Not too long ago, the only option that smokers had to try to curb the habit was to quit smoking cold turkey. This was, and still is, not a viable option for many smokers, simply because it takes tremendous determination and self control to just change your behavior drastically and suddenly. This is an especially challenging undertaking for those who smoke a significant amount on a regular basis. This isn’t due to a lack of determination or perseverance, but due to the physiological changes induced by chemicals in tobacco and cigarettes that make quitting smoking cold turkey impossible. In some rare instances, those who only smoke occasionally in social situations or times of distress can simply put away the cigarettes. However, these constitute a small percentage of the smoking population and are not considered as being actually addicted to the nicotine.
The idea to quit smoking cold turkey appeals to most people because it is the non-invasive and cost effective. However, the actual execution of quitting smoking cold turkey is beyond difficult. The smoker must understand the addiction and contain the troubling thoughts constantly for an extended period of time until the body no longer depends on nicotine and the desire to smoke slowly dissipates. The problem with this cold turkey approach is that during the physical withdrawal period—which can last days to weeks—the smoker has perpetual, intense cravings for cigarettes as well as prolonged psychological setbacks due to the smoker’s physiological dependency on nicotine.
Common Physical Symptoms
Heavy smokers, those who smoke 20 or more cigarettes a day, may actually start to have both physical as well as psychological symptoms of withdrawal in as little as two hours after their last cigarette. Some smokers who try to quit smoking cold turkey may only experience mild symptoms initially, but they are followed by significant symptoms over the next two or three days.
Typical symptoms of withdrawal include:
* Feelings of nausea
* Cravings for food, often sweet or salty
* Sweating profusely
* Feeling tense or agitated
* Experiencing difficulty in sleeping, suffering from nightmares, and noticing intense night sweats
Common Behavioral Changes
Behavioral changes are often related to the psychological issues when you quit smoking cold turkey. Most people begin to initially to feel anxious and not know of a different way to cope with stress except smoking. However, research has shown smoking only appears to soothe the distressed smoker, while it actually exacerbates stress and anxiety in the long run. Some people may also experience depression and lethargy where there is just no energy to think normally and concentrate. You may experience severe mood swings that can result in agitation and frustration that can damage relationships with those close to you who are trying to help you.
The side effects, both mental and physical, are the greatest concern when you try to quit smoking cold turkey. It can be done but it’s not easy unless the proper support tools and quit smoking program are being used in conjunction. If done correctly, quitting smoking cold turkey is the most desirable as the smoking cessation plan that can have the most lasting success without harming your body further. Instead of trying to quit smoking cold turkey, use our proven smoking cessation plan. For details and information visit our website.