Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Quit smoking side effects

There are a whole host of quit smoking side effects and not all of them are pleasant. Besides the obvious health benefits, there are also a number of side effects associated with withdrawal from nicotine. Coupled to this, if you quit smoking using a medication such as zyban or chantix, you may pick up some other drug related side effects.

The most obvious reason why people quit smoking is for the health benefits but what are they specifically?

Notably, blood pressure, heart rate and lung efficiency all improve very quickly after quitting smoking - in a matter of days. Nicotine levels and carbon monoxide levels in the blood return to natural levels with in a couple of days. These are very positive quit smoking side effects.

Smokers will also develop a much better sense of taste and their breathing may well become easier. However, one frequently reported quit smoking side effect is the amount of coughing some ex-smokers suffer from. In my own experience, I found the first six months to be a rather cough filled period of my life. It was all 'wet' as the cilia (the little hairs in you lungs) got to work clearing 20 years of tar out of my lungs! I also contracted more colds that winter than ever before but that could be for completely different reasons.

Statistical research shows circulation and lung function improve dramatically over the 10 to 15 year period after smokers quit. And quit smoking side effects are all positive in terms of improving life span with lung cancer risk halved over 15 years and heart attack risk halved after just one year.

The side effects associated with Zyban (Wellbutrin or bupropion) and Chantix (Champix or Varenicline) can all be rather unpleasant. Personally, I do not favour the use of drugs if at all possible because I believe quitting smoking is all in your head - but that is another story!

The worst quit smoking side effect associated with Zyban is the likelihood of seizure when taken as part of a quit smoking regimen. The higher the dose the higher the risk and zyban was initially removed from the FDAs approved list after a number of seizures in patients.

Chantix has several minor side effects but in as many as 30% of smokers taking the drug, the therapy must be abandoned due to nausea and vomiting. You understand why I would advise to steer clear if at all possible!

The other quit smoking side effects aside from the positive health benefits and the negative side effects of the two most widely used drug therapies, are to do with nicotine withdrawal itself.

The list of side effects noticed when a person quits smoking is long - some are nice like the improved sense of smell and taste, some are unpleasant. There is the heightened anxiety that comes from trying to quit nicotine. People often have a much shorter temper and are irascible at the slightest thing.

Others include an inability to concentrate or to sleep sometimes compounded by other quit smoking side effects such as postnasal (back of your mouth) drip, sore throat, dry mouth and headache. An insatiable cough can be a big hindrance too!

Intestinal discomfort can also be suffered with increased flatulence, constipation, nausea and cramps being amongst some of the less pleasant side effects. It is recommended that if you are suffering from increased appetite when you quit smoking, eating more fruit and raw vegetables such as carrot or raw cauliflower and drinking plenty of fluids will help your digestion.

There are many, many more perceived quit smoking side effects and everyone suffers a different selection of the wide range - including breaking out in spots like a teenager, sweating profusely, fatigue and tingling extremities!

The downside of all of these quit smoking side effects is that whilst each one is not so bad on its own, the cumulative effect of so many negative side effects act as a trigger to break down your commitment to stop smoking. No matter what the inconvenience of the side effects, they are a small price to pay for the benefits of quitting smoking.

As ever, whatever you do and whichever method you use to quit smoking, never quit trying to quit!

Pete Howells has written the EasyQuit System that will help any smoker quit tobacco. He also blogs quit smoking advice at http://quit-smoking-motivator.blogspot.com Visit http://easyquitsystem.com/ to find out more about his incredible process for quitting smoking that boasts 96% customer satisfaction.