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Top strategies to cope with withdrawal

Nicotine withdrawal symptoms such as cravings, feeling irritable, feeling anxious and finding it hard to concentrate, can be a challenge.

When you stop smoking or vaping, your body craves nicotine. In the first few days and weeks after stopping, you will likely have some feelings of nicotine withdrawal.  These usually start a few hours after you last smoked or vaped and are the strongest in the first week after stopping. The good news is, for most people, the feelings of withdrawal fade over the next 2-4 weeks. 

Common nicotine withdrawals symptoms:  

  • Urges or cravings to smoke and/or vape 

  • Finding it harder to concentrate or feeling restless 

  • Trouble sleeping 

  • Being easily upset, feeling irritable, frustrated, angry 

  • Being anxious or feeling down 

  • Increase in hunger or weight gain.

Top strategies to cope with withdrawal

Speak with your GP or pharmacist 

It's a good idea to speak with your GP or pharmacist. They can advise if any medications are appropriate to help you stop smoking and/or vaping. Read more about talking to your doctor or pharmacist.

Reach out to Quitline

Quitline counsellors can offer you free advice and support to help you manage feelings of withdrawal. They have lots of tips and strategies, including ones may not have thought of. Quitline counsellors can also support you if you are using vapes to stop smoking. 

There are many ways to contact Quitline, including webchat, Messenger, and more:

Other things you might try to manage feelings of nicotine withdrawal:

  • Keep your brain active: puzzles, chat to friends or family, listen to a podcast, read a book or magazine, distract yourself

  • Exercise every day – even a short walk can do wonders

  • Try to limit your worrying – don’t be too hard on yourself!

  • Practise these top 3 relaxation techniques.

Please note,this information is for general use only.  Please consult your health professional for further advice.  

If you would like to provide feedback, please contact 

Last updated March 2024

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