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How to stop smoking

Smoking withdrawal symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms are different for everyone and can affect you mentally and physically.

Knowing what to expect and how to deal with them helps. You might have lots of symptoms or only a few.

Remember they’re temporary - they’ll go away once your body stops being dependent on nicotine.

% of quitters affected symptom duration
70% nicotine craving more than 2 weeks
70% increased appetite more than 10 weeks
60% depression less than 4 weeks
60% restlessness less than 4 weeks
60% poor concentration less than 2 weeks
50% irritability or aggression less than 4 weeks
25% disturbed sleep less than 1 week
10% feeling light headed less than 48 hours

Source: ASH Fact Sheet, last reviewed September 2014

If you’re struggling to cope, remind yourself why you’re quitting. Remember the health and financial benefits for you and your family. And there are lots of people to help you.

Next: Stop smoking treatments >

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Last medically reviewed: February 2016. Due for review: February 2019

This information uses the best available medical evidence and was produced with the support of people living with lung conditions. Find out how we produce our information. If you’d like to see our references get in touch.

Smoking withdrawal symptoms | British Lung Foundation Skip to main content

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