Withdrawal roller coaster complicates smoking cessation
Despite what cigarette smokers have been led to believe, nicotine withdrawal symptoms do not always fade away.
Instead, they may plague smokers months to years after they thought they had kicked the habit, researchers report. In fact, smokers are as likely to experience significant ups and downs in their withdrawal symptoms as they are to experience the more traditional course of recovery, Timothy Baker from the University of the Wisconsin-Madison Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention, told Reuters Health. Baker and his colleagues have identified several patterns of withdrawal that differ from the conventional withdrawal pattern. Only about half of the smokers who quit see a gradual decline in their symptoms, he said. Many experience a temporary decline, followed by a rise to levels worse than when they first quit. Others encounter symptoms that start out severe and worsen, reaching a plateau after a variable period. Most, he said, experience ups and downs in sync with environmental stressors.