Why It’s Hard to Quit Smoking

February 26, 2018
Why It’s Hard to Quit Smoking

It isn’t easy to quit smoking, but millions of people have quit. You can, too. Knowing what to expect while quitting can help you succeed.

Nicotine is a chemical in cigarettes that creates an addiction. When you quit smoking, your body will let you know when its nicotine level is running low. That’s when you get a craving, which is also called withdrawal.

The most common symptoms of nicotine withdrawal include:

  • A craving for cigarettes
  • Feeling sad
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Feeling nervous or restless
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Feeling irritable or grouchy
  • Eating more or gaining weight

When you notice any of these symptoms, remember they are temporary and will end if you stay smoke-free. Nicotine withdrawal isn’t dangerous. And quitting smoking is the best thing you can do for your health.

It’s smart to make a plan before you quit. A good plan will help you deal with withdrawal and avoid places or situations that can make your cravings worse. In March, we’ll share how you can plan your success before you quit.

Learn more about the effect of nicotine on your body and get more tips and tools for quitting at Smokefree.gov.

Smokefree.gov provides free, accurate, evidence-based information and professional assistance to help support the immediate and long-term needs of people trying to quit smoking.

For one-on-one coaching or to enroll in our QCARE Kick the Nic!* stopping tobacco use program, call 800.235.7111 or 501.228.7111 and ask to speak to a Care Manager.

*Health plans vary. Check with your employer or plan administrator to see if QCARE is included.