Nicotine withdrawal: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment and more.


Nicotine, a drug normally associated with tobacco, is what makes smoking really addictive. It can have a wide range of impacts on the brain, such as:

  • reducing depression
  • boosting mood
  • enhancing concentration and short-term memory
  • reducing irritability
  • reducing appetite
  • producing a sense of well-being

Nicotine can indeed be as addictive as other drugs, including cocaine, alcohol, and morphine.

With nicotine, tobacco is estimated to contain about 70 carcinogens. These chemicals can result in the spread of smoking-related diseases such as heart disease, lung cancer, and stroke.

To check these diseases, millions of smokers try to quit each year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 70 percent trusted smokers say they want to quit altogether, as of 2018.

Nicotine withdrawal makes it more challenging to quit. Here is a list of possible symptoms associated with Nicotine Withdrawal. 

Symptoms of nicotine withdrawal for smokers include:

  • intense cravings for nicotine
  • sweating
  • tingling in the hands and feet
  • constipation and gas
  • nausea and abdominal cramping
  • coughing
  • headaches
  • insomnia
  • sore throat
  • anxiety
  • difficulty concentrating
  • depression
  • irritability
  • weight gain

Nicotine receptors cause your cravings in the brain. These receptors are enhanced in response to your earlier nicotine use. The receptors will make you want to proceed to smoke. Disregarding those receptors leads to withdrawal symptoms.

However, as you disregard them, they start to disappear. Withdrawal symptoms often go away in a month or so. Some individuals may experience nicotine withdrawal for numerous months.

How is nicotine withdrawal treated?

If you choose to quit smoking, contact your physician to discuss ways to handle your withdrawal symptoms. They may be able to present you with information about support groups in your community or access to prescription medication.

Numerous different treatment options can be picked for treating nicotine withdrawal. They include:

  • Prescription nicotine replacement methods: Examples include nasal sprays and inhalers. 
  • Over-the-counter (OTC) nicotine replacement medications: Examples include skin patches and nicotine gum

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