Withdrawal & Recovery Symptoms

Stop Smoking: Fact File

Once you quit smoking you may find that you experience some nicotine withdrawal and recovery symptoms. You may notice that you still have urges to smoke, feel a little restless, irritable, unable to concentrate, frustrated or tired.

Once you quit smoking your body is trying to repair, clearing out dust and dirt. Some of the symptoms might feel unpleasant but they are only short term, most lasting up to a week at the most.


  • Tingling in the hands and feet
  • Sweating
  • Nausea and abdominal cramps
  • Constipation
  • Coughing / productive cough
  • Sore throat
  • Insomnia / disturbed sleep
  • Fatigue
  • Flu symptoms
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Increased dreaming


The sooner you can quit smoking prior to surgery, the better. With each passing smoke-free day, your overall risk of complications decreases. Quitting even 12 hours prior to surgery can make a difference but quitting 8 weeks before surgery can have a dramatic impact on your surgery and recovery.

Benefits of quitting before surgery:

  • Reduces the risk of post-operative complications
  • Reduces the need for further surgery
  • Wounds and bones heal quicker
  • Shortens the amount of time needed in hospital
  • Speeds up recovery