Merck Manual

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Symptoms of Nicotine Withdrawal*

Symptoms of Nicotine Withdrawal*

Withdrawal Symptom

Duration

Behavioral Strategies

Chest tightness

A few days

Deep breathing

Constipation

1–2 weeks

Drink fluids

Eat fiber-rich foods

Cough

A few days

Drink fluids

Cigarette cravings

2–3 days frequently, then decreases

Distract yourself

Exercise

Depressed mood

1–2 weeks

Increase pleasurable activities

Ask family and friends for support

Difficulty concentrating

A few weeks

Plan workload in advance

Dizziness

1–2 days

Change positions slowly and use caution

Fatigue

2–4 days

Take naps

Do not push yourself

Hunger

Up to several weeks

Drink water

Eat low-calorie snacks

Insomnia

1 week

Limit caffeine (do not drink it after noon)

Practice relaxation techniques

Irritability

2–4 weeks

Take walks

Take hot baths

Practice relaxation techniques

*Reproduced with permission from Rx for Change: Clinician-Assisted Tobacco Cessation program. The Regents of the University of California. Copyright © 1999-2018. RxforChange.