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Smoking Cessation - Preparing for Withdrawal

NOTE: This resource is designed to provide a concise introduction to a variety of screening, diagnostic, and treatment procedures. All animations in the Procedures InMotion resource are physician-reviewed and reflect the most up-to-date, evidence-based information. Relevant sources are provided for each animation.

The information provided here is intended to offer a general idea of what to expect when you undergo a particular procedure. Some details have been intentionally omitted to make the animation more accessible. Specific details, including length of the procedure, duration of the hospital stay, and the surgical techniques used can vary based on the severity of your condition, your doctor's experience, the hospital's protocol, and other factors. Be sure to thoroughly discuss the details of your procedure with your doctor beforehand.


Transcript

The smoker’s body is used to getting regular doses of a powerful drug called nicotine.

When the body no longer gets the nicotine it craves, the smoker often goes through an uncomfortable, temporary process called nicotine withdrawal.

Understanding the symptoms of withdrawal before your quit date can help you to prepare for them, and help you tailor your plan to overcome them.

You may feel lightheaded, dizzy, and have tingling or numbness in your arms and feet. Although unpleasant these changes are healthy due to better blood flow and will go away over time.

You may cough more often because your lungs are cleaning out the waste left by cigarettes. Again, this is a good thing.

You may feel irritable or have mood swings.

Hunger, food cravings, difficulty concentrating or sleeping and constipation are also possible. The worst of these are over in a few days, but some degree of symptoms may continue for three to four weeks.

Talk to your healthcare provider about what healthy steps you can take to cope with withdrawal. This may include medication for headaches, irritability, or other symptoms.

Both exercise and relaxation techniques may help.

And munching on healthy snacks - vegetables, low fat or whole wheat crackers - and drinking lots of water can also help.

When you prepare to quit, make sure you prepare for withdrawal. Knowing the symptoms, and planning what you can do before you are faced with them, will help you get over this difficult time a little more easily.

Animation Copyright © Milner-Fenwick

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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