7 Unexpected Side Effects Of Quitting Smoking

Quitting smoking has so many benefits, such as the fact that your health will greatly improve, you’ll save a boat-load of money, and you won’t smell like a walking ashtray to others (even if you don’t currently notice it yourself). But there will be initial negative side effects; most know that you’ll get mood swings, and be constantly craving nicotine, but there are also side effects that aren’t very common that are worth knowing about and preparing for, such as…


You’re likely to get headaches when you quit smoking because of the increased levels of blood flow to your brain where it’s getting more oxygen than it was when you were smoking. Relaxation exercises can help with this, just as much as reducing the level of noise to your ears.



The slowing of intestinal movements can lead to both constipation and flatulence as your body adjusts to not receiving its nicotine fix. Be sure to eat plenty of fibre and things should be working properly again in no time.

Cold symptoms

Sneezing, earache, a sore throat and looking a little off-colour can all occur when you’re quitting smoking, and this is your body’s way of beginning the cleansing process – removing the toxins associated with cigarettes away from your body. Drink plenty of fluids and these symptoms shouldn’t last for too long.



Whilst many wrongly believe that smoking can improve their mood and assist with issues such as anxiety and depression, it’s actually the opposite; smoking has long been linked to mental health issues, so it’s not uncommon to feel a little blue, or even over-anxious, when you quit smoking. It’s just the withdrawal that’s making you feel nervous and anxious, and it will pass – you’ll find that you’re less anxious than ever when you get through the withdrawal and come out the other end.


You may not realise it, but whilst you were smoking you were lessening your sensory functions, mainly your sense of taste and smell. When you begin to go through the withdrawal process, firstly your stomach can get upset which can cause nausea, but also with your senses heightened more than you’re used you’ll be picking up on smells you wouldn’t normally have picked up on. This will settle down and you’ll soon learn to love your heightened taste and smelling abilities.


Vivid dreams

Serotonin production in the brain can lead to a happy, healthy life. Smoking however depletes the serotonin levels and functionality in your brain by up to 50%, giving the brain an alternative chemical to thrive on. When you quit smoking and your brain stops receiving this chemical, it overcompensates by producing more serotonin that you need, leading to vivid dreams and sometimes nightmares. This should last no more than three weeks, with the brain being known to regular serotonin levels in less than three weeks.


It’s quite common to find that you’re sweating more than usual when you quit smoking, this is largely due to your body detoxifying and ridding itself of the chemicals you’ve put it into it over the years.


It’s worth noting that most side effects will appear within the first 24 hours and will typically stick around for about a week – they can last longer, obviously – but keep in your head why you’re quitting and you’ll be able to get through it. And if you find that you the withdrawal symptoms and side effects get too much and you puff on another cigarette, just get straight back on the horse and keep at it. It’ll all be worth it in the end.

Found in Health Awareness