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.

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.


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

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