Quitting Cigarettes While in Early Recovery
The Food and Drug Administration published a report that suggests roughly 70 percent of all smokers in the United States over the age of 18 want to quit. Roughly 55 percent of smokers had attempted to quit within the past year, and only 7 percent were successful in doing so. When you first quit nicotine, the physical body will begin to go through withdrawal. The more common symptoms associated with nicotine withdrawal include insomnia and other sleep related issues, irritability, anxiety, and increase in appetite, difficulty concentrating and temporary feelings of depression. While these symptoms can be uncomfortable and disruptive to day-to-day life, they generally only last for three or four weeks and then go away entirely. If you are attempting to quit, it is important that you are aware of your personal triggers – nicotine can have relapse triggers, just the same as your substance of choice. For example, if you were a heavy drinker you might feel triggered when playing pool at a local dive bar or going to a restaurant that you used to get drunk at during happy hour. The same goes for cigarettes. Perhaps you used to smoke while enjoying a cup of coffee first thing in the morning. Because of this, drinking coffee can prove to be triggering. Be aware of your personal triggers, and develop a range of techniques that will effectively help you stave off your cravings.
This is not to say that you have to quit smoking cigarettes. It comes highly recommended that individuals who are new to recovery avoid making any major changes within their first year of sobriety – this includes quitting cigarettes. If you feel that attempting to quit will do more harm than good, allow yourself a break and commit to quitting once you have worked through the 12 steps and once you feel more stable in your sobriety. When it comes to quitting nicotine in early recovery, there are several pros and cons. We have compiled a list of these pros and cons – feel free to make your own, and reach out to Immersion Recovery Center if you have any additional questions.