How Do I Reduce Jitters From Quitting Smoking?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevent reports that an estimated 45 million Americans smoke tobacco. Smoking also happens to be one of the leading causes of preventable and premature death, according to the American Heart Association. When you quit smoking, you will experience some withdrawal symptoms, which can last from the moment you stop until about eight or 12 weeks after. Feeling jittery, whether the manifestation is restlessness, tremors, anxiety or insomnia, is one of the most common symptoms associated with quitting smoking.
Exercise to use up excess energy. It can also tire you out. Try doing moderate cardio exercise 30 minutes a day, three or four days a week. A review of 14 relevant studies published in a 2007 issue of "Addiction" found that small amounts of exercise can manage cigarette cessation symptoms.
How do I Stop Smoking Cigars?
Practice relaxation techniques like visualization and meditation. Studies on relaxation techniques for a variety of conditions from cancer care to ease acute anxiety indicates that deep breathing, visualization and other techniques can induce a calm response. HelpGuide.org suggests wearing loose, comfortable clothing. Breathe deeply in and out for a few minutes. Tense the muscles in your left leg for 10 seconds. Then completely relax. Tense the muscles in your right leg for 10 seconds. Then relax. Repeat this exercise in your arms, hands and feet until you are entirely relaxed. In 2007, Mark Cropley reported in the journal “Addiction” that guided relaxation helped reduce the strength of withdraw symptoms in people quitting cigarettes.
Talk to your doctor about taking a prescription to reduce your withdrawal symptoms. Nicotine nasal spray is an oral inhaler that works by delivering nicotine through the lining of the nose or into your mouth. It can immediately reduce withdraw symptoms, including tremors and jitters. Nicotine gum and lozenges can also minimize your symptoms, but don’t require a doctor’s prescription. Nicotine replacement therapy fools your brain into thinking it’s getting a hit of nicotine.
Before quitting, discuss nicotine withdrawal symptoms with your doctor. She will explain what kind of tools you can use to minimize cravings and physical symptoms.
Withdrawal symptoms are one of the most common reasons people relapse back into addiction. When your symptoms and cravings are especially difficult, call a friend for support.
How do I Stop Smoking Cigars?
How do I Stop a Smoking Cough?
Serotonin & Nicotine Interaction
Seroquel & Caffeine
Self Calming Techniques for Anxiety
Drug Interaction Between Lithium and Caffeine
How to Stop Smoking Black & Milds
Effect of Smoking Marijuana on Exercise
Why Am I Exhausted Since I Quit Smoking?
Green Tea Benefits in Quitting Smoking
- CDC: Smoking FastStats
- AHA: Why Quit Smoking
- AHA: Nicotine Substitutes
- HelpGuide.org: How to Quit Smoking
- Managing withdrawal. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
- Cosci F, Pistelli F, Lazzarini N, Carrozzi L. Nicotine dependence and psychological distress: outcomes and clinical implications in smoking cessation. Psychol Res Behav Manag. 2011;4:119-28. doi:10.2147/PRBM.S14243
- Bruijnzeel AW. Tobacco addiction and the dysregulation of brain stress systems. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2012;36(5):1418-41. doi:10.1016/j.neubiorev.2012.02.015
- Nicotine replacement therapy. U.S. National Library of Medicine. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
- Biology of addiction. National Institutes of Health. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 2015.
- Taylor G, Mcneill A, Girling A, Farley A, Lindson-hawley N, Aveyard P. Change in mental health after smoking cessation: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ. 2014;348:g1151. doi:10.1136/bmj.g1151
- Moylan S, Jacka FN, Pasco JA, Berk M. How cigarette smoking may increase the risk of anxiety symptoms and anxiety disorders: a critical review of biological pathways. Brain Behav. 2013;3(3):302-26. doi:10.1002/brb3.137
- Gil SM, Metherate R. Enhanced Sensory-Cognitive Processing by Activation of Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors. Nicotine Tob Res. 2019;21(3):377-382. doi:10.1093/ntr/nty134
- Lee H, Kim S, Kim D. Effects of exercise with or without light exposure on sleep quality and hormone reponses. J Exerc Nutrition Biochem. 2014;18(3):293-9. doi:10.5717/jenb.2014.18.3.293
- Chéruel F, Jarlier M, Sancho-garnier H. Effect of cigarette smoke on gustatory sensitivity, evaluation of the deficit and of the recovery time-course after smoking cessation. Tob Induc Dis. 2017;15:15. doi:10.1186/s12971-017-0120-4
- How to handle withdrawal symptoms and triggers when you decide to quit smoking. National Cancer Institute. 2010.
- Carim-todd L, Mitchell SH, Oken BS. Mind-body practices: an alternative, drug-free treatment for smoking cessation? A systematic review of the literature. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2013;132(3):399-410. doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2013.04.014
- Nutrition and appetite while quitting. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
- Nicotine replacement therapy. U.S. National Library of Medicine. 2019.
- Nicotine replacement therapy for quitting tobacco. American Cancer Society. 2017.
- Schnoll RA, Goelz PM, Veluz-wilkins A, et al. Long-term nicotine replacement therapy: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA Intern Med. 2015;175(4):504-11. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.8313
- Martínez-vispo C, Rodríguez-cano R, et al. Cognitive-behavioral treatment with behavioral activation for smoking cessation: Randomized controlled trial. PLoS ONE. 2019;14(4):e0214252. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0214252
- How to handle withdrawal symptoms and triggers when you decide to quit smoking. National Cancer Institute. Reviewed October 29, 2010.
- Edwards A, Kendler K. Nicotine withdrawal-induced negative affect is a function of nicotine dependence and not liability to depression or anxiety. Nicotine & Tobacco Research. 2011;13:677-85.
- Johnson K, Stewart S, Rosenfield D, Steeves D, Zvolensky M. Prospective evaluation of the effects of anxiety sensitivity and state anxiety in predicting acute nicotine withdrawal symptoms during smoking cessation. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors. 2012;26:289-297.
- Leyro TM, Zvolensky MJ. The interaction of nicotine withdrawal and panic disorder in the prediction of panic-relevant responding to a biological challenge. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors. 2013;27(1):90-101
Shannon Marks started her journalism career in 1994. She was a reporter at the "Beachcomber" in Rehoboth Beach, Del., and contributed to "Philadelphia Weekly." Marks also served as a research editor, reporter and contributing writer at lifestyle, travel and entertainment magazines in New York City. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in literature from Temple University.