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Coping with withdrawal

You will probably experience some withdrawal symptoms when you quit smoking. Here are some tips to help you cope with the most common withdrawal symptoms:

  • Dry mouth, sore throat, gums or tongue
    • Sip ice water or fruit juice
    • Chew gum

  • Headaches
    • Take a warm bath or shower
    • Try relaxation or meditation techniques
    • Try aspirin or acetaminophen

  • Trouble sleeping
    • Don't drink coffee, tea or soda with caffeine after 6 p.m.
    • Try relaxation and meditation techniques

  • Irregularity
    • Add roughage to your diet, such as raw fruit, vegetables and whole grain cereals
    • Drink six to eight glasses of water a day

  • Fatigue
    • Take a nap
    • Try not to push yourself too much at this time. Don't expect too much of your body until it's had a chance to heal itself over a couple of weeks.

  • Hunger
    • Drink water or low calorie liquids
    • Eat low-fat, low-calorie snacks

  • Tenseness, irritability
    • Take a walk
    • Soak in a hot bath
    • Try relaxation or meditation techniques

  • Coughing
    • Sip warm herbal tea
    • Suck on cough drops or sugarless hard candy

Nicotine withdrawal score sheet

Record the feelings and reactions you experienced because of the absence of tobacco during the last 24 hours. Check the number which best describes how you felt. (If you prefer, you can use the Print Page link on the top right to print off this page instead. You can also click here to print only the quiz and score box below.)

Nicotine withdrawal quiz

1. Craving for nicotine?
No craving (1) (5) Intense craving

2. How irritable, angry or frustrated have you been?
Not at all (1) (5) Very much so

3. How much anxiety did you experience?
None at all (1) (5) Very much

4. Did you have difficulty concentrating?
No problem (1) (5) Much difficulty

5. Did you notice a change in your heart rate?
Very slow (1) (5) Very rapid

6. Were you restless?
Felt calm (1) (5) Very restless

7. Did you experience increased appetite?
No change (1) (5) Intense hunger

You can use this score sheet to record your feelings related to nicotine withdrawal at the end of the day. Try to do this around 4 or 5 p.m. Total the amounts in the chart above and keep track of your feelings each day.

Score sheet