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How Long Will It Take To Recover From Nicotine Dependence & How Long Does The Symptoms Last?

Time to recover from nicotine dependence varies from person to person and is affected by various factors. Some people who can manage withdrawal symptoms effectively recover earlier than other people.

How Long Will It Take To Recover From Nicotine Dependence?

How Long Will It Take To Recover From Nicotine Dependence?

Nicotine is a highly addictive substance. This substance is found in tobacco. The substance enters the body while smoking. Once the body gets adapted to nicotine, quitting smoking is quite tough. Once the person tries to quit smoking, he may experience nicotine withdrawal symptoms. Various factors affect the length of time required for nicotine dependence. These factors include:

Managing Withdrawal Symptoms: Time for recovery form nicotine dependence depends upon the severity of withdrawal symptoms. It also depends on managing the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal. Various treatment options are available for managing these symptoms. The patient with a positive response to these treatments has a shorter recovery period.

Avoiding Situations Of Smoking: Person who can avoid situations that trigger the urge of smoking will have shorter recovery period1. The urge of smoking worsens the withdrawal symptoms.

The Extent Of Dependence: More severe the extent of dependence to nicotine, longer would be the recovery period. The person is not asked to avoid smoking at once as this may cause severe withdrawal symptoms. Quitting of smoking is done by gradually reducing the frequency of smoking.

Efficacy Of Treatment: Various treatment options are available that aids in quit smoking and also manages withdrawal symptoms. The overall recovery rate depends upon the response of a particular patient towards treatment. The patient with good response has a faster recovery.

Genetics: Genetics also plays an important role in recovery from nicotine dependence. People with a certain type of genetic variations are more sensitive to nicotine concentration. Such people require extended time for recovery.

Reorganizing Brain Pathway: Brain has to reorganize itself when a certain type of mental path is blocked and new behavior is introduced. The person who is quickly able to reorganize the brain have a shorter recovery period.

How Long Does The Symptoms Last?

Length of nicotine dependence withdrawal symptoms varies from person to person. Person experience both physical as well as physiological withdrawal symptoms. Some experiences more physical effects of withdrawal than others. Generally, the withdrawal symptoms start appearing after almost 4-24 hours after giving-up smoking1. The symptoms are worse for the initial three days. The symptoms start subsiding gradually within 4 weeks. Psychological effects last longer than physical effects.

Nicotine Withdrawal Symptoms

Quitting smoking is a good initiative for a better life. Within days of quit, the body starts the process of revitalization. But all the good things about quitting come at a cost. This cost is in the form of Nicotine withdrawal symptoms. The patient experiences varying the severity of these symptoms. Some of the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal are:

Dizziness: Smoking increases blood pressure by increasing dopamine and adrenaline. When people quit smoking, blood pressure falls2. This results in a hypotension-like situation which results in dizziness.

Cravings: Controlling craving is an essential part of quitting the program. Cravings usually last for less than 5 minutes. The best way to suppress craving is to busy yourself in some other kinds of stuff.

Irritability And Anxiety: Person may feel irritated and anxious during quitting. The effect may be increased because of caffeine. The person should halve the amount of caffeine to feel better.

Psychological Symptoms: Person who quit smoking experiences a lot of psychological symptoms. These symptoms may be mood swings, low mood, and difficulty in concentrating.

Insomnia: Sleep cycle of the person also gets disturbed. The person may have difficulty sleeping or waking episodes during the night.

Changes In Appetite: Smoking suppresses appetite. After the quit, the person feels hungrier. Best way to manage hunger is to drink sufficient amount of water and to eat fresh fruits.


Symptoms of nicotine withdrawal start appearing 4-24 hours after quitting. Symptoms worsen on day 3 and after that, they start alleviating. Various management techniques are available to effectively manage withdrawal symptoms.


Also Read:

Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Sheetal DeCaria, M.D. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:January 16, 2024

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