//When you Quit Smoking – What day is the Hardest?
When you Quit Smoking – What day is the Hardest? 2018-04-16T16:13:03+00:00

When you Quit Smoking – What day is the Hardest?

What day is the Hardest?

Quitting smoking is not easy, as anyone who has tried can attest. The first week is for sure difficult as nicotine is in your system the most, but if you can get through it, you may be able to conquer quitting. However, which exact day is the hardest? Let’s take a look.

The First Week

That first day is probably the easiest one. Tons of people quit for just a day all the time. They mean to go the distance but trying to get through the second and third days are torture, comparatively speaking.

quitting smoking

Your body is still full of nicotine and not craving much on the first day. You are going to feel the pull of the habit, as your mind and body are not used to the change, but actual withdrawal symptoms will not take hold until the second or third day.

Moreover, it is those days that are the hardest on your physical cravings. Your body is going to feel the need for nicotine, and it will go into a state where your body will try to cope with the changes that are happening. Your fingers will shake, your mind will be restless and edgy, and you will crave your cigarettes more than ever.

You have to keep in mind that this is just a temporary craving. The cravings come and go, and the feeling will not persist the entire day. If you can just get through each wave of craving, you will be able to conquer it.

The cravings will be different for everyone though. Some people will have no problem with the first couple of days. They will coast right through and be able to quit just fine. They will need a lot of support and willpower to resist the urges.

However, once you get through that first week, it is not all easy sailing from there. You still have a tough road ahead of you if you are serious about quitting.


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The Second Week

You will feel the mental cravings very strongly in the first week, and they will likely become even stronger by the second week. By this point, a lot of the nicotine has left your body, and it is mostly your mental state being affected. Your body may not need the cigarettes as badly, as you are shaking will likely have gone away almost completely at that point. However, your mind will feel the need to have a cigarette.

You will likely be hungry and have specific food cravings, particularly for sweets. It is okay to give into those cravings a little. You want to fight the stress you will be feeling, and some sweet food can help with that.

You will be in a constant fight with your mind during the second week, so you need to keep distracted. You can go to places you have not been before or visit old friends. Just try to keep your mind off the smoking and avoid the triggers that make you want to go back to it. Also, you can check out some tips and tricks here to help you.

The symptoms vary from person, and they depend on how long you were smoking for and how heavily you smoked. Basically, the more smoking you did before you quit, the harder it will be to quit, but once again, your personality and willpower play a big part in how well you will cope.

If you find yourself doing particularly poorly, make sure you get some support; talk to friends or join a quit smoking community to find the support you need to keep you going. If you spend a lot of time alone, then the cravings may be worse and giving into temptation maybe easier, so find a hobby to keep your mind off it.

Breaking the Habit

They say it takes as long to break a habit as you spent forming it, with that in mind you could be fighting a long time, but at a certain point it will become much easier, and the cravings will subside faster and be much weaker.

After the first two weeks, your constant cravings will probably start to subside. You may still get some occasional strong cravings, but the worst of it is likely over. By the four week mark, if you have managed to stay mostly smoke-free that long, then your chances of conquering the habit are extremely good. Congratulations, you earned it.

48 Comments

  1. Al mintz
    Al mintz December 6, 2017 at 5:24 pm - Reply

    Smoking 58 yrs started to cut back 1 yr ago. Down to 1/2 pack then a week ago started with nicotine transfer patch. On day 7 having bad day but I keep telling myself. It will pass. God will see me through.

    • Natalie Vazquez
      Natalie Vazquez January 5, 2018 at 4:31 pm - Reply

      Keep going don’t give up

    • Anita Joan Carter
      Anita Joan Carter January 6, 2018 at 7:16 pm - Reply

      Oh my.58 yrs for u
      I’ve smoked 61 years..but Iexperienced warning signs so I quit 9 days ago..

    • Kim
      Kim January 7, 2018 at 11:54 pm - Reply

      This is my first week and it’s been tough. Using nicotine gum vaping a bit. Started an exercise challenge which I hope will help.

  2. Valerie
    Valerie December 7, 2017 at 1:41 am - Reply

    Day 3 for me. I’ve smoked 48 years. This is rough. My motivation is saving the money for an extra house payment. Ouch! Bad day. Bad, BAD day.

    • Natalie Vazquez
      Natalie Vazquez January 5, 2018 at 4:30 pm - Reply

      U can do it!!!!

    • Jason
      Jason January 6, 2018 at 7:31 am - Reply

      I hope you are still smoke free Valerie. Day 8 and your comment is encouraging.

      • Jeff
        Jeff January 10, 2018 at 8:43 pm - Reply

        Day 6….today!!! I hope it gets easier…

  3. Sambit
    Sambit December 24, 2017 at 12:04 pm - Reply

    Thanks for your article. It was really helpful. I am trying to quit smoking. Thank you once again.

  4. Sajid
    Sajid December 29, 2017 at 8:25 am - Reply

    Hi there,
    I’m 24 and had been gone cold turkey 4 to 5 times before this but could not quit. Now I am again trying and this is the first time in my life that I’ve been passing through the tough waves of craving. It is just in our mind that we can not make fun without having a puff of cigarette.
    It was the 3rd day of going cold turkey, I just bought a cigarette to switch it and just broken it. It was the hardest time for me. Now I just don’t even like to see someone smoking.

  5. Richard lord
    Richard lord January 1, 2018 at 11:08 pm - Reply

    Me too. Crashed me car on motorway during coughing fit (got a cold).
    Decided after 40 years time to kick it into touch.
    Not easy, but it is straightforward?!! Good luck each.

  6. Jay
    Jay January 2, 2018 at 10:14 pm - Reply

    Chantix
    Been smoke free 2 1/2 months.
    Bad dreams and you get swelling early on but worked threw it.

  7. Jessie
    Jessie January 3, 2018 at 6:25 am - Reply

    Smoking for 35 years, I quit on New Years day 2018 – I am using the Nicotine patch and it’s helping me a great deal. I Just tuned 50 on Dec 16th – and I am focused with my journey of a smoke free life. So far it has been a pretty easy process, I am thinking to remove the nico patch in a few days and go “solo” with this nicotine patch going into my blood cells , not feeling it being as rewarding to my body – what do you think, is it wise to remove the patch that soon?

    Jesse A.

    • Rebecca
      Rebecca January 12, 2018 at 4:39 pm - Reply

      Jesse,
      I am 43 and quit after 10 years smoking 1.5 packs. I felt the same way, getting rid of the nicotine patch but day 3-5 were tough. Now I am on day 7 and having headaches and wondering if it’s from the patch. But I want to get myself off of the Nicotine all together. Any suggestions????

  8. Suzie
    Suzie January 5, 2018 at 2:55 am - Reply

    41 years smoking, decided to quit cold turkey Jan 1, actually red vine locomotive are wonderful as well as footsie pops, I think I’m doin altitude had 2 notes toss in and turn in but I’m gonna beat this I want to stay I’ve 30 more years, I’m 58 now,We Can Do Thiz

  9. Maria Worboys
    Maria Worboys January 5, 2018 at 1:52 pm - Reply

    5 days for me cold turkey very edgey but think I can do this

  10. Bruce
    Bruce January 5, 2018 at 7:23 pm - Reply

    40 years of smoking. My Motivation, I got a private audition for the Voice TV Show! I’m on day 4. and its Horrible. But I just keep thinking of the opportunity. I am singing better than ever. I have never known singing without smoking.

  11. Jason
    Jason January 6, 2018 at 7:28 am - Reply

    Day 8 and first full day without nicorette lozenges. Cravings are in full swing. I have been smoking about 30 years. I know in my heart if I don’t quit smoking cigarettes they will kill me. Remind yourselves as the journey is not easy, but failure can cost you dearly.

  12. Sammy
    Sammy January 7, 2018 at 8:07 am - Reply

    25 years old 1 year clean and sobre, but on day 7 without a smoke. Cold turkey no gum or patch..Smoked for 10 years 3/4 a pack a day. Mind is thinking about relapse ( not just cigs)when im not kept busy… craving sugar… edgy/angry at times…ill be fine God has got me this far. Comes in waves that are fewer and further apart since day 4

  13. Ashley
    Ashley January 9, 2018 at 12:23 pm - Reply

    Day 9 of no smoking for me. Cravings are still intense especially when I’m stressed. I do have an awesome support group at work though. We decided to all quit together.

  14. Kathi
    Kathi January 11, 2018 at 12:35 am - Reply

    Did pretty good quitting cold turkey … until day 14 and 15! Having a horrible time… panic attacks… crying and anger outbursts! This is awefull!! Don’t know if I can hold on!!

    • Susan
      Susan February 20, 2018 at 6:22 pm - Reply

      Hi Kathi…Its my 15th day and like you its horrible. Some days I take it 15 min at a time. I know all I need is one puff and its over. We can do this….don’t give up

    • anita
      anita April 16, 2018 at 12:58 pm - Reply

      I am on day 13 and it’s by far my worst day, determined not to give in though. I too have had an angry outburst and was within seconds of going off to buy a packet of cigarettes but found my vype and now I am confident I will get to day 14 and onwards. One day at a time.

  15. Melanie
    Melanie January 12, 2018 at 5:49 pm - Reply

    I turn 40 this year. Been smoking pretty much since I was 17. Quit with pregnancies but then go back to it when I’m done breastfeeding. I had a very heavy habit. Been trying to have another baby for a long time and decided I have to really quit smoking if it’s ever going to happen. I’m on day 19..and it sucks! Craving are gone, but I feel so empty and depressed. Like I lost my best friend.

    • Jane
      Jane February 19, 2018 at 4:16 pm - Reply

      I hope you didn’t give in 🙁

    • Gloria
      Gloria February 19, 2018 at 9:31 pm - Reply

      You are the first person I’ve read about that’s said they feel like they lost their best friend. I am only on day 5 without smoking. I have Chantix and the patch but still am craving terribly. I work through the week. This weekend was my first weekend at home without smoking. Like you said, I feel so empty and depressed and like I lost my best friend. I am in my own home but it’s like I don’t know what to do with myself.

      • Pamela Z Hemminger
        Pamela Z Hemminger April 20, 2018 at 11:15 am - Reply

        I know how you feel I’m on chaotix I’m on my 5 day of not smoking I’m not doing to bad other then the bad dreams and headaches and I miss my best friend (cigarette) you can do it keep thinking off all the positives of not smoking I wish you well

    • SHERRY HAMBY
      SHERRY HAMBY February 22, 2018 at 5:23 pm - Reply

      I feel your pain on the loss of a best friend part I really don’t think non smokers understand at all …

    • Stacy
      Stacy February 25, 2018 at 8:57 pm - Reply

      Feeling the same way im on day 4 today

  16. Shawn
    Shawn January 12, 2018 at 11:13 pm - Reply

    Day 3 cold turkey. I smoked for 26 yrs. I moved out of state 7 months ago. Nobody in my house smokes & I was 1 out of the 2 people who smoked @my job. I have cravings, but it feels good to be free. I don’t want to be a slave to nicotine again.

    • Matt
      Matt February 20, 2018 at 1:58 pm - Reply

      Hi, want to know how your doing? I’m day 4 and it’s still hard. I read stuff that says just get through day 3 and your home free but it’s still tough

  17. Eddie
    Eddie January 13, 2018 at 5:21 am - Reply

    On day 7 without smoking. I have decided to follow the cold turkey method.
    I am snooring like hell and have developed blood circulation problems.
    Right now, phlegm has subsided and breathing has improved a lot. Blood circulation has also improved judging from strong erection in the mornings which was not happing in the past.
    I am strongly motivated by these developments. I will fight harder to quit for good.

  18. Kim
    Kim January 13, 2018 at 1:05 pm - Reply

    Day 4.. I been smoking for 5 years.. God got me.. Withdrawl is kicking my butt.. Anxiety is taking it’s toil on my body.. But i will not stop. I will take control of my body.. God get ready to keep blessing me.. I can’t do this without you❤

  19. Jane
    Jane February 19, 2018 at 4:18 pm - Reply

    I’m on day 7 smoke free, using patches and mouth spray. Smoked since I was 13 I’m nearly 25 now… really struggling though any small thing can make me explode and I’m always angry and find myself wanting to be left alone a lot of the time! Really feel like giving up but I can’t because I’m doing so good! Any advice?

  20. Matt
    Matt February 20, 2018 at 2:15 pm - Reply

    I smoked for 17 years at least a pack a day most the time pack and a half. I am quitting for numorous reasons, I know God has a hand in my life and I believe he is guiding me. I enjoy smoking, but I hate the smell, and what its doing to me. My wife and daughter hate it and beg me to quit. I don’t really know why I chose the day I did, but it was like I had half a carton and just decided I’m done. My wife left for the weekend to go see her parents and she took our daughter. It’s just been me, I can eat anything I want sleep as much as I want, but I just can’t smoke. It’s day 4 cold turkey and its not been as bad as I thought, but not as easy as I’d hoped. I just learned that this is lent and I had no idea what lent was until researching, which honestly just gave me more strength to push on cause it affirmed that God is really in tfhe details. Seems the cravings are not as intense today as they have been in the last 3. Its mainly a fight with my mind, convincing myself I really don’t like smoking. I know for me reading blogs that talk about how hard it is after week 2 is far from encouraging. I’m on day 4 though and it’s getting easier.

  21. coos
    coos February 22, 2018 at 5:31 am - Reply

    Day 2

  22. Matt
    Matt February 22, 2018 at 1:16 pm - Reply

    I’m on day 6 cold turkey. DAY 3 AND 4 WERE the hardest, it is getting easier to say no to those cravings, thank God. I did not think I was going to make it. I smoked 17 years a pack a day to a pack and a half. I inhaled them deep in my lungs also, started to get worried with certain symptoms and had to give them up. I’m on my 34 and I have a 7 year old little girl I want to see grow up.

  23. SHERRY HAMBY
    SHERRY HAMBY February 22, 2018 at 5:21 pm - Reply

    Just began my quit smoking Challenge a lil over Four days Anexity level is what’s killing me if I could conquer that I’d be good

  24. ashraf
    ashraf February 24, 2018 at 11:51 am - Reply

    i am an indian started smoking at 29 years age when i went to saudi arabia for a job. first started 1 cigorete a day – then it incresed to 2 /day

    now i am 43 years old , still in saudi arabia, when the govt increased cigerete price alsmost double – two month ago i reduced the in take to 1 cigerote 2 time a day ( 1 cigorete cut 2 pcs and use ) –

    i found it difficult so i quit it completely 3 days ago

  25. Ram
    Ram February 27, 2018 at 3:51 am - Reply

    It’s 16 days I left smoking….the hardest days are 4,5,6,7 days. In my view, keep busy to your self by light physical work… eg in garden, kitchen, washing clothes, …. if you become involved in mental work it would be very tough….do extra from your daily work… if you involve in daily work you mind keep you telling it’s break time for smoking…

  26. Osvaldo Roman
    Osvaldo Roman February 27, 2018 at 9:51 am - Reply

    Day 3 and i almost bought a pack but instead i order lots food and felt better but still the cravings are bad and people please dont use patches you dont need that crap cold turkey its the way to go

  27. Rob
    Rob March 1, 2018 at 6:31 am - Reply

    Day 3 and very tough but doable. Got the 14mg patch. I thought day 2 was bad. Whew. I hanging on.

  28. Rob
    Rob March 1, 2018 at 6:33 am - Reply

    What a great challenge. I can smell again. I am breathing better. I don’t stink like an ashtray!!

  29. Lisa
    Lisa March 2, 2018 at 3:38 pm - Reply

    Day 2….after 30 years of smoking. If it’s going to get harder….arrrrrgggghhhhhhh
    Feeling anxiety, irritability, even confusion….what the hell were in those cigarettes??!!

    • Rose
      Rose March 29, 2018 at 10:37 pm - Reply

      You can do it. Learn the breathing techniques when anxiety is attacking you. I know it’s not easy. if you need to cry then cry.

  30. Mayank
    Mayank March 3, 2018 at 12:02 pm - Reply

    Read this article it seems the author is paid by tobacco companies i would suggest u folks just read allen carr’s “Easy way to stop smoking”truat me friwnds its not hard to quit if u juat change ur frame of mind just read the book for that once .

  31. Ryan H
    Ryan H March 7, 2018 at 4:06 am - Reply

    Hi. I am 36 hours smoke free in 30 seconds…….there it is. Anyway it’s not been as hard as I was anticipating. Don’t get me wrong it is not a walk in the park by any means. I take walks in the mornings, (coffee and cigarette time) on work breaks. Lots and lots of mints, and chewing on straws. Im going cold turkey I quit last Thursday March 1st quit for 30 hours and was a grouchy prick. However I fell off Friday afternoon and smoked a pack that weekend. Quit again on monday. I WAS a pack a day smoker for many years. Im 32 and have smoked since I was 15. In a few more years I will have been a nonsmoker for longer than a smoker agin…You can all do this we can all do this! I’m pulling for all of you chin up take it one minute, hour, day or wherever you are on your journey!

  32. Dori
    Dori March 30, 2018 at 3:35 am - Reply

    Day 16!! I feel confident in saying that I’m now a non smoker! Day 3,4,14,15,16 hardest! Day 3 & 4 was due to nicotine withdrawal; but I feel like day 14, 15 and 16 are mental battles caused by being out of wack with old habits. Either way, it is easier to work through symptoms when you know that they’ll soon pass. I have gained a few pounds, but I’ll work to get it off. Don’t give up guys! We can do this!

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