After Quitting

How much weight will I gain?

Well, without meaning to be snide, that rather depends on how much you eat. Smoking is an intense oral stimulant. Remove it, and you’re left wanting to do something with your mouth. Often that involves eating. Water retention is also a problem in the first few weeks, which can add on a few pounds . . .After Quitting Plan to have plenty of gum and low calorie snacks around, and keep drinking water.

When will I be through the withdrawal symptoms?

You should be through the worst of the symptoms after about a week or so. Most of the nicotine in your body will be gone after two or three days, which is when the withdrawal symptoms really kick in. This is when you find out if all those friends and family members who’ve been after you to quit are willing to go the distance!

How long before I stop craving?

The cravings lessen over time, but even ex-smokers who quit years ago sometimes get the urge to smoke. Many smokers slip back into the habit after about three months—not smoking hasn’t become a habit yet, you’re a bit off your guard, and the soothing qualities of a good smoke are still recognized by your body as an antidote to stress and an aid to relaxation.

Will I really feel better?

That’s a toss-up. At first, no. You’ll be too busy dealing with the withdrawal symptoms to feel better! Most people report that their smoker’s cough goes away, or at least lessens, and that they can taste food better. You’re not as likely to suffer as much from bronchial and lung infections, but that doesn’t make you feel better—it prevents you from feeling worse.

What are the odds on lung cancer if I keep smoking?

Pretty good, unfortunately. It’s estimated 87% of lung cancers are directly attributable to smoking. A two-pack-a-day smoker’s about twenty times more likely than a nonsmoker to contract lung cancer.