Boots WebMD Partners in Health
Return To Boots

Smoking cessation health centre

Nicotine withdrawal symptoms

What is nicotine withdrawal?

Alongside the health benefits of quitting smoking, people may experience nicotine withdrawal symptoms, such as headaches, anxiety, nausea and cravings for tobacco.

Nicotine creates a chemical dependency so your body develops a need for a certain level of nicotine at all times. Unless that level is maintained - by smoking or by using nicotine replacement treatments - your body will begin to go through withdrawal.

For tobacco users trying to stop smoking, nicotine withdrawal symptoms are unpleasant and stressful - but they are temporary. Most withdrawal symptoms peak 48 hours after you stop smoking and are completely gone in 6 months.

After that, you may find yourself eating more. The long-term weight gain for an ex-smoker is around 3-4kg (6-8lb).

What causes nicotine withdrawal?

The symptoms of nicotine withdrawal are physiological responses to the removal of a substance your body has become dependent on: nicotine.

What are the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal?

In active smokers, a lack of nicotine produces a wide range of withdrawal symptoms, including:

Managing nicotine withdrawal symptoms

Your local NHS Stop Smoking Service, GP or pharmacist can help with advice, support and treatment to help quit smoking.

Part of the plan may involve cutting down smoking gradually, or using nicotine replacement products or NRT, to help avoid withdrawal symptoms.

Next Article:

WebMD Medical Reference

Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks on November 06, 2015

Mind, body & soul newsletter

Looking after your
health and wellbeing.
Sign Up Now!

Popular slideshows & tools on BootsWebMD

woman washing face
Prevent & treat flare-ups
donut on plate
The truth about sugar addiction
female patient consulting with female GP
Take action for a healthy baby
couple watching sunset
How much do you know?
cold sore
Prevent and treat cold sores
smiling african american woman
Best kept secrets of healthy hair
assorted spices
Pump up the flavour with spices
10 tips to lose weight after baby
crossword puzzle
Tips for the first hard days
sperm and egg
Facts to help you get pregnant
african american woman wiping sweat from forehead
Relief from excessive sweating
polka dot dress on hangar
Lose weight without dieting