Quitting smoking using the cold turkey method describes the abrupt manner by which a person completely gives up his addiction to nicotine. Instead of going through the gradual reduction process, the smoker shuns the habit and all that is associated with smoking without using chemical-based replacement. While there are supposed advantages, there are also complaints about the unpleasant effects of quit smoking using the cold turkey method.
- Diarrhea and Constipation – These digestive problems are just some of the effects of quit smoking the cold turkey way while the body adjusts to the on-going digestive changes brought about by the absence of nicotine in it. These problems do not usually occur in the past because cigarettes also serve as diuretic and laxative. Any over-the-counter medication can be used to remedy the problems which a smoker has to endure for only a few days.
- Acid Indigestion or Heartburn – Problems with present acid indigestion can get worse but is bound to eventually disappear. For those who never had indigestion before, they can take deglcyrrhizinated licorice to provide relief whenever they experience such digestive problem. The condition may last from three weeks to three months.
- Nausea – As the most common symptom, it is also the easiest to treat. Taking medications prescribed for flu may help as well as drinking carbonated beverage.
- Gas or Flatulence – Embarrassing as it can be, the symptom can last for many weeks. It is best to avoid foods that produce gas like cabbage or cauliflower.
- Hives – Scientifically termed urticarial, hives is a kind of skin allergy characterized by red welts and itchy bumps that can be easily treated. It is a result of nerve reactions from quitting cold turkey or the sudden detoxification of the body due to nicotine cleansing. The allergy is gone in a matter of week or so.
- Skin Blemishes – Although skin blemishes are common skin problems, they can get worse while the body gets rid of all the toxins caused by smoking. A quitting smoker may experience the sudden appearance of acne, rashes and other skin blemishes during the early stages of nicotine withdrawal. The skin may retain its finer look, though, after a few months.
- Coughs, Phlegm and Throat Clearing – All these are due to the cleaning and clearing of the cilia which are starting to reactivate in the lungs. During this process, the body is ridding itself of the phlegm, tar and other debris that can are ejected out through coughing.
- Sinus Congestion – This symptom may last for two months while the sinuses are being cleared out. Ordinary medication for colds or dripping noses can provide the smoker with the desired relief.
- Hoarseness – This occurs as new tender tissues are being regenerated in the throat. As the symptom persists, take any flavored lozenges or any medication for sore throat as well as hot tea with lemon.
- Short and Gasping Breath – The quitting smoker may always feel like gasping for breath. Smoking has made him used to taking deep breaths to inhale smoke. Take the same deep breaths sans smoke to get the needed amount of air. Allow a few weeks to adjust to the breathing pattern and soon enough the ex-smoker is breathing normally again.
Circulatory Problems include dizziness which is caused by the increased circulation of oxygen into the brain. The body is adjusting to all the extra amount of oxygen being pumped to the brain. With improved circulation come temporary muscle changes that can cause some stiff muscle pains which can be remedied by hot bath or body massage.
Among the effects of quit smoking cold turkey style can be experienced as the ex-smoker sleeps. He may not fall into deep sleep and tend to go into REM (Rapid Eye Movement) state more usual than in the past. New non-smokers mistake these symptoms as bad sleeping condition and may stay awake all night. Eventually, the body gets used to this higher and lighter quality of sleep.
Assertions have been made that quitting smoking the cold turkey way makes one cranky. The truth is, all smoking cessation programs can cause irritability due to the body’s reaction to the absence of nicotine. Smoking is such an entrenched habit that needs much preparation before staging a war against it. If a smoker is dead serious about kicking it, he can employ any program that he believes is most effective. However, there is still the need to detoxify the body before smoking can be actually stopped. Going cold turkey, despite the many effects of quit smoking using the method, is a good jumpstart.