Duration and symptoms – how to quit smoking

nervous chewing of fingernails due to nicotine withdrawal

Smoking cessation: this is how it finally works!


Smoking cessation is a difficult process. If current studies are to be believed, the tendency for people to use cigarettes will drop from currently 18 million to 16 million people in Germany by 2025. And that’s just as well. After all, we all know the negative effects of smoking and nobody wants bad teeth, yellow fingers or the worse effects of smoking.

But in order to be able to quit smoking, one should first deal with the basics of smoking cessation. And that’s exactly what I want to do in the following text.

Duration & symptoms of smoking cessation


A nicotine cessation usually only takes 2-3 days, then at least the nicotine from the body and the physical dependency is overcome. It looks worse with psychological addiction, it lasts much longer and is more difficult to overcome. An exact duration cannot be given, as this is different for every person.

Smoking cessation symptoms also show up differently in each person. Often, however, there are inner restlessness, nervousness, high irritability, insomnia and fatigue.

Different ways to quit nicotine


At the beginning of your smoking cessation, you have to make a clear decision that you want to finally stop smoking. This is also the most important step, because no one can make this decision for you. The desire to quit must come “from within”. Relaxation, exercise, social contacts and / or a smoke-free environment can only improve your chances.

You should also think how you will deal with a possible relapse and / or any withdrawal symptoms that may occur. There are various treatment options for the latter. There are a number of smoking cessation programs as well as therapy options with nicotine replacement preparations.

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Smoking cessation: Group therapy


Group therapy is a good way to finally get your project through. According to the motto: “It’s easier together”, you can support one another and learn from one another. The chances of quitting smoking can thus be significantly increased. The positive “social pressure” that arises is particularly helpful in therapy in a group, i.e. the support from the other participants.

Unfortunately, such therapy is not cheap. A 5 to 10 hour course costs between $150 and $300 on average. In most cases, however, a subsidy can be applied for from the health insurance company if it is a certified health offer. Depending on the health insurance company, $75 to $100 per year, sometimes even the full amount, is reimbursed. In addition, one should keep in mind: The money spent on it has been “saved back” as a non-smoker in just a few months.

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Weaning with nicotine replacement therapy(NRT)


In order to quit smoking you can also resort to so-called nicotine replacement therapy. This means that the nicotine is no longer absorbed through the cigarette, but through another route (e.g. plaster or chewing gum). As soon as you have successfully decoupled yourself from the habit of smoking, you start to reduce your nicotine intake bit by bit every day. The best-known nicotine replacement products are the nicotine patches, nicotine chewing gum, nicotine tablets, nicotine spray, nicotine inhaler and e-cigarette.

nicotine replacement nicorette

Bupropion: With medicinal support to quit smoking


Medicines containing bupropion were originally used to relieve depression. It was noticeable that the desire for a cigarette was reduced in nicotine-dependent patients and that they suffered less from the withdrawal symptoms from nicotine.

The following symptoms may appear as side effects of bupropion:

  • nausea
  • sleep disorders
  • tremble
  • dry mouth
  • headache
  • dizziness
  • lack of concentration
  • rare: seizures

The side effects often subside as you take it. The addictive potential of bupropion is classified as very low.

Varenicline: an alternative to bupropion


The main advantage of the active ingredient varenicline is that withdrawal symptoms are also reduced during smoking cessation therapy. In addition, the varenicline stops the craving for a cigarette (craving) which usually lasts for about 10 weeks.

Side effects that may occur during treatment with varenicline:

  • headache
  • nausea and vomiting
  • sleep disorders and nightmares
  • dizziness
  • impairment of the ability to drive