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Molly Maloof, MD

Director of Clinical Content

nausea when quitting smoking

It's been a month that I have quitted smoking and I've been experiencing nausea. Could that be a side effect and why? How can I stop it?
  • Male | 46 years old
  • Complaint duration: 5 days
  • Medications: None
  • Conditions: No

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Featured Answer

3 UpVoted this answer
Congratulations, quitting cigarettes is probably the most important thing you can do to improve your future health. There is always a clearing period after quitting wherein you will cough up black crud, feel nauseated, anxious and generally out of sorts. This usually lasts about a month , but since your nausea is continuing, I suggest a spiral CT scan, which is now approved to screen smokers for lung, stomach, throat or esophageal cancers.

You can treat mild nausea with ginger tea, ginger ale, candied ginger and cola syrup. If it persists see your physician. Many patients quit nicotine, only to find that it has been masking their depression, appetite and sleep problems.
2 UpVoted this answer
The brain receptor sites were used to being flooded with nicotine are now without nicotine and therefore you are experiencing withdrawn symptoms secondary to neurotransmitter changes in your brain. Rest, hydration, B vitamins and Omega-3 supplements might help to improve neurotransmitter levels and the symptoms should abate over the next several days. Congratulation on your new journey toward Health.
1 UpVoted this answer
I agree that your symptoms could be related to nicotine withdrawal. My concern is after one month withdrawal symptoms would have likely resolved and other causes need to be explored. Would recommend that you be medically evaluated for these symptoms.
Randy Lamartiniere
1 UpVoted this answer
Fantastic! Good job on quitting smoking. Did the nausea occur right when you stop smoking or was there a latent onset? Knowing that information would be helpful otherwise it could possibly be a detox of fine affect, withdrawal effect if you will of your body dealing with the toxicity of the nicotine and other harmful chemicals. In order to stop it out recommend getting your entire health back to homeostasis or near normal say stop smoking that's fantastic, but what other health issues you still have that need to be addressed? I would recommend going to a functional medicine doctor (ND, DC, D.O., or even MD) will evaluate all the systems in your body looking for cause of your illnesses and then support you with natural methods.
Any symptom is possible when you are withdrawing from nicotine...If you are having change in bowels or losing weight I would contact your physician immediately. You could try a little ginger for the nausea but if symptoms persist check with your doctor. Quiting smoking is very very hard for most people so congratulations
That is an unusual complaint for someone who has recently stopped smoking, as I am sure you are aware many people who quit find their appetites increased. The physical withdrawal symptoms of nicotine withdrawal typically last about five days, while the psychological withdrawal may last months. I do not think that your symptom is related to quitting smoking, but you did not mention if you are using any over the counter or prescription medications to help you quit. Some of these products could cause nausea. I too applaud your determination in quitting and agree with Dr. Kryger that quitting smoking is the single most important thing you can do to improve your health. I think it would be a good idea to check in with your doctor to determine what the cause of your nausea might be.
John G. Van Derwood