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 Adapted from Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) Factsheet Number 11: Stopping Smoking ASH 2007.


Duration    Symptom    Incidence (%)
< 48 hoursLightheadedness    10
< 1 weekSleep disturbance25
< 2 weeksPoor concentration
Craving for nicotine
< 4weeksIrritability or aggression
< 10 weeksIncreased appetite


The 4 'D's

These are suggestions for coping with cravings to smoke and ways to reduce the risk of relapse. Cravings are most frequent in the first few days after quitting.[59]

  1. Drink water slowly holding it in your mouth a little longer to savour the taste  
  2. Deep breathe. Take a long slow breath in and slowly release it out again. Repeat 3 times  
  3. Do something else to take your mind off smoking. Doing some exercise is a good alternative  
  4. Delay acting on the urge to smoke. After 5 minutes the urge to smoke weakens and your resolve to quit will come back

Click here for the IPCRG smoking cessation helper

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