When quitting cold turkey how long before the cravings go away?!
Everyone is a little different. I had almost no cravings the first 2 days, then really bad ones days 3-5, then a couple weeks of not so bad, then a couple weeks or pretty bad, then a long lull until they would come every now and then. Nearly non-existent after 100 days.
The true "physical" cravings are gone after 5 days or so. You will still experience what may seem like a crave, but they are "mental" cravings, and easier to get through.
mental cravings >>Missing the ritual of smoking not the drug.
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This addiction consists of two parts: the physical and the mental. The physical withdrawal from nicotine takes about 3 days to a week; then it's a couple of weeks of your body getting used to life without it. Then comes the more difficult part, I think, which are the associations and triggers that you will have as you relearn your routines as an ex-smoker. You need to change things up to reduce the number of these - but this is the longer part of the journey and can last up to four months. After the first couple of weeks, it starts to get easier and easier...it's not ALL difficult.
The important thing you can do right now is to educate yourself on what nicotine does to your body and mind. To that end, I highly recommend Allen Carr's “The Easy Way to Stop Smoking.” This is an easy and entertaining read. You can search for it online or at your local library. Here's a link to a video here on the site which describes nicotine addiction: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IpWMgPHn0Lo&feature=youtu.be. You should also read the posts here and perhaps go to the pages of folks who you think might be helpful. You might visit whyquit.com, quitsmoking.com and livewell.com for the good information contained there. @https://excommunity.becomeanex.org/groups/best-of-ex has lots of blogs written by members of this site with their experiences and guidance. You should also do the tracking and separation exercises recommended here on the site. After you have completed the recommended reading, it will be time to make an informed choice of the quit aid, if any, you will use. If you go that route, I personally recommend the aids that don't let the addict control the dose such as the available prescription drugs or the patch. If used properly, gum, lozenges and inhalers are fine, but they need to be used only as a last resort. I have seen folks become addicted to them if they substitute them for every cigarette they used to smoke - just trading one addiction for another. I do not recommend the e-cigarette for three reasons: 1) the vapor has been compared to the polluted air in Bejing on a bad day, 2) they just provide another nicotine delivery system while continuing the hand to mouth smoking motion, and 3) the batteries can spontaneously catch on fire. . But – any method that you think will work well for you will be best for you. The idea is to change up your routines so the smoking associations are reduced. Drink your coffee with your OTHER hand in a place different from when you smoked. Maybe switch to tea for a bit. If you always had that first smoke with your coffee, try putting your tennies on right out of bed, going for a quick walk, then taking your shower and THEN your coffee! Rearrange the furniture in the areas you used to smoke so the view is different. Buy your gas at a different station. Take a different route to work. Take a quick walk at break time where the smokers AREN'T. You need to distract yourself through any craves. You can take a bite out of a lemon (yup - rind and all), put your head in the freezer and take a deep breath of cold air, do a few jumping jacks, go for a brisk walk or march in place, play a computer game. Keep a cold bottle of water with you from which to sip. Don't let that smoking thought rattle around in your brain unchallenged. Sometimes you need to quit a minute or an hour at a time. You will need to be disciplined in the early days to distract yourself when a crave hits. Get busy! Here is a link to a list of things to do instead of smoke if you need some fresh ideas: https://excommunity.becomeanex.org/blogs/Youngatheart.7.4.12-blog/2013/02/25/100-things-to-do-instead-of-smoke
The conversation in your head in response to the "I want a cigarette" thought needs to be, "Well, since I have decided not to do that anymore, what shall I do instead for the three minutes this crave will last?" Then DO it. You will need to put some effort into this in the early days, but it gets easier and easier to do. Stay close to us here and ask questions when you have them and for support when you need it. We will be with you every step of the way!
I also quit cold turkey, 31 days ago today. As already mentioned it is different for everyone. I found that googling my symptoms and reading tons helped so much with knowing what to expect. For me I think it helped greatly that I did it while on vacation as I honestly think it would have been a lot more difficult if I had been having to go to work.
I think it is just so important to be committed. Acknowledge that last cigarette you smoke as the last cigarette you will ever smoke. You need to truly embrace the fact that smoking is not an option for you. Yes, not everything you will go thru during this quit will be pleasant but it will end and you will feel incredibly strong and empowered.
Remember we we are all here for you. You are strong. You are amazing. You will do this.
Hang in, hang on...
You have gotten great responses. I think one thing that is important to remember is that the length of time you smoked MIGHT extend the length of time for your psychological addiction. Beck37 gave you GREAT advice as did Youngatheart.7.4.12 and TomW5.15.17, jonescarp.aka.dale.Jan_2007 wrote a couple of really helpful blogs that I will link here...What To Expect In The First Four Months and My Welcome To New Members (12+ Years Of Watching) There are LOTS of really good blogs in the
Best of EX you can click on the link on the home page. I smoked for 47 years and have been free for just over five years now...I HAD to quit because I got really sick. I read everything I could...I came to this site every morning and every evening and I read blogs and asked questions...I listened to the advice given and I paid attention to what was working for other people. My quit was also Cold Turkey...you can do this. Remember that it is a journey...one day at a time, sometimes one feeling at a time. Remember that we are here and that we want you to succeed.
Welcome to EX,
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