What is smoker’s flu?

The last thing you expect when you quit smoking is to feel worse than you did before, but some people experience what they describe as smokers flu. So what is “quitters flu”, how bad can it get, and how long does it last?

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What Causes Smoker’s Flu?

Smoker’s flu, often referred to as tobacco cessation syndrome or nicotine withdrawal syndrome, encompasses a range of symptoms that can occur when individuals quit smoking.

The term “flu” is somewhat misleading as it does not involve an actual influenza virus but rather reflects the body and mind’s response to the absence of nicotine.

Some of the symptoms are genuinely physical, and some are the result of a mental process caused by the belief that the former smoker has made a tremendous sacrifice by giving up something they enjoyed.

It is this thought process that causes cravings, and it’s important to understand that cravings are real physical feelings with no physical cause.

The important thing to remember is that there is nothing negative about quitting smoking – the real physical symptoms are extremely mild and really easy to deal with and as long as you use a method to quit smoking that changes the way you think about smoking and quitting smoking, the cravings simply aren’t an issue.

Some so called experts believe that the primary cause of smoker’s flu is nicotine withdrawal – yet millions of smokers have quit without suffering any discomfort at all. Even chain-smokers!

The physical withdrawal from nicotine is extremely mild; a slight, empty, insecure feeling which is barely perceptible.

Now that doesn’t sound much like flu does it?

When you look at the symptoms of smokers flu it helps to identify which are genuinely physical and which are primarily caused by a frame of mind.

What Are the Symptoms of Smoker’s Flu?

Common symptoms of smoker’s flu include irritability, anxiety, depression, difficulty concentrating, increased appetite, insomnia, headaches, and cravings for cigarettes.

Yet, none of these are genuinely physically triggered by nicotine withdrawal. They are the result of a very specific thought process.

Let’s examine the causes of these symptoms which all derive from the former smoker’s belief that they can’t have something they want, that they’ve given up something precious:

  • Irritability – “I want a cigarette but can’t have one…UGH!”
  • Anxiety – “I wish I could smoke, how am I going to cope”
  • Depression – “I miss smoking, I’m never going to be allowed to do it again”
  • Difficulty concentrating – “I want a cigarette and I can’t get rid of the thought”
  • Increased appetite – “I want a cigarette but can’t have one so I’ll eat instead”
  • Insomnia – See all the above, anyone feeling irritable, anxious, depressed, unable to concentrate, and overeating is likely to suffer sleep problems – especially if they’ve been eating sugar and carb laden sweet “treats” or “comfort” food.
  • Headaches – See all the above
  • Cravings – “I want a cigarette but can’t have one…AGH!!!” It is the cravings that trigger all of the above.

All the above are real physical feelings but they originate from a mental process. They are not genuine flu symptoms.

The only link between smoking and flu is that if you don’t “get your head right” when you quit smoking it can make you feel lousy.

However, if you use a method to quit smoking that helps you change the way you think about quitting, something thoroughly unpleasant can actually be easy and enjoyable without any hint of quitter flu.

Change the way you think about cigarettes and smoking and there’s no need to suffer.

The only physical symptoms of nicotine cessation are the extremely mild symptoms of physical withdrawal from nicotine (a very slight, empty, insecure feeling) which is barely noticeable and perhaps a cough for a short period caused by the healing of the respiratory system leading to increased coughing and mucus production as the lungs clear out accumulated toxins and debris.

Anyone comparing it to flu has never experienced flu.

It’s this last element, the smokers cough, that has led to the colloquial term “smoker’s flu” with all the avoidable symptoms caused by negative thought processes that make some former smokers feel lousy for a while.

How is Smoker’s flu treated?

Can stopping smoking make you ill?

No, it cannot. It can make you feel ill if you go about it using willpower rather than a method that changes the way you think about cigarettes and smoking.

Change the way you think about cigarettes and the unpleasant symptoms of smokers flu disappear and you can really enjoy the effects of quitting smoking.

Those who don’t realise how easy it is to change the way they think about cigarettes and smoking tend to treat smoker’s flu by attempting to manage the symptoms rather than the cause.

They stay hydrated, maintain a healthy diet, engage in physical activity, and use nicotine patches, gum etc.

Ironically, they still end up feeling lousy because they’re not dealing with the cause of the symptoms, the belief that they’re missing out on something by quitting smoking.

How to Prevent Smoker’s Flu

Understand why you smoke, why you want to quit, and look forward to a life of freedom rather than be weighed down by a feeling of doom and gloom.

This isn’t just a case of looking on the bright side; it’s the only side. Getting free from cigarettes and smoking is genuinely wonderful and as long as you understand how you became tricked into smoking and into believing that you enjoyed it – you won’t miss it at all.

If you don’t miss it at all – you won’t crave for it or mope after it. If you don’t crave it or mope after it – you won’t feel any of the unpleasant symptoms listed above.

Coping with Smoker’s Flu

You don’t have to cope with smokers flu any more than you have to cope with a small pebble in your shoe.

If you get rid of the small pebble – the discomfort disappears.

Only a fool would think of strategies of coping with a pebble in their shoe rather than simply removing it.

How Long Does Smokers Flu Last?

Change the way you think about cigarettes and smoking with a method that helps you to do that and you won’t have smokers flu – let alone need to suffer it for any length of time.