When you quit smoking, you might find yourself having a lot of cravings and a strong desire to smoke after a few weeks of not smoking.
Some smokers find that quitting smoking is more difficult than they expected.
In many cases, the cravings and nicotine withdrawal symptoms will subside within several weeks.
But quitting smoking is different from quitting medications.
If you try to quit smoking and quit cold turkey, you run the risk of relapsing.
You might start smoking again. You might come to some unpleasant cravings. And you might find it hard to quit again.
If you quit cold turkey, you may not even feel the urge to smoke at all.
If you have tried to quit smoking and have relapsed, it is common to have some withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can include:
- Trouble concentrating
- Racing thoughts
If your withdrawal symptoms get worse, you might have trouble sleeping and losing weight.
What Happens If You Just Want to Quit?
You can also quit cold turkey.
You can do this by making a list of everything that’s stopping you from quitting. Then, you can decide which items on your list are absolutely impossible to quit.
You can also include reasons why you feel you can’t quit smoking.
Then, you can decide which items on your list are easy to quit.
For example, you may quit cold turkey if you can’t stop feeling like you can’t stop smoking. Or if you can’t stop thinking about smoking.
If you can’t stop thinking about smoking, you can decide to quit smoking if you can’t stop thinking about it.
But you can’t make yourself stop thinking about the reasons you want to quit, like the physical problems it causes.
When you quit smoking, you’ll have a new list of reasons why you want to quit.
The main difference between quitting cold turkey and quitting because you want to stop feeling like you can’t stop smoking is that if you quit cold turkey, you can keep smoking.
Is It Safe to Quit Cold Turkey?
Yes, it’s safe to quit cold turkey.
Most people find that cold turkey is easier to quit than trying to quit with support.
When you quit smoking with support, you might find it more difficult to stick to your plan to quit.
You might not be able to stick to your plan because you get bored or lose interest. You might feel depressed or disinterested.
A good plan to help you quit smoking will include:
- A list of reasons to quit
- A plan for how to quit
- Tips for breaking a bad smoking habit
- A plan for managing cravings
What Happens If I Want to Quit for a Long Time?
You can also quit for years.
Some people just can’t quit smoking for a long time. They might even spend years trying to quit.
Others find it difficult to quit smoking.
Maybe they don’t have a plan to quit. Or they don’t have a good support system. Or they’re scared about the physical effects of smoking, like heart disease.
You might find it hard to quit smoking for several weeks or even months.
When you quit for a long time, you might find yourself with some cravings and nicotine withdrawal symptoms.
Your cravings should subside within several weeks.
After several weeks, you may find that you want to smoke more than you did before.
You might also find it hard to stop smoking when you try to quit.
The effects of nicotine withdrawal can leave you feeling sad, tired, or mentally worn out.
You may also notice:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Trouble breathing
- Weight gain
- Muscle aches
You may also have some withdrawal symptoms if you quit smoking for a long time. These symptoms can include:
- Chest pain
You may also find it hard to sleep or lose weight if you quit smoking for a long time.
How Can I Support Someone Who Quits Smoking Cold Turkey?
Help your friend quit smoking by:
- Listening. Don’t judge how long your friend wants to quit.
If your friend is looking for support, talk with them about your experiences.
Then, you can plan a quit plan together. Or, you can meet with a professional quit-smoking coach.
Ask your friend if they’d like to try to quit smoking on their own.
Ask your friend how they can quit.
Then, you can help your friend plan a quit plan together.
If you have a support group, ask if your friend’s group would be a good place to meet.
Don’t try to quit cold turkey yourself. You might find it hard to follow your plan if you try to quit smoking on your own.
If you know someone who’s quitting for a long time, you might want to try to help them quit as well.
Supportive Quitting Tips
Here are some tips to help you quit smoking for good.
Don’t smoke with your friend.
If you have a friend who smokes, quit with them.
If your friend can’t quit smoking, it’s not your job to help them quit.
Ask your friend to quit smoking with you.
If your friend’s going to quit smoking, you’ll be able to help them.
If they’re trying to quit cold turkey, you can be there for them.
If they come to you with their plans, you’ll be able to help them quit.
Offer your support in other ways.
Ask your friend to join you for a walk or a walkabout.
You can also invite them to do a quick workout at home.
Try to schedule time to talk.
If you don’t have a lot of time, ask your friend to call you.
It might be hard to reach your friend at work or school.
Now over to you
If you’re looking for support to quit smoking, ask your doctor or therapist for help.
Some people turn to counseling or prescription medications to help them quit.
They might also find that their friends and family support is helpful.
If you’ve tried to quit for a long time, ask your doctor or therapist for advice.
Also, make an appointment to see a professional quit-smoking coach.
Images by Freepik