Smoking Quit

Quitting smoking cold turkey, meaning quitting smoking without the use of medications such as nicotine patches or nicotine gum, can be quite a challenge. People need will power and the support of family and friends in order to stop smoking cold turkey.

Additionally, certain tricks, habits and aids can help people to quit smoking cold turkey.

In this section, we’ll cover all aspects of quitting smoking cold turkey. We’ll provide helpful hints for those quitting and for those helping people to quit. We’ll tell you about alternative quit-smoking aids, and we’ll discuss the withdrawal symptoms and other things that make it difficult to quit smoking cold turkey.

How to Quit Smoking Cold Turkey

Quitting smoking cold turkey doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. Many smokers benefit from the help of those around them, including coworkers, family members and friends.

Additionally, many who decide to quit smoking cold turkey benefit from attending support groups for others who are in the same situation. Knowing that you’re not alone can be very helpful. Also, others who are quitting smoking can give you tips to help you resist cravings and not go back to smoking.

Other things that can help people who are trying to quit smoking include activities that keep the hands and mouth busy. These include:

  • chewing gum
  • knitting or sewing
  • staying busy while doing stationary activities like watching television
  • sucking on lollipops or mints.

Many people return to smoking out of habit or boredom, so keeping the hands and mouth busy and not letting yourself be idle are very helpful in the quitting smoking process.

Many smokers also find it helpful to post literature about the benefits of quitting smoking around their home in places they will see them often. This can reaffirm their goal and keep them reminded of what they have to gain from quitting smoking.

Quit-Smoking Aids: Alternatives

Many people who quit smoking cold turkey rely on alternative methods to help them quit. These can include:

  • acupressure
  • acupuncture
  • hypnosis
  • imagery and visualization
  • laser therapy.

While none of these methods have yet been proven, they are considered effective alternatives by many people.

Quitting Smoking Cold Turkey: Withdrawal

While there are many benefits to quitting smoking cold turkey, withdrawal symptoms can be difficult to overcome. The longer a person has smoked and the more often a person has smoked, the more difficult quitting will be and the more difficult the withdrawal period will be.

Symptoms of withdrawal can include:

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • difficulty concentrating on tasks
  • difficulty sleeping
  • feelings of sadness
  • irritability
  • restlessness
  • weight gain and increased appetite.

Most of these symptoms are actually related to the nicotine in cigarettes and not the cigarettes themselves. This is why many people turn to nicotine replacement products during the quitting process.

However, medications are not necessary to get through the withdrawal period. It’s important to keep busy during this period in order to keep yourself from focusing on withdrawal symptoms. To combat weight gain, increase physical activity during the withdrawal period.


National Cancer Institute (2007). Quitting Smoking. Retrieved December 20, 2007, from the NCI Web site: