Quitting with the Nicotine Patch & Gum

Nicotine Cravings

After quitting, you might feel nicotine cravings. Luckily, cravings don't last forever. They only last a few minutes, so hang on - you'll make it through!

A good way to deal with a craving is to:

  • Text a friend
  • Play a game on your phone
  • Check Facebook™
  • Take care of a 2 min chore
  • Read a book or magazine
  • Keep an elastic band on your wrist and snap it when you want to smoke
  • Chew on sugarless gum, hard candies, celery/carrot sticks, jube jubes
  • Take a cold shower


Withdrawal Symptoms

You might also feel nicotine withdrawal symptoms after quitting. These can make you feel crappy, but it's perfectly normal! It's how your body renews itself and only last for a few weeks.

Changes you experience after quitting will be different from other people. Here are some common withdrawal symptoms and ways to deal with them.


Dealing with withdrawal symptoms

  • I feel angry or tense...

    Most smokers feel angry or tense during the first few days or even weeks of quitting. It's completely normal! Your body is craving more nicotine which is making you feel bothered.

    To overcome feeling angry or tense:

    • Take a few deep breaths
    • Talk out your anger
    • Exercise
  • I feel hungry all the time...

    It's common to feel hungry more often than you did when you smoked. In the first few weeks of quitting, your sense of taste and smell get better. This is why you may find that you replace smoking with food.

    To overcome feeling hungry all the time:

    • Drink lots of water
    • Stock up on healthy foods such as fruits and veggies
    • Get rid of chips, cookies and high-fat foods
    • Watch food portions
    • Make a healthy grocery list and stick to it
  • I feel down...

    It's perfectly normal for you to feel a little down after quitting. Experts aren't exactly sure why quitting brings on feelings of sadness. They do agree though that quitting truly does make some people feel down.

    Feeling sad usually starts within the first day of quitting. These feelings can go on for a few weeks but go away within 30 days. Remember, it's OK to feel down but if you feel depressed talk to your doctor.

    To overcome feeling down:

    • Stay positive
    • Be more active (exercise boosts your energy)
    • Talk to a cheerful friend.

    Starting to smoke again now can make you feel more down because you didn't stick to your decision to quit. Instead, remind yourself about why you quit and focus on your success!

  • I feel like I have a cold...

    A cough, sore throat & lots of phlegm are common after quitting smoking. In fact, for a while after quitting you may cough harder and more often than you did when you smoked. It can be concerning, but remember, it's just your lungs clearing away the excess mucus to help you breathe.

    To overcome cold like symptoms:

    • Drink lots of water
    • Suck on hard candies or chew sugar-free gum

    If the symptoms continue longer than a few weeks, speak to your doctor.

  • I feel like it's hard to get a good night sleep...

    It takes 48 hours for nicotine to leave your body. After quitting, your brain adjusts to not having nicotine so your may have sleep problems. It may be harder to fall asleep and stay asleep but this only lasts for the first few weeks of quitting until your body has adjusted.

    To overcome sleep problems:

    • Avoid caffeine and intense exercise late at night
    • Go to bed & get up at the same time everyday
    • Read a book or magazine before bed
    • Keep in mind your sleeping problems are temporary, and there's no need for sleeping pills.