Nicotine Withdrawal

What is Nicotine Withdrawal?

Stopping inhalation of nicotine (which is the addictive substance in tobacco) causes discomfort and physical side effects in most people.

What are the Symptoms of Nicotine Withdrawal?

Withdrawal symptoms in cigarette users include the following: headache, nausea, constipation or diarrhoea, falling heart rate and blood pressure, fatigue, drowsiness, insomnia, irritability, difficulty concentrating, anxiety, depression, increased hunger & tobacco cravings. Withdrawal from nicotine is characterised by the above symptoms. Nicotine creates a chemical dependency, so that the body develops a need for a certain level of nicotine at all times. Unless that level is maintained, the body will begin to go through withdrawal.

What are the Causes of Nicotine Withdrawal?

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

Traditional Medical Treatments for Nicotine Withdrawal

Your doctor may recommend a smoking cessation program such nicotine replacement packs and may also prescribe nicotine-based chewing gum to help you through withdrawal. These aids are only provided to help you wean yourself off smoking, not as a substitute for nicotine.

Complementary/Alternative Treatments for Nicotine Withdrawal

Alternative therapies can offer support to tobacco users trying to quit their habit. Behaviour modification techniques that may help include meditation and guided imagery. Herbal Therapies – Lobelia (Lobelia inflata) has actions similar to nicotine but is gentler and longer lasting. It is often used by medical herbalists in conjunction with ephedra (Ephedra sinica), a stimulant, to help tobacco users quit. Always see a professional as these herbs may have side effects that are serious. Herbalists also often recommend the following herbs to calm the nervous system during withdrawal – chamomile (Matricaria recutita), hops (Humulus lupulus), and valerian (Valeriana officinalis). Supplements of Vitamin A, B complex, C and E have been successful in helping people recover from smoking. Also supplements of garlic, Echinacea, valerian.