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Nicotine Withdrawal - What it Is and What it Isn’t

Updated: May 26

Most folks would gladly let go of their smokes or e-cigarettes if they could avoid going through nicotine withdrawal. Most have tried to quit only to find they had no real understanding of what they will be going through and have no skills for dealing with it. Since smoking or vaping is all about getting relief from the discomfort of going without, it appears to the person hooked on nicotine to be the only comfortable solution. It’s a conundrum: “I want to quit, but I don’t want to go through withdrawal because it is too uncomfortable.”

That feeling gives rise to the appeal of “Nicotine Replacement Therapy”. NTR offers substances to substitute for the nicotine found in vapes and cigarettes. But here is the problem with using them instead of finding a permanent solution to avoiding nicotine withdrawal: To begin with, many “therapies” are merely delivering nicotine in another form, like gum, or patches. But that isn’t getting rid of the addicts’ need for nicotine because they are still getting nicotine, often more than what is delivered from their vapes or cigarettes.

Another way folks try to block out nicotine withdrawal is by using something to substitute in place of the cigarette in hopes that, over time the urges will go away, and they won’t then need the substitution. But that is not the way it works, unfortunately. When people train their minds and bodies to replace their need for nicotine with something else, such as sugar, caffeine, a run around the block, a bag of Cheetos, or even a bag of celery – all they are doing is transferring their dependence from nicotine to another substance or behavior. “Well, that can’t be so bad. You don’t get cancer from running around the block!” And while that is true, what happens when the person can’t run around the block, or have access to more Cheetos or whatever they have now grown a dependency upon? They have no skills or tools for dealing with their urges to return to nicotine. They merely have learned to block them out. Without any skills, they go back to the original fix, and end up having become a fat smoker.

So how to deal with nicotine withdrawal? What to expect and how to deal with it effectively? The good news is that nicotine withdrawal is a temporary experience if approached correctly. It will not last for the rest of the addict’s life, even though the addict’s mind may try to convince themselves of that to stop trying. Most of the nicotine leaves the body within 48 hours from stopping cold turkey. (It is recommended to stop cold turkey because to do it slowly merely prolongs the withdrawal, and the mind’s obsession for nicotine.) After the first two days, there will still be traces of nicotine to shed from the body, but these traces are quite small compared with what leaves within the first 48 hours. But most people fight the discomfort of nicotine withdrawal and in doing so, they make the experience much worse. On top of withdrawing they are unsuccessfully attempting not to feel what they are feeling physically and emotionally and they grow tired from the fight. Have you ever heard, “What you resist, persists!?”

Nicotine withdrawal has mostly to do with the psychological dependency. It is what goes on between the addict’s two ears that needs support! “It’s my best friend! I can’t live without it! It’s too hard! I like it! “It’s the emotional attachment that needs to be uncovered, explored, redirected with compassion, and retrained for lasting results. The fact is many folks have stopped smoking or vaping and undergone the initial phase of nicotine withdrawal only to go back to smoking after a period of time. It wasn’t the physical craving that took them back. It’s the attachment that nicotine brings with it. That is the challenge for long term recovery.

If this resonates with you, I urge you to contact me for a free consultation to learn how this five-day, no-nonsense, revolutionary approach will get you the lasting success to get on the other side of nicotine withdrawal once and for all. You will be supported for 90 days from the day you quit at the level you want. This works! It really does.

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