How to Quit Smoking Cold Turkey: Your Complete Guide

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How to Quit Smoking Cold Turkey: Your Complete Guide

Are you ready to quit smoking? Have you tried every method and still found nothing helps?

If you’re trying to end your habit, you might be ready to learn how to quit smoking cold turkey. The path can be a hard one for some, but there is a body of resources out there dedicated to getting you there. Ready to throw that pack away?

If you want to quit today, keep reading for the tips and resources you need to know.

How to Quit Smoking Cold Turkey

Quitting cold turkey means abruptly stopping your habit. In this case, to quit smoking cold turkey you’re going to need mental and physical habits to take the place of your addiction. Before we go any further, let’s review the immediate benefits of quitting cigarettes.

Cold Turkey Timeline

The reasons to quit smoking are abundant in media and across medical boards. Yet it might be surprising to find that your body starts healing after an hour of cessation. After just 20 minutes to the first hour, your blood pressure drops and your heart rate returns to a normal rate.

Let’s look at the step-by-step timeline.

  1. 12 hours after you quit, your body rids itself of any leftover carbon monoxide from the regular amount of cigarettes that you smoke
  2. After a single day, your risk of heart attack beings to drop dramatically
  3. By the time you’re a month in, your sense of taste and smell has returned along with a major increase in lung health and capacity
  4. Over the next 6-9 months, your circulation improves and your risk of organ diseases lower exponentially

In itself, the immediate benefits of quitting a nasty habit like smoking can be enough to motivate someone to quit cold turkey. Still, nicotine detox can be aggravating and distracting, so it’s important that you have some coping mechanisms to get you through the hard times.


One of your first steps is to replace cigarettes with something less damaging to your body.

The abruptness of cold turkey feels like a shock to your body, so exchanging your habit for something healthier will help you experience fewer withdrawal symptoms and keep your health in control. This blog post can help you find a safer alternative.

Spot Your Triggers

Smoking is formed by a combination of habit and chemical dependence. You are addicted to more than nicotine. It’s also the specific situations that lead you to light a cigarette.

For example, you might finish every workday by smoking a cigarette, causing your brain to insist that every day at 5 pm is when you smoke.

Your brain will learn to assume that special events require a cigarette. If you’re someone who uses nicotine as a way to cope with stress or a reward for high energy, then your brain will reinforce your habit that much more.

Therefore, your smoking habit operates on a regular schedule that you can control. One big way to quit smoking cold turkey is to establish these smoking habits of routine and to change them to something less destructive.

You can try chewing gum or drinking coffee during your otherwise established smoke breaks. At the end of the day, it’s using mechanical processes to kill your habit.

Trust Your Body

Smoking is a mechanical process involving clear parts of your body that you use every day. You can target those parts of your body to take back control over your willpower. For example, exercises like knitting or even lifting weights puts something else in your hands beside a cigarette.

You can combine these new habits. Try chewing gum while drawing or using a stress ball. This will involve several parts of your body that were formally used for smoking cigarettes.

If that doesn’t work, you can attempt using your lungs to make smoking seem like an irrelevant pastime. It’s good to start a regular cardio routine to help cope with the urge to smoke.

Mind Over Body

Over the next one to two weeks you may experience nicotine headaches, emotional stress, and fatigue. These are common effects of quitting cold turkey that you can remedy by using mindful tools.

First, pay attention to the emotions that you’re feeling. You might feel anger and not understand why at which point it’s key that you tell the difference between addiction and actual feeling. It’s important to know that nicotine withdrawal may cause you to throw a temper tantrum, but it’s only to get you smoking again.

In times like these, it’s essential that you learn to be aware of your feelings and turn to friends, family, or healthy habits to cope with this period of detox.

A Guide to Better Living

You are in control of the way you live and what you put into your body. It might not feel possible at first, but within a week and after replacing old habits, you’ll have learned how to quit smoking cold turkey. This is a reflection of what it takes to live a better life.

Once you’ve quit smoking, you can start adding any number of healthy habits to your new and improved lifestyle. One of the best places to start is with a healthy diet. You can check out our healthy recipes section to get that process started.

Your next step should make life a bit easier. Life is full of ups and downs but you’re always capable of living healthier. If you want to be in touch with your body and experience a connected lifestyle, go check out our living healthy section.

Stacey Chillemi

I am on a mission to transform the health of millions worldwide. Check out my website at I am a popular and recognizable health and lifestyle reporter and expert, columnist and health host. Author of The Complete Guide to Natural Healing and Natural Remedies for Common Conditions, along with 20 other published books. I am the founder of The Complete Herbal Guide and a recognized health and natural remedies expert, with over 20 years in practice as a Health Coach. I write for the Huffington Post, Huff Post, Thrive Global and Medium (Owned by Arianna Huffington). I have been a guest on the Dr. Oz Show, local news, and numerous radio shows. My focus is on natural healing, herbal remedies, alternative methods, self-motivation, food for medicine, nutrition, fitness, natural beauty remedies and the power of positive thinking.



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