Nicotine withdrawal

Nicotine withdrawal
Nicotine withdrawal
Classification and external resources
ICD-10 F17.2
ICD-9 292.0

Nicotine withdrawal is a term used to describe the effects felt by a person who is nicotine dependent and suddenly stops or significantly reduces his/her nicotine intake. Since smoking cigarettes is the most popular form of nicotine use, the effects of nicotine withdrawal have been most commonly observed in people who are in the process of quitting smoking. Symptoms can include craving cigarettes, becoming irritable, intense headaches and increased blood pressure. Persons who have smoked a higher number of cigarettes or for a longer period of time are more likely to experience these symptoms, although almost all people who try to ‘kick the habit’ suffer some form of withdrawal symptoms from the drug.

When regular smokers quit, they often have strong cravings when they are placed in situations associated in their minds with smoking (e.g., leaving home in the morning, on a coffee break, etc.). The most common symptoms of nicotine withdrawal are impaired concentration, irritability, tension, disturbed sleep or drowsiness, intense longing for a cigarette/nicotine, headaches, and an increased appetite leading to weight gain. Sometimes people can experience nicotine withdrawal when cutting down to light cigarettes or cutting down the number smoked.

See also


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