say no. I am proud of my accomplishment and I never thought I would be able to quit smoking. As tough as it was, I have no intention of ever starting back. It would mean starting back over at day one of the quitting cycle…… Good luck everyone.

  30. Well, I decided 2 days ago that I didn’t want to smoke anymore. After about 15 years of smoking close to a pack a day, I quit, cold turkey (this is the 5th attempt). Surprisingly, I haven’t had any cravings. I do keep an e-cig handy, just in case I feel the urge to pick up a cigarette.
    Only problem I’m having is this tightness and burning sensation in my chest. It is very uncomfortable. Hopefully, this will pass and I hope I can keep up and be smoke-free this time, once and for all!

    Good luck to all of you out there who are trying to quit!

  31. Today its been 1 week since i quit.
    I have some doubts wether i can make it or not.

    Now i took it as the challenge of my life.
    thx a ur support.

  32. successfully completed 3 weeks with out smoke!!!!!!!!!!!! but still getting cravings…

  33. hi
    I’m on day 53…finding it tough at times but determined…I’m on an ecig

  34. I’m in week six. I was ill with flu for 4 weeks (hence why I had to stop smoking) so felt bad anyway and didn’t notice cravings – I was too sick to eat or walk around never mind smoke.
    My cravings are increasing now. I’m getting around 15 cravings for cigarettes every day. I’m finding this depressing, it’s affecting my work and I’m questioning how good this is for me to be honest.

    I eat well and exercise regularly even when smoking, so I was reasonably healthy. Yes I’ll be healthier physically as a non smoker, but frankly, if this craving-related depressive feeling doesn’t stop in the next week, I may go back to smoking because being anxious, increasingly irritable and depressed is really hard. Life’s tough enough ffs.

    Also I can’t sleep since giving up. For the past week I’ve woken up 5 times each night. Oh yes and constant IBS (wind, bloated tummy, churning etc) itchy skin that also keeps me awake, inability to focus. No-one’s said I look any better, except if I say ‘do I look any healthier?’ and they say ‘oh yes’. Ha. I think I look gaunt faced and sunken eyed, yet puffy in the belly. So sexy.

    Another thing, I’m not enjoying food any more than normal, I like to cook normally, I also like eprfume normally and my sense of smell is no better. I don’t enjoy wine now though, it tastes horrible and I feel sick after two glasses, whereas I used to enjoy getting slightly tipsy once in a while. I miss that.

    I’ve had 4 ex smokers tell me they still find it difficult and sometimes depressing, even after two years, which is not encouraging. One guy said to me ‘you look gorgeous, smoke if you want unless you really want to stop’. I can see the depression, the boredom and grieving they feel. I mean seriously – depression, anxiety, relationship strain, farting and bowel trouble, work and sleep being badly affected. Is it worth it?!

    • It’s probably too late for Ruth, but if anyone else feels like this, maybe this will help. What Ruth is describing is a part of her trying to talk round all the other parts into why it’s not only ok to smoke, but that it’s better. This is a form of internal brainwashing done by a part that is used to being unquestionly in control and is using every weapon in its arsenal, trying to get it back. It will make you angry, it will make you cry and failing that, it will try to reason with you that you are just a horrible person without cigarettes and that no-one will like you. You are miserable without cigarettes so why not smoke?!

      The bottom line is, if you are dead you’re not around for people to like or dislike and the older you get, the more likely it is this will happen to you. I am 43 and in the last 8 years I have lost 3 friends to cancer, one at 37, one at 51 and one at 59. All of them far far too young and they all smoked.

      I started coughing last year, I don’t have cancer but realised I soon might. Why wouldn’t it be me and how would I feel if it was? I have 3 daughters and they still need me.

      I was split about giving up, just as Ruth was but I tried to look at it this way. One part of me wanted to smoke rather than live, but other parts wanted to live a long life, so wanted to stop. I couldn’t get them to agree so whichever way it went, someone was going to be sad, angry and let down. But bluntly, I could choose to kill myself anytime but if I didn’t give up smoking I was removing that choice for thise parts that wanted to live. That was unfair to those parts, so I quit.

      I loved smoking, it felt part of who I am. I AM different without it, but just because something feels good, doesn’t excuse us from destroying ourselves with it. Be strong and remember why you wanted to quit in the first place.

  35. Ive tried quoting for 3 weeks and cheated because I had one on my break with a classmate. I am still trying to. I am 19 and have been smoking for 3 years but there’s something about quitting that I’m afraid of. I have been getting really bad coughs and headaches and I sometimes feel like puking from so much coughing. I hate this feeling. But I know it will be okay in the end. I will get better.

  36. Congrats to you for reading this, I’m sure your on your way to a smoke free life! I quit a little over two weeks ago. I started when I was twelve, I’m now 53. I love hoarding all the air into my lungs while running at the gym. I always knew how much the buggers cost, but it’s amazing how much money I have in my pocket. Just after two weeks, I feel like a million bucks, way more energy. In two weeks I’m going to reward myself with a teeth whitening treatment with the money I saved.
    I want to wish everyone”Good Luck”!, you can do it,it’ll be the best decision you’ve ever made. Live long and prosper!! Brian

  37. Hi All,

    I am on day 12 of no smoking (as well as no caffeine). I am 28 & have been smoking since I was about 20. After getting really sick, I decided no more of these things and quit cold turkey.

    Honestly I can’t say that I have had any cravings but the anxiety/depression, mood swings, fatigue & headaches are very very draining. I know the end result will be worth all that I’m enduring now.

    To anyone out there feeling as I am, remember it is one day at a time. Pray to your higher power & ask for strength. Do not – I repeat DO NOT – covet anyone else’s success – it’ll make you crazy. Good luck to all!

  38. I quit April 6, 2015, so tomorrow marks the end of 6 weeks with no nicotine.

    To be honest, while I had no real physical ailments [as a matter of fact my breathing improved], my sleeping habits went complete ‘VaKlemped’.

    As I smoked almost 2 packs a day, I have calculated that I have already saved $210.00. I used half of that to join YouFit (they had a special $100/yr).

    For those in the beginning stages or thinking about it, I can only repeat what I have read, “it does indeed get better”.

    My advice to anyone wavering is remember “HALT – Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired”. Never be in any of those moods. For me, I took plenty a nap and ate whenever.

    I also recommend surfing the net when those urges come, to read up on what other people say, because you know why? Before you realize it, the urge is gone.

  39. Love reading all the comments. I find them all to be a huge support through such a horrendous time. I quit smoking cold turkey just over 4 weeks ago after overdosing on nicotine. Also quit caffine. I am 35 yo and have smoked 20-25 a day for 23 years. I have zero desire to smoke, even the smell makes me sick now, which is shocking cause I loved smoking! The first two and a half weeks were so bad (anxiety, chills and sweats, nausea, vertigo, intense mood swings that were always accompanied by loose bowels). Then I felt pretty good for a week. I was exercising one day and my heart started racing and didn’t stop for two days. My pulse was so quick i thought my veins would explode. At one point my vision even went sideways. So scary! Since then, my Lungs have been starting to break up, which is painful but i can deal with it. What Im having a really hard time with is the crazy mood swings, that make me feel like Im suffering from roid rage. Apparently this is my brain craving nicotine? I dont know how much longer i can take the rage and anxiety. I get so scared and feel like Im dying! I know Im not, but its hard to think clear in the moment. Any advice on how to control these things? Thanks everyone and hang in there! We don’t want to ever suffer like this again!

    • I had smoked for 25 years and now in august of 2015 it will be 2 years smoke free. You will get through those mood swings just take a deep breath and move forward. They will end i promise but the coughing will still continue. I still cough after 2 years about one time every 2 months for one whole day of hacking and i am still wondering how long that will take to go away. But it is not as bad as when i first quit. I think colors are more vivid but everyone thinks im crazy.

    • Hey all, just a bit of an update on me for anyone interested… At my 7 week mark I finally went to the doctor for some help with the hugh anxiety I was having. My blood pressure and pulse were really high, but he said it was due to the stress and put me on xanax. My anxiety was so bad that I was even afraid to take a pill… But they helped, a lot. Sadly though, it didn’t stop the occassional time I got heart palpitations or a racing pulse. Near the end of my month script, i was feeling the best i had in as long as i can remember. No more anxuety, though I credit that more to hypnotheraphy than anything else. But a few days later I started crying for mo reason, all the time. Plus I became quite constipated because of the xanax. After 4-5 days my digestive system got better ( after a lot of hard work ) but my stress levels were really bad. Not as bad as before and still no more anxiety. I had about a weeks worth of xanax left so I statred talking it again. But here I am, into week 13, the pills are only helping a little bit and my lungs are hurting so bad all i can do is cry. I dont cough, ever. So it makes me nervous. Is it really my lungs or am I about to have a heart attack? Im stuck in a country that is not my own currently, with no insurance. Going to the doctor is too expensive with all the test he would have to do. I guess i will just roll the dice and see what happens. I do wonder to myself constantly if I should just smoke again so this will all go away… But then these horrible 3 months will have been for nothing. I just want to feel normal again. Without wondering constantly which horrible ailment will befall me next. Sigh.

      • If you smoke again, you are only masking the problem! You cannot and will not return there! I am on day 32 and I can say it is worth it so far. So what, I have some uncomfort in my life. I did this to myself. I put 10 years worth of $H!* in my body, now I need to get it out of there. Hang strong. Think about all of the time you will spend alive instead of dead!

  40. I quit cold turkey on 4th April,2015 after 32 years of a pack a day and hope not to smoke again. This time it was a sudden spur of the moment decision after I learnt about one of my colleague down with sudden ailment.About 2 years back another close friend died with throat cancer. I didn’t want to be suddenly falling sick and dependent on medicines and lying incapacitated. This was my third major attempt. First time I had quit for 15 months and relapsed. This was about 10 years ago. My second attempt was about 2 years back and lasted for three months.
    This time I am confident , as I have been building up this quitting thing in my mind by including exercise ( jogging and yoga) and detoxifying diet since last 4-5 years in my daily routine. I do miss them when on business trips and that is about 100 days in a year.
    My earlier two attempts I used Zyban and nicotine chewing gums, but this attempt was without any aid and it seemed to be most effective and easy.
    For me exercise and diet modification seems to have helped this time. Recently I went on a trek in Himalayas and was able to trek and climb steep gradient without much difficulty and that has made me more motivated Not to smoke again.

  41. I quit smoking 14 days ago. I’m so glad I did. It was easier than I thought, I have smoked a pack a day since I was 17. The only problem I have had is today and my chest has been really hurting. I was just wondering if this is normal.

  42. I quite two weeks ago. This is the 6th. time I have quit after smoking for 25 years. I did hypnosis this time and the quit was much easier. I would say it is 75%-80% easier than quitting cold turkey. Craving were much less frequent and much less intense.

  43. cathy mulholland says:

    Smoked 45 years and now I’m 42 days smoke free. Never believed it was possible. If I can, others can too. It’s such freedom now, saves money, not to mention the long, long list of health benefits.

  44. Day 4 after 28 years of smoking – not feeling too bad but not feeling that great either. Oh well, one day at a time eh? Best of luck everyone (:

  45. I am 58 years old. I have been a smoke for almost 38 years. Never tried to quit. I smoked at least 20 cigarettes a day. My quit smoking journey started on the 22nd March 2015.

    The starting was good; I didn’t have much craving so I haven’t thought about using any nicotine replacement therapy. Time went on there started my withdrawal symptoms.

    Second week I started to get dizziness. The whole world was spinning in front of me. I managed for some time. Then there came my sweaty palms. It wasn’t a big deal. Then my smelling senses became very sharp. Everything started to smell very strong. Fishpond, my back yard every thing even my own pooh started to smell horrible.

    My taste buds have become alive. Every thing tasted so good and I got the appetite of a hungry pig. I ate quite a lot, but it didn’t last long. After four weeks I got further withdrawal symptoms. First it was a bad sore throat then, shortness of breath and bad flu like symptoms. My GP couldn’t find out the reason. He said it may be allergic condition or condition aggravated by change of climate.

    The above symptoms started to ease down but I started to get a very bad stomach pain and bloated tummy. To make the condition worse my rib cage was sore as if I had a big fall.

    It was May 22, 8 weeks after quit smoking, we went for dinner out to celebrate my wife’s birthday. The pain in my tummy was horrible. It was like as if somebody got into my with a butcher’s knife and make strips on my intestine. To add further I felt somebody tied both ends of my intestine and pumped sulphur di oxide. I cannot be released. I cannot burb or fart.

    One Monday morning after my 8 weeks of quit smoking I couldn’t wear my work trousers. I couldn’t button at the top and can zip only up to halfway. I was wondering how I could put on this much weight in two days. It took a while to realize I got bloated tummy. Few painful days passed. My GP couldn’t diagnose anything other than blaming my spicy food and two bottles of white wine I drink in the night. I am a big curry muncher, a Sri Lankan curry muncher. We cook two Kilos of mutton with 4 tea poons of hot chilli powder and 4 tea poons of hot curry powder in diced tomato. My GP prescribed for endoscopy and colonoscopy. Specialist couldn’t find out any reason.

    I was not ready to give up my curry and wine. I don’t smoke any more but what is the point in living if I can’t eat curry and wine. Any Sri Lankan man from north would agree with this statement.

    Then luckily I checked in Google. One good man mentioned that nicotine was the culprit about nicotine spray would help. Buscopan, De gas helped a bit, but nicotine spray helped a lot. I released lot of gas and the pain has gone down. I am almost on my 13th week of quit smoking. I am coming into terms with my body. I abused my body to the maximum and my body is taking the revenge back on me. This is the only consolation I have. I am sure I will get away from all my withdrawal symptoms and my body will pardon my abuse.

    Good luck all quit smokers.

  46. Mushtaq Hussain says:

    I quit smoking in the beginning of Ramadan this year after 40 years of smoking a packet of 20 cigarettes daily. I will keep firm that no more smoking now although i am feeling very uncomfortable especially after breaking fasting. Same time I am start getting reward of quitting smoke like good sleep, coughing, bitter mouth after sleep etc.

  47. Cody Colston says:

    I smoked for 30 years and quit in May 2001 after I had a triple coronary by-pass. Two years ago I started smoking again. Three weeks ago, I had a heart attack and the Cardiologist inserted a stint in one of my plugged arteries. I was sneaking a cigarette or three a day after that until I came to work (offshore drilling rig) and I’ve been going cold turkey for two weeks since I didn’t bring any cigarettes and they aren’t available here. Today for some reason I have a severe craving to smoke. I just hope that the craving lessens before I get back onshore in a week because I don’t know if I will have enough willpower to not smoke when I have access to cigarettes again.

  48. I am on day 7 with Chantix. This is my 2nd time to quit. The first time I was quit for 9 years; I know… stupid right. Anyway I will make it because I know I don’t want to go through this again. To those using Chantix I just wanted to say don’t stop taking the meds just because you still are not quit. It took me 3 months on the meds before I could put them down. When you are ready just set a Friday to quit, take a three day weekend off work, have support at home with you and just do it. Those three days will be hard but you can do it. Knowing the symptoms you are going to experience has been helpful to me. I know I’m only on day 7 but I KNOW I am a quitter.

  49. I’m 55, been a smoker since age 13. I quit 2 years ago, just stopped, no patches, no nicotine eCig. I noticed that my teeth condition have being worsening ever since I quit smoking, but really a lot, like a free fall… not sure what to do… can’t afford such big dentistry bills so I’m really wondering if getting back to smoking will stop this free fall?

    Has anybody experienced something similar?

  50. Good day all,
    June 7 2015, my last cigarette. I had quit back in 2013 for 9 months, I took a harder than expected job, stress drove me back to smoking again. I hated myself for going back to my old habit, I hated the smell of smoke on my clothes, my breath and my skin. My wife said it even sticks on my hair, so our pillows smells like smoke too. I’m working on controlling my cravings that last about a minute, I do 10 deep breaths and for some reason the cravings goes away.
    We all need to be strong in quitting this bad habit, I’m sure some of us have loss a friend or a loved one from cancer or smoking related death. I know 3 people in my life that died from lung cancer coz of smoking. I’m 45 yo now, I figure if I quit now and stay off cigarettes for the rest of my life I’ll probably see my twins grow up and walk them down the aisle one day.

    Peace and good luck to all

  51. I smoked for 15 years and tried to quite more times than I could count. But mentally I wasn’t ready. Once I started seeing real physical problems that were directly tied to smoking such as high blood pressure and lung infections, I was able to quite without much trouble. The withdraw was there, but I really didn’t want to smoke and so the only thing I was battling was the physical addiction, which to me is way easier than the mental addiction.

    The hardest thing I dealt with was the lack of concentration. I’m not use to spacing out but it’s part of the processes, and with time it fades as the bodies chemistry returns to a normal state.

    That’s an important thing to keep in mind. The body and brain are trying to put itself back into a normal state and that takes time. Smoking again may give temporary relief but you’ll have to start the processes over again if you really want to be healthy. 3 months is about what it takes for the chemistry to be near normal, but for the first year you can be up and down with a multitude of different symptoms. Not working out makes it harder and last longer.

  52. vinay sharma says:

    its been a week without a puff.I am 23 and started smoking at 19. Now after quiting smoking i m feeling very relaxed and active. Energy levels are doubled, breathing easier and smell and taste senses are regained, i hav never felt this before. I have become more social and active in my day to day work. I want to enjoy this feeling through my whole life. After quiting cigarette i felt my responsibility towards family and the society.

    the book that inspired me is ” NEVER TAKE A PUFF”, by Joel Spitzer. Guys must read dis, it will change yur attitude towards smoking

  53. I don’t know exactly how long it’s been because I’m finding the only way I can do this is to block out the fact I used to smoke, every time it pops in my head I get up and do something, or try and think of something else, otherwise part of me will convince other parts of me that it’s ok to just have ONE……

    Patches helped the first few weeks, every time I wanted a cig, I gave it a rub and then put it out of my mind. I stopped coughing almost immediately which was a relief as I had been worried I might have cancer. However, my lung capacity is noticeably worse and that IS getting me down. I have given up for short periods before and always noticed a massive improvement in my stamina, not this time. I think I pushed it a few years too far and now my lungs won’t go back so BE WARNED! If you think you have a few more years and that your lungs feel basically ok, don’t wait, give up now before copd takes hold.

    For those in the first couple of weeks, I dealt with the anger by understanding myself in parts. I identified that it was a young part that enjoyed smoking and got comfort from it, but also there was an older authoritarian part of me that didn’t want me to stop and wanted me to stay slowly killing myself. This bully part is the one that gets angry and the adult part of me would say to it, “look, I’m doing this so we can be healthy, you are trying to bully me by making me hate myself for being bitchy to people and forcing me to smoke again. I don’t want to be a bitch and I won’t be forced to smoke by You, so go away!

    The young part just felt sad so I let it eat! I put weight on, but I can lose it again and I figured it’s more important to stop smoking anyway. LOLLIPOPS! Can’t recommend them highly enough, the chupa chup ones are great because you can suck them and then chew the stick afterwards, very orally satisfying and you can go out with a lolly stick in your mouth and no-one seems to notice!

    I think it’s been about 6 weeks now, I’ve had a few days when I figured just one was ok, but that became just 2, then just 3 etc etc. NONE is the only way to make sure you stay stopped. I eat less now too….

  54. I’m 31, been smoking since I was 17. I’m a yo-yo quitter. I’ve tried every stop smoking aid on the market. I quit, then I have 1, then 1 turns to 2, then 2 becomes 10. 10 a day is my regular but I quit 8 days ago. I chew gum occasionally but I’ve found if I chew it constantly I relapse. The first 4 or 5 days are easy, then day 6 I always relapse. Making it this far to day 8 is huge for me but I’m so tired and my head hurts and I’m constipated and cranky. My family is sick of me. And I’m proud of making it to day 8 and they just say “So what? You’re going to smoke again.” It’s discouraging.

  55. majali omar says:

    hope all get the best of this :)

  56. I been smoking since 11 years and due to my ED issues I just did quit today , its almost 6 hours. I use to smoke 20 a day , and its like hardest thing I ll do in my life. Right now, feeling huge urge to smoke, But i dont hv any at the moment. I hope I can fight with my urges,

  57. i stopped smoking now and i feel sick. its only been 10 days now and i have seen my doctor and got a blood test and my hemoglobin was low is that normal.

  58. thirdtimesacharm says:

    It is really comforting to have found this site. I smoked my last cigarette 09/21/14. good luck to all ! Turned 42 09/27/14 n have smoked since age 11 with 2 solid attempts to quit. phew! Here we go !!!!

  59. Had my last cigarette in mid-September 2013 after using the patch and an electronic cigarette. After my last smoke, I used the electronic cigarette off and on till mid-January 2014 when I finally became nicotine free. I am so happy and proud I finally kicked the habit but it has been the toughest thing I have ever done. I enjoyed smoking for over 35 years and I still get those urges to light one up but my will power still manages to overcome the desire. I wish everyone who wants to stop smoking the best of luck. It’s very hard but I have found it very rewarding especially in regards to my health. Trust me, you will notice a difference in the months following that last smoke. It’s so scary to give up something you enjoy and/or depend on but if I can stop smoking, anyone can stop smoking.

  60. Best of luck…

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