Nicotine Craving and Withdrawals: The Main Reason Behind Failed Attempts to Quit Smoking

Smoking Inhibitor
What keeps you from quitting?

Currently, over one-billion people around over the world smoke cigarettes. It is killing machine that sends seven million people to their deaths each year. As we know, there are many serious physical and mental problems are associated with frequent smoking.

Many people pledge to quit smoking, but most of them fail to keep this pledge because they can’t beat the cigarette or nicotine craving. Many fail to quit smoking because they don’t understand the underlying reasons associated with nicotine withdrawals and they don’t learn how to outsmart those carvings.

There are many ‘remedies’ out there to help people who are hooked on nicotine. For some, they work. For others, they don’t. Remember that quitting smoking is all about resisting those cravings and having the willpower to deal with your withdrawals.

Side effects of nicotine consumption

nicotine cigarettes in ashtray
Do you really want this kind of nicotine in your body?

Nicotine is a potent psychoactive alkaloid that stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system by inducing various effects on the brain. However, there are several side effects that are associated with regular consumption of nicotine. 

Since cigarettes are the most common type of nicotine administration that uses tobacco as the main source and is thought to have more than 70 carcinogens, nicotine consumption is more dangerous for health than you think. Take a look at the picture above. This is what goes into your lungs and due to this, there are several side effects that are associated with cigarette consumption:

  • Headaches
  • Dry mouth
  • Coughing
  • Constipation
  • Soreness in mouth and throat and change in taste
  • Upset stomach

People who have serious medical problems can get some severe side effects from the regular use of nicotine.

  • Rashes and swelling
  • Irregular heartbeat for long time period
  • Chest pains

If someone experiences these side effects, it is better to get immediate medical help.

Cigarette and nicotine withdrawals

Since nicotine can be as addictive as alcohol, cocaine and other addictive drugs, it results in various withdrawal symptoms when you stop using.

The symptoms of nicotine withdrawal depend on the level of your addiction i.e. how long you have been using nicotine and the quantity of your daily nicotine consumption.

Some of the common nicotine withdrawal symptoms are:

  • Difficulty in sleeping
  • Loss of concentration
  • Severe headaches
  • Gastrointestinal cramping

The psychological symptoms of nicotine withdrawal are underlined with irritability, bouts of anxiety and depression. In some cases, people also gain weight temporarily when they stop smoking

The symptoms of nicotine withdrawal are more severe in the following days of quitting but for some people they can persist for weeks or even months.

How to cope with nicotine cravings

While you experience the symptoms of nicotine withdrawals, you are simultaneously craving for it. Therefore if you are planning to quit smoking, prepare yourself for extreme cigarette craving.

Fill up your lungs with fresh air

Nicotine cravings often induce anxiety which urges you to smoke. To relax your mind in this situation, take up deep breathing exercises. Go outside and instead of filling your lungs with harmful carcinogenic smoke, fill them up with some fresh air. Take 5-10 deep breaths at a time. Lowering the level of your withdrawal anxiety will help you to stay on the course.

A healthy snack for each cigarette

Make a list of healthy snacks that are low in sugar and carbs, and treat yourself to them whenever you feel the strong urge to smoke. Citrus fruits and nuts are good options for these types of snacks. Engaging yourself in eating instead of smoking will also help distract the mind. Healthy food plays a role in improving the deteriorated state of your body due to excessive smoking as well.

Social support is vital

Having social support around you significantly helps in fighting nicotine or cigarette cravings. Being alone when your body is craving for nicotine will make you more susceptible to smoking again. When you quit smoking, make sure that you spend most of the time with friends and family.

Avoid smoker’s company

Many times people fail to quit smoking because people around them continue to smoke. Explain to your smoker friends about your quit plan so that they can understand why you are avoiding them. It has been noticed that people who successfully quit smoking once and overcome all the withdrawals and cravings, don’t get tempted by smokers around them again. So, you can rejoin your smoker friends once you are sure that you have got rid of the vice for good.

Apart from all these techniques, keep yourself busy in activities where your mind can be distracted. Start exercising, immerse yourself in reading, and listen to some calming music.

Controlled nicotine consumption

To treat the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal in heavy smokers, controlled nicotine is recommended where you gradually decrease the quantity of nicotine consumption by getting small amounts of nicotine from sources other than cigarettes. Nicotine gums, inhalers, sprays and nicotine patches are used for this purpose. Remember, use these products under the supervision of a professional physician.

The Alarming Risks of Cigarette Smoking Many People Ignore

Diagram of cigarette smoking in the body
The amount of organs that can be damaged by cigarette smoke is extraordinary!

Of all the external entities that are bad for your health, nothing beats the act of consuming the ashes of cancer-causing (carcinogenic) compounds into your body. Cigarette smoking is the cause of about half a million deaths in the US every year. While the deadly effects of cigarette smoking on the body are well known, the irony is that many people tend to ignore this as if it’s a fabricated or paranoid delusional fact.  

If you are one of those who smoke cigarettes every day, you should seriously start thinking about quitting thise deadly habit. In this article, we will take a look at the some of the detrimental effects of smoking tobacco on your health that will make you think twice before reaching for a pack of cigarette.

The Adverse Health Effects of Cigarette Smoking

Cigarette smoke contains many carcinogenic fumes that when inhaled can increase the chances of deadly diseases. More than 80 percent of the cases of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is caused due to cigarette smoking. COPD is a painful and progressive disease of the lungs that can ultimately lead to death.   

The toxic smoke of the cigarette can damage the lung cells. It can lead to uncontrolled cell growth in the lungs that will ultimately lead to the development of lung cancer.

Apart from lung cancer, about 30 percent of the following cancers are due to cigarette smoking:

  • Mouth cancer
  • Bladder cancer
  • Uterine cancer
  • Esophagus cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Stomach cancer

Cigarette smoking can also lead to many heart ailments. Studies have confirmed that smoking cigarettes can increase the risk of heart diseases. The chemicals inside the cigarettes can damage the blood cells and increase the risk of atherosclerosis, which is a buildup of plaque in the arteries that leads to heart attack and smoke.

Smoking can also adversely affect the development of the fetus during pregnancy, leading to increased risk of low birth weight and premature birth. What’s more, men who smoke a cigarette are at greater risk of developing fertility problems.

Why You Should Stop Cigarette Smoking Today

If you are smoking a cigarette right now, you should immediately throw it in the dustbin. Once you have got rid of the deadly cigarette, you should never ever pick another one again. While this may be hard for you at first, but the sacrifice that you make will be well worth it in the end as you can enjoy a quality life due to being in good health.

In case you are a habitual smoker, your chances of a heart attack will decrease significantly about 24 hours after quitting the bad habit. The nerve ending will begin to re-grow, and you will experience enhance the sense of taste and smell. Your blood circulation will improve about 3 months after quitting smoke and you will experience less wheezing and cough.  

In about 10 years after quitting smoking your risk of developing kidney, bladder, pancreas and esophagus cancer decreases significantly. After 15 years of not smoking a cigarette, your risk of developing a stroke will be similar to a person who has never smoked before.

So, unless you are hell bent on your own destruction, you should seriously consider quitting smoking and above all, consult with your physician about how to quit this deadly habit.