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Quitting smoking - help on hard days

Becoming a non-smoker can be hard to get used to. You’re doing something great for your physical health but your emotions might take a week or two to catch up.

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Stopping smoking can mean some days are challenging. Some people get low moods, feel lonely, become irritable or anxious. This is normal and will pass - you’re not used to coping without cigarettes.

If you smoked to deal with day-to-day stress or boredom, becoming a non-smoker can be hard to get used to. You might be more aware of stress for a while. You’re doing something great for your physical health - but your emotions might take a week or two to catch up.

These feelings are very common, and they will go away. They might only last a few hours or days, and it gets much easier after about 4 weeks.

How to cope with bad days

If you’re finding it hard, talking to someone else is a great place to start.

You can:

  • chat to a friend or someone you know who has already quit smoking
  • contact the HSE Quit Team for support to help you stop smoking - we have web chat, people to talk to on the phone and you can email us too
  • connect with our Facebook page for support quitting smoking

It’s also a good idea to find ways of managing your feelings. Remind yourself that they’re temporary and will go away. Remember that you decided to quit smoking for a very good reason.

If you’ve had bad news or are feeling stressed and want to smoke, remember that smoking won’t change the news or help the situation.

Related topic

How to cope when you want to smoke

Get help when you quit smoking

Page last reviewed: 25/03/2019
Next review due: 25/03/2022

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