I went to Florida Quitters because it was highlighted so that Ralph1955 might be able to find some people who are quitting and live close to him. I saw this comment and I decided to copy and paste it here because it really is incredibly interesting.
So your feeling lite headed? Thanks to Chris the Science Geek we know why...
When you burn the leaves of tobacco and inhale the combustion products, you inevidibly inhale a whole bunch of a certain chemical called carbon monoxide. You may be familiar with this chemical; it's the same one that spews out of the, uh , "backside" of your car. So, yup, it's kinda like doing tailpipe hits. The carbon monoxide, aka "CO", takes up space in your bloodstream that would normally be occupied by another certian chemical that goes by the name of oxygen, aka O2. Funny thing is, your body uses the O2 but can *not* use the CO. In fact, in large enough doses, CO will suffocate/poison you. This is why doctors do not recommend that you get into your car in a closed garage, run a hose from the tailpipe into the window and start the engine. Take it from me, this is a Bad Idea.
Anyway, your body, being the unbelievable wondrous machine that it is, responds to this mini-suffocation that you are inflicting on it by increasing something called your "packed red cell count". Why does your body do this, you ask? I'll tell you why: in your blood are cells (they're red, go figure) that carry O2 from your lungs to other parts of your body. Because the CO uses up some of their ability to carry O2, you need more to carry the amount of O2 you need to live. So, your body produces about 10-20% more red blood cells. When your doctor is looking at your blood they will often separate out the red blood cells by spinning your blood in a centrifuge. The red blood cells all go to the bottom of the test tube, nicely compacted. The doctor measures the volume of these packed cells and that number is called (wait for it) the packed red cell volume. Neato, huh?!
Because humans have a pretty consistent level of red cells, doctors can actually tell if you are a smoker by looking at your level.
So, now your body is happily chugging along, coughing and hacking a lot but at least getting enough O2 to keep you alive. Then you quit smoking. Very rapidly the reduction in CO that you are breathing causes a precipitous drop in the amount of CO in your blood. But here YOU are, still walking around with 10-20% higher O2 carrying ability. So, you get a little, well, giddy. Kinda dopey. Hell, you're stoned, let's call it what it is. You are actually walking around in a state of constant, low-level hyperventilation.
Eventually your body realizes the big favor you have done it and stops producing red blood cells for awhile so that you can get back down to your normal level. When that happens, the dizziness will go away.
What can you do about it? Well, my advice is to breathe deeply and enjoy this free buzz. Ever hear of oxygen bars over in Tokyo? Well, they have them. You go in and belly up to the bar, lay down your coin and huff pure oxygen for awhile. But YOU get to do it for free!!! Take advantage of your inebriated state and blame absolutely every little mistake, faux pas and error on it. You won't often get this opportunity so DON'T BLOW IT!!!
One more word of advice: you may want to avoid making major decisions, operating heavy equipment or performing death-defying stunts for awhile. Ya just never know...
This has been a public service announcement by Chris the Science Geek. No warranty, expressed or implied, is given - use at your own risk. Offer void where prohibited, please allow 10-12 weeks for delivery. Your mileage may vary.
Enjoy, I certainly did.