Nicotine is addictive, which is why it's so tough to quit smoking. Here are some of the withdrawal symptoms that you may experience when you quit, and some suggestions for dealing with them.

Managing nicotine withdrawal symptoms

Symptom Try this
Dry mouth
Sore throat, gums, or tongue
Sip ice-cold water or fruit juice, or chew gum
Headaches Take a warm bath or shower
Try relaxation or meditation techniques
Trouble sleeping Take a walk several hours before bedtime
Don't drink coffee, tea, or soda with caffeine after 6:00 pm, or noon if 6 pm doesn't work
Try relaxation or meditation techniques
Unwind by reading for awhile
Take a warm bath
Irregularity Add roughage to your diet, such as raw fruit, vegetables, and whole grain cereals (Note: do this gradually to allow your body to adjust, and increase fluid intake at the same time)
Drink 6-8 glasses of water a day
Fatigue Take a nap
Try not to push yourself during this time; don't expect too much of your body until it's had a chance to begin to heal itself over a couple of weeks
Hunger Drink water or low-calorie liquids
Eat low-fat, low-calorie snacks
Tenseness, irritability Take a walk
Soak in a hot bath
Try relaxation or meditation techniques
Coughing Sip warm herbal tea
Suck on cough drops or sugarless hard candy
Cravings for tobacco Distract yourself—go for a walk, call a friend, or start an activity
Do deep-breathing exercises
Realize that cravings are brief

This material is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for the medical advice of your doctor or any other health care professional. Always consult with your physician if you are in any way concerned about your health.

© 2003 SLPM Self-care Ltd.

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