how long does it take to get over cigarette addiction

How Long Does It Take To Get Over Cigarette Addiction?

Last Updated: Tue, January 23, 2024

If you want to quit smoking, one of the first questions you'll probably have is, "How long does it take to get over cigarette addiction?" 

The great news is that whether you've been smoking for a long time or not, your body will begin to heal from the addiction's effects—even after years of neglect.

This post explains cigarette addiction and what happens when you stop smoking. It also answers the question: How long does it take to get over cigarette addiction?

What Is Cigarette Addiction? 

Cigarettes and other tobacco products contain an addictive chemical called nicotine. Nicotine is a substance with a wide range of effects on your body, including your brain.

Nicotine enters your body and reaches your brain within 10 seconds. It causes the brain to release adrenaline. This produces a pleasant and energetic buzz. 

However, the buzz dissipates rapidly. After this, you can feel sleepy or depressed, but you'll crave that rush again.

Because your body might develop a high tolerance to nicotine, you'll need to smoke more cigarettes to achieve the same high. This up-and-down pattern repeats itself. Addiction develops as a result of this.

Cigarette addiction or nicotine addiction affects 80–90% of those who smoke on a daily basis.

What Happens When You Stop Smoking? 

When you stop smoking, your body undergoes a series of positive changes. Your pulse rate and blood pressure will drop in 20 minutes. 

Carbon monoxide levels in your body will also return to normal after 12 hours. Your circulation improves after a few weeks, and you stop coughing or wheezing as much.

However, some horrible things happen right away as well. When you stop smoking, you’ll experience the following common signs and symptoms of nicotine withdrawal:

●      Anxiety

●      Irritability

●      Headache

●      Trouble sleeping

●      Fatigue

●      Hunger

According to studies, the average smoker begins to experience withdrawal symptoms within an hour of putting out their last cigarette. Within the first three hours, you may experience worry, depression, and difficulty concentrating.

It is intense but brief, even if it doesn't feel like it at the time. Nicotine withdrawal symptoms also normally peak three days after stopping and linger around two weeks.

Moreover, it becomes a little easier after you've made it through the first few weeks.

How Long Does It Take To Get Over Cigarette Addiction? 

Nicotine takes 72 hours to leave your body after you stop smoking. Furthermore, the withdrawal symptoms you experience will appear two to three days after you quit. 

These symptoms normally continue for one to three months after you quit smoking. However, some symptoms, such as poor energy and irritation, may take longer to disappear than others.

Any successful smoking program must account for the said adjustment period. This is the regular time it takes for your nicotine receptors to return to normal.

As a result, rather than quitting cold turkey like in some cases of cocaine users, some doctors recommend weaning off nicotine gradually. 

In a nutshell, many people who want to quit smoking will start to feel better within a week. They will also likely be free of all symptoms after three months.

In terms of nicotine withdrawal symptoms, this average holds true for all sorts of smokers, both heavy and light. Hence, don't fall into the trap of believing it's too late to quit. It takes an average of 3 months for people to recover from cigarette addiction. 

So, if you’ve been asking how long does it take to get over cigarette addiction, the answer is three months. 

However, please take note that this is the average period. This means that your recovery period might not be the same. It might take you less or more than three months to recover. 

What Can I Do About Nicotine Cravings After I Quit? 

Tobacco users become accustomed to having a specific level of nicotine in their bodies. 

When you stop smoking, your body develops cravings for nicotine. This can happen even if your body isn't addicted to nicotine anymore. 

When you witness individuals smoking or are around other triggers, you may develop a psychological urge to use a tobacco product in addition to the physical craving. In addition, when you have cravings, your mood may shift. Your pulse rate and blood pressure may rise as well. 

But take heart, because the desire to smoke will pass. You may begin to have cravings an hour or two after your last tobacco use. Plus, you may have them on a regular basis for the next few days or weeks. 

Fortunately, the cravings will become more distant as time passes. You may, however, experience moderate cravings months or years after quitting.

Here are some suggestions for dealing with cravings:

●      Ask your doctor about different medicines or try nicotine replacement products.

●      Remember that your urge to smoke will pass.

●      Avoid circumstances and activities that you previously associated with cigarette use. 

●      Try chewing on carrots, pickles, apples, celery, sugarless gum, or hard candy instead of smoking. Keeping your mouth occupied may help you avoid the psychological urge to smoke.

●      Try the following exercise: Breathe deeply through your nose and slowly exhale through your mouth. Repeat for 10 times more.


If you’ve been asking how long does it take to get over cigarette addiction, it takes three months on average. 

Plus, know that there’s no shame in looking for help if you or your loved ones are struggling with cigarette addiction. The right treatment plan, proper support system, and a sobriety app like I Am Sober can also help.

I Am Sober is a free app that helps you get some control back in your life.

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