Quitting smoking may cause short-term problems, especially for those who have smoked a large number of cigarettes for a long period of time:
- Feeling sad or anxious: People who quit smoking are likely to feel depressed, anxious, irritable, and restless, and may have difficulty sleeping or concentrating.
- Gaining weight: Increased appetite is a common withdrawal symptom after quitting smoking, and studies show that people who quit smoking increase their food intake. Although most smokers gain less than 10 pounds, for some people the weight gain can be troublesome. Regular physical activity can help people maintain a healthy weight.
Depression, anxiety, restlessness, weight gain, and other problems are symptoms of nicotine withdrawal. Many people find that nicotine replacement products and other medicines may relieve these problems. However, even without medication, withdrawal symptoms and other problems do subside over time. It helps to keep in mind that people who kick the smoking habit have the opportunity for a healthier future.