Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Incidence Symptoms Evaluation Treatment nicotine substitutes specialist Home Care diet warning signs Prevention Outlook Underlying Cause

Smoker Withdrawal Home Care

Home care for nicotine withdrawal includes:

  • Attend a smoking cessation program.
  • Avoid exposure to secondary smoke.
  • Avoid alcohol.
  • Avoid caffeine.
  • Avoid decongestant medications:
  • Chew sugarless gum.
  • Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water a day.
  • Follow an exercise plan developed with your doctor.
  • Use nicotine patches or gum:
    • As directed by your doctor.
  • Take prescribed medications as directed:
    • Don't skip doses of your medication. This makes them less effective.
    • Be aware of the common side effects that may be caused by your medication.

Smoker Withdrawal Diet

A healthy diet becomes even more important in the face of nicotine withdrawal.

Strategies for a healthy diet include:

  • Limit your intake of fat to 30% of your total calories.
  • 10% to 15% of your total calories should be in the form of monounsaturated fats, such as olive oil, canola oil and peanut oil.
  • Consume only unsaturated fats that are low in cholesterol.
  • Consume less than 300 milligrams of cholesterol a day.
  • Eat dietary fiber: whole grains are best.
  • Avoid fad diets.
  • Check with your doctor about B vitamin supplements. Some people may benefit from B vitamins.

Key Dietary Recommendations for Chronic Disease Prevention
Energy (calories)to maintain BMI < 25
Total fats< or = to 30% of total daily calories
Saturated fats< 7% of total daily calories
Polyunsaturated fats< 10% of total daily calories
Monounsaturated fats< 13% of total daily calories
Cholesterol< or = to 300 mg per day
Dietary fiber25-30 grams per day
Fiber type3:1 insoluble to soluble fiber
Sodium< or = to 1,500 mg per day
Calcium 9-24 yrs1,200-1,500 mg per day
Calcium 25-50 yrs1,000 mg per day
Calcium 51-65 yrs1,200 mg per day
Calcium >65 yrs1,500 mg per day
Vitamin D 9-50 yrs200 IU per day
Vitamin D 51-70 yrs400 IU per day
Vitamin D >70 yrs600 IU per day
Folic acid400 micrograms (ug) per day
Fruits & vegetables5-7 servings per day
Alcohol (men)< or = to 2 drinks per day
Alcohol (women)< or = to 1 drink per day

Smoker Withdrawal Warning Signs

Notify your doctor if you have nicotine withdrawal and any of the following:

Continue to Smoker Withdrawal Prevention

Last Updated: Mar 14, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Smoker Withdrawal References
  1. Berrettini WH, Lerman CE. Pharmacotherapy and pharmacogenetics of nicotine dependence. Am J Psychiatry. 2005 Aug;162(8):1441-51. [16055765]
  2. Gonzales D, Rennard SI, Nides M, Oncken C, Azoulay S, Billing CB, Watsky EJ, Gong J, Williams KE, Reeves KR; Varenicline Phase 3 Study Group. Varenicline, an alpha4beta2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor partial agonist, vs sustained-release bupropion and placebo for smoking cessation: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA. 2006 Jul 5;296(1):47-55. [16820546]
  3. Mooney ME, Sofuoglu M. Bupropion for the treatment of nicotine withdrawal and craving. Expert Rev Neurother. 2006 Jul;6(7):965-81. [16831112]
  4. Shiffman S, Fant RV, Buchhalter AR, Gitchell JG, Henningfield JE. Nicotine delivery systems. Expert Opin Drug Deliv. 2005 May;2(3):563-77. [16296775]
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