Skip to content


    Exciting News for WebMD Members!

    We've been busy behind the scenes building new message boards for you. You'll have new and easier ways to find messages, connect with others, and share your stories.

    And, this will all be available on your smartphone or other mobile device!

    What Do You Need to Do?

    The message board you're used to will be closing in the coming weeks. While many of your boards will be making the move to our new home, your posts will not. Want to keep a discussion going? Save posts you want to continue (this includes your member profile story), so that you can re-post them in the new message boards.

    Keep an eye here and on your email inbox, we'll be back in touch soon to give you all the information you need!

    Yours in health,
    WebMD Message Boards Management

    Side effects from quitting smoking?
    amanda2315 posted:
    Has anyone ever had weird side effects from quitting smoking??? Some background info: I am a college student (23 years old) who quit smoking 8 days ago. I have been a smoker for about a decade. The 1st 5 years half a pack, the last 5 years a full pack per day. I started using the nicotine patch again only this time the 14 mg instead of the 21 mg. I wore it for the 1st 4 days but it made my skin itch and burn so I decided to go cold turkey at that point. I have quit smoking in the past once for 3 months, for 40 days another time...only this time I am having some weird effects. At least I think it may be related to quitting since that's when the symptoms showed up...? I am currently uninsured until June when I go back to working I don't want to go to the doctor unless I really need to. Sorry to ramble on and on but here are my symptoms: 1. Almost non-stop heart burn for the past week that wakes me up in the middle of the night. I rarely get heart burn and I have been eating bland foods for the past 3 days but am still getting heart burn! 2. Gas, bloating, and having difficulty having a bowel movement. This has seemed to start subsiding. 3. Feeling my emotions more intensely...whether happy, sad, annoyed, or whatever I happen to be feels a lot stronger. 4. I've gained 5 pounds. I have been eating more...but that seems a bit extreme in only 5 days. The symptoms explained above are concerning me, especially the first one. Have any former smokers also experienced these symptoms upon quitting??? If so, how long did it take the symptoms to subside? On a final note...this time around has seemed easier quitting than in the past in terms of dealing with cravings and temptations. I just need to get to the bottom of why I am experiencing the physical symptoms above that I haven't in the past. Any help is truly appreciated!
    mossolbailongam responded:
    Hi Amanda, weird symptoms seem to be a side effect of quitting smoking. They do pass. It has been recommended that one needs to drink more water to help remove the toxins from smoking and to keep moving when an urge strikes. Hard peppermint candies might help control the gas. Moss
    johnsmotivation responded:
    Gaining five pounds in eight days is a pretty hefty amount. I have the same problem with heart burn at night. I sit up to relieve it too. I take some MOM (Milk of Magnesia) when it becomes unbearable. PEPSID is what I would take if I felt I could not get control of my eating. My problem is that I will end up pigging out at 11 P. M. That just is not enough time to empty the stomach. Try not eating anything for three hours prior to bedtime. What happens is classic acid reflux. You lay down and some of the acidic contents of your stomach washes back up into your esophagus. This is known as GERD (Gastoesophageal Reflux DISEASE). You should really consider talking to your doctor. He alone is most qualified to diagnose what you may be experiencing. God bless. Stay close. Day 48
    FCHS1957 responded:
    Hi, amanda...Welcome! :smile: Glad you're quitting smoking; sorry you're dealing with the heartburn thing. I'm agreeing with John that involving your doc is the best thing...peace of mind is priceless, amanda. :smile: I daresay everybody here can agree that "weird" side effects are part and parcel of quitting nicotine. It's a highly addictive drug whose smoke is full of carcinogenic nasties we're all better off without. Some folks experience lightheadedness (aka "foggy brain") from formerly constricted blood vessels now returning to their healthy state & allowing more oxygen to reach our takes our brains and bodies time to readjust to being "healthy," usually in a few weeks. An increase in oxygen sometimes causes folks to be unusually sleepy for a period of time. Conversely, some experience insomnia...which many times is alleviated by cutting caffeine intake before bedtime. Re the weight gain: Is part of our metabolism returning to its natural on the following link for a great WebMD article re quitting smoking and weight gain: The emotional roller coaster is common, too. Many smokers use cigs to "stuff" their feelings...instead of learning to deal with emotional situations in a healthy, constructive, positive manner they light up instead. Try imagining yourself as a video or audio tape with nicotine recovery as the process of erasing our old, unhealthy, destructive, negative behaviors and retaping ourselves with new, healthy, constructive, positive behaviors. :smile: Yes, it's a big job, but when taken one step, one day/hr/min/sec at a time, it is a job with a reachable goal, an extremely worthwhile goal: Your New Smokefree Lifestyle. :smile::smile: You are on the most awesome journey of your life,'re giving yourself a priceless gift by becoming a smokefree person. Cherish and nurture your gift with all your might. Some have likened becoming smokefree as a miracle...I'm one of those people. To look in the mirror and say (every day) that, "I am watching my smokefree miracle happen" is still a source of wonder and amazement to me. Be sure to read the "Junkie Thinkin'" thread just above for many more tips/suggestions/links, etc. And please post often...your experience helps, supports and encourages others on their own smokefree journeys. :smile: --Still a Grateful Quitter--Walking With All New Quitters--Mary Ann
    c_man2 responded:
    One thing about quitting smokes is it makes everything taste fantastic (most of your described side affects point to food). While I certainly have no room to talk here, I know that cutting back on your serving size would help. Weight loss experts recommend we eat smaller portions but eat more often. I believe the theory is that doing this prevents eating binges and keeps your metabolism at a steady rate. I know that if we ate one huge serving vs 6 smaller amounts that would equal (even) at the end of the day, the huge serving would tend to stick to your backside or tummy (and face and cheeks and and and :sillygrin: ). My guess is that huge servings tend to constipate people (I'm just trying to give something to work with and certainly am not declaring you a overeater). :lightsmile: It is awfully hard to quit eating at a certain time of day but like has been said, eating late is not good. I know when I eat something sweet, I get heartburn - and especially at night. Gaining five pounds in five days was me too. Constipation can be combated by drinking more water and a little more exercise (like walking). Take time to adjust to not smoking. Like it or not, you (and we) prefer to go about life in a certain routine in mind. Not smoking changed us big time and that alone is hard to get used to. Anyhoo, me too, I'm babbling. Good luck, you will make it.
    tbaker13 responded:
    I recently quit smoking and started out with Chantix - I have not smoked in 23 days and stopped taking Chantix 4 days ago. I had some weird symptoms from stopping smoking. The first one that is very irritating is the amount of stinky gas and bowel movements (a lot of them). The second irritating side effect is my wild moods. From extremely happy to extremely irritated, then to extremely despressed. What a roller coaster ride. But not matter what, I will not ever smoke again - it has all been worth all the issues!
    PrincessSunflower7 responded:
    What a great thread you started, Amanda! :wink: Looks to me everyone has ONE major common thing -- none of us would give up our quit for nothing. Everything everyone has said is certainly truth. Each one of us has wrestled with dreadful NIC and kicked butt! :angry: Everything you speak of has happened to us all -- one thing or another. Our bodies have to find the NORMAL balance which has been totally lost since we've been sucking on these sticks. We have these little warriors inside our bodies that have had to FIND a way to FIGHT the smoke we've been putting in -- smoke was never designed to be a part of our original anatomy -- it's unnatural. :wink: Smoking has so many additives in it, which affects every part of our body system, from eating to sleeping, including bowels, stomach and even our mental well being. Our 'natural' self will evolve once again, with time. Be patient and keep your eyes on the prize. Refinement is a process ... in order to get all that 'slag' out of your system. Lots of water, orange juice, fresh veggies .... feed yourself some mental 'food' as well, by meditating, positive self talking and giving yourself a little gift ... maybe a bubble bath and good book. :wink: You are much, much more precious than gold, Amanda, yet gold even has to be processed and refined in order for it to be as beautiful as it is. :wink: By all means, IF things get so tough that you find yourself wanting to run out and buy a pack, do yourself one huge favor first. Pick up the phone and talk it out with a friend, come here and type your concerns or find a hot line number in your city which will help you not cave to this awful addiction. Sending prayers, Amanda. Always, with my most supportive smoke free smile... :smile: Deanie
    mindfulness28 responded:
    Yes!!! I have had the same side effects. I have been smoking for 22 years. I am now smoke free for three months. The intensity of the emotions is troublesome to me too. I would like to know what else is in cigarettes. It has to be more than just the nicotine. I'd also like to know what it does to the cognitive functioning of the brain. We know about the damage to the body. I want to know the damage it does to the brain... Don't go back to smoking. You can do it!!! You are not alone...
    jbnellie476 responded:
    I had that the first time around when I quit cold turkey, then it sub-sided after a few weeks...then sadly started up again from stress and drama...and the heart burn came back with nasty indigestion that killed and nothing would stop it, including stuff like tums and several other brands. Plus gaining weight, but ive heard thats the need to have something in your mouth to replace the cigarette...Other than that...everything youve had seems normal. its just an adjustment like switching medicenes or diets. it takes time to get used to and your body will notice the difference. im still smoking, but its decreasing and as it does those symptoms are too. they arent as bad, and the heart burn and indigestion are both gone. i think it was just the going cold turkey and my body not being ready....but then again everyone is different.
    8Evie responded:
    amanda, I wish you success in overcoming the many problems you are having.As far as the smoking goes I got upset with myself and instead of saying I need to quit ,one day I decided to say ..O K today I will smoke four times and when I do I will have four puffs...then after a week I skipped to three puffs, and you got it :wink: I then went to three..then two and I was really starting to feel good about myself. I then went to one and by this time I realized I could do it. I quit without any medication which I was happy about. The thing I realized was that the psychological addiction was actually worse than the physical one. Watching an old movie where they smoked, or seeing those goofy ads to quit smoking & showing someone smoking (not smart) . Another thing I realized was "not" to be around people who stressed me (that feeling of needing a drag) . You have been given good advise from many people The water is important, even a few swallows helps. Remember things in our bodies go in cycles..feel good , then a few days a month (or more) don't feel so good. Positive thinking really helps and prayer ,if you are so inclined .Try to eat well and care for yourself. Peace of mind to all

    Helpful Tips

    Might glucose help smokers to quit?Expert
    We all know that when you stop smoking your appetite increases, and often people get a particular craving for sweet foods. It seems as ... More
    Was this Helpful?
    21 of 26 found this helpful

    Related Drug Reviews

    • Drug Name User Reviews

    Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.