Ist ein kalter Nikotin-Entzug gefährlich?

Finally smoke-free? We want to explain to you why and when cold nicotine withdrawal can be dangerous and what lower-risk alternatives there are.


Is cold nicotine withdrawal dangerous?

Almost every smoker has thought about quitting smoking forever. But cold turkey does not work for everyone and, according to experts, it can even be risky for the body and psyche in certain cases.

We want to explain why cold turkey can be dangerous and what less risky alternatives there are.


What is cold nicotine withdrawal?

If nicotine is added to the body every day, it releases more of the so-called happiness hormone dopamine. Smokers feel relaxed at that moment and negative feelings such as stress or nervousness are suppressed. However, after a while, the body develops a certain tolerance to nicotine intake and smokers have to consume more and more cigarettes to achieve the same pleasant feeling. Thus, addiction occurs and nicotine consumption increases.

A sudden smoking cessation leads to cold turkey. All of a sudden, the body no longer gets nicotine and reacts to it with typical withdrawal symptoms such as restlessness and increased irritability. Smokers or users of other nicotine-containing products should be aware of the risks and dangers of cold turkey in order for smoking cessation to be successful.


What are the dangers of going cold turkey?

British health experts warn against cold turkey as it can be stressful for the body. Risks include, but are not limited to:

Heart problems

Small amounts of nicotine initially increase blood pressure and heart rate. With regular intake and higher amounts, exactly the opposite occurs, the heart rate goes down, as tolerance is developed. If nicotine intake is stopped abruptly, there is a risk that the heart rate will suddenly rise and put a strain on the heart.

Problems with digestion

Nicotine also affects digestion, because the substance increases the production of stomach acid and speeds up the digestion process. With cold turkey, the amount of stomach acid decreases and it can result in negative symptoms such as nausea and vomiting.

Respiratory problems

Smoker's cough is a tiresome problem that many smokers struggle with. Our lungs have small cilia that ensure that mucus is removed from the bronchial tubes. The smoke damages them and those affected start coughing. If suddenly no more smoke gets into the lungs, the cilia start to grow again and also trigger breathing problems and coughing at the beginning.

Effects on the psyche

As already described above, Tobacco has effects on the body and mind . Nicotine suppresses negative feelings that come to the fore during cold turkey. For example, some sufferers experience severe mood swings, increased irritability, concentration problems and anxiety.


How to prevent cold turkey?

Instead of cold turkey, a gradual reduction in nicotine content can be tried. The following products and tools are available to help you quit smoking:

  • Switching to e-cigarettes
  • Nicotine patches or chewing gum 
  • Smoke-free syringe
  • Use of Snus

Snus products have the The advantage is that you can buy them in different quantities. Thus, you can gradually reduce the nicotine content. Mild varieties contain about 4 to 8 mg/g of nicotine and there are also nicotine-free varieties that are wonderful as an alternative to cigarettes.


Conclusion – Sometimes a gradual reduction is more beneficial

Cold turkey does not promise success for everyone and can even be dangerous for some smokers. In some cases, the body and psyche react negatively to the abrupt loss of nicotine supply and breathing, digestive and heart problems can be the result. Unpleasant withdrawal symptoms are often the reason for repeated cigarettes.

For this reason, gradual withdrawal is recommended by most experts. In order to gradually reduce nicotine consumption, snus products are best suited, as they have different levels of nicotine.

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