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How long does tobacco withdrawal syndrome last?

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Seeing how many people use it and how common it is to see people smoking, we often do not realize how powerful this drug is. Although legalized, nicotine has an addictive capacity five times higher than that of much more penalized drugs such as heroin or cocaine.

This addiction is what causes the withdrawal syndrome to manifest itself when a smoker chooses to stop this harmful activity by completely cutting off the entry of nicotine into the body. Next, at FastlyHealwe explain how long the tobacco withdrawal syndrome lasts .

What is Abstinence Syndrome?

After years of smoking, the body gets used to having certain levels of nicotine, levels that, depending on the time and the number of cigarettes consumed, are getting higher and higher. When a person stops smoking, the entry of nicotine into the body is abruptly cut off, so the body reacts by causing a multitude of symptoms that, together, are called withdrawal syndrome. Among the symptoms caused by quitting cigarettes are physical and psychological:

Psychological symptoms

  • Sleep problems : Nicotine withdrawal can often manifest as trouble sleeping. In certain people it produces drowsiness and low spirits throughout the day, however, in most people it manifests itself with disorders such as insomnia, accompanied in addition to constant nightmares when it is possible to fall asleep.
  • Anxiety and nerves : It is surely the most characteristic symptom and the one that most people suffer when they try to quit this bad habit. The lack of nicotine directly affects the mood of the person, causing pictures of anxiety, nervousness, irritability and low spirits. In the following article we give you some tips to avoid anxiety when quitting smoking .
  • Craving : The craving , which couldtranslated as longing or craving, are the uncontrollable urge to smoke suffering who are tryingkick the habit. They appear as small crises lasting between 2 and 3 minutes, manifest between the first and second day of abstinence and are the main cause of relapse.

Physical symptoms

  • Dizziness and vomiting : Although it is not very common, it is normal that, in the absence of nicotine, in certain people the body reacts causing dizziness that can lead to retching and finally vomiting.
  • Weight gain : Quitting smoking is often associated with weight gain, however, it is not entirely true. Quitting smoking does not mean that you gain kilos in itself, but it does produce effects that, if not taken into account, can lead to it. Tobacco takes away your appetite, so when you leave it you are hungrier than normal, also, since you cannot use cigarettes as a reward for your brain, you tend to do it through food. All this causes that people tend to get fat during the process of quitting smoking.
  • Intestinal problems : Withdrawal syndrome also manifests itself in your digestive system. Smokers are well aware of the laxative properties of tobacco, so it is not surprising that quitting leads to changes in your digestive system. In people who quit tobacco use , constipation and problems when going to the bathroom are usually present , although in some cases diarrhea can also occur .

How long does the withdrawal syndrome last?

Withdrawal syndrome appears in 85% of people who choose to quit tobacco use, which is why so many people relapse into that use before ending the detoxification, many times the symptoms manage to impose themselves on willpower. The duration of the withdrawal syndrome is usually between 4 and 12 weeks , although occasionally it can be longer or shorter. The time differences will depend on the level of addiction to the substance, that is, the length of time you have been smoking and the cigarettes you smoke each day.

The first symptoms of withdrawal syndrome occur between the first 12 and 24 hours after smoking the last cigarette. Nicotine lasts about two days in the body, longer if you have been smoking for many years, but compared to other substances, physical addiction disappears quickly. In general, it is between two weeks and a month when this physiological need for nicotine disappears. However, the strength of nicotine is not only in physical dependence, but largely affects the emotional level . Psychological addiction reaches its peak between the first and second week and from there it decreases until the twelfth.

Someone who has been addicted to nicotine will have temptations to try tobacco again throughout their life and it is a daily task to learn to overcome them, however, once the six months of abstinence have passed , the levels of relapse are almost nil. Once that time has elapsed, we can talk about an ex-smoker.

Tips for coping

As the withdrawal syndrome manifests itself both physically and psychologically, the way to avoid it will have to take into account these two factors. Physical addiction can be controlled by supplying nicotine in other less harmful ways. The patches, inhalers or nicotine gum , under medical supervision, are a good way not to abruptly stop nicotine levels and to gradually leave.

However, the really difficult thing when quitting tobacco is resisting the temptations of bringing a cigarette back to your mouth, so here are some tips to curb those cravings:

  • Not frequent smoking places or places where people smoke.
  • Prioritize dating non-smoking friends to avoid being tempted.
  • Avoid substances and foods that you can associate with tobacco, such as coffee, tea, or alcohol.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to How Long Does Tobacco Withdrawal Syndrome Last? , we recommend that you enter our category of Mental Disorders .

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