Do nicotine cravings ever go away

Argh! This year I’ve been 10 years (mostly) cigarette free but there still isn’t a day goes by when I don’t have some sort of nicotine craving. Admittedly, it’s not like it was for the first few years, where my every waking moment was consumed with fighting those cravings, but it’s still niggling.

Am I still going to feel like this in another decade?


I dunno about nicotine, per say, but after being smoke-free for… shit… 13 years+ now, there are times I still crave a cigarette. I get stressed out and the cravings go up. I don’t think its nicotine I’m craving so much as the ability to step outside and just chill for 5 minutes or so. Now when I need that I make a cup of coffee and do the same.

I’m a teacher in a boarding school. I’ve found that on a bad day, when the students are really trying, I suck on the cap of a ballpoint pen. It’s somewhat analogous to smoking a Camel, and helps me de-stress a bit. A couple of my students have put 2 and 2 together and, to their credit, crank down the obnoxiousness when the see me chewing on a pen. It really does work.

It’s only been a year for me. :frowning:

Three months for me (but not the first time I’ve quit). Not a day goes by that I don’t want to smoke.

Four years for me. Pretty much no cravings ever, and that was true early on. Did the patch for a week then went cold turkey. I smoked for 20+ years, tried to quit several times but had no success until this time, when I actually lost the craving.

I can’t imagine continuing to crave it for 10 years and not giving in. That’s some serious willpower.

They definitely lessen with time. I used to dream that I still smoked about once a month. Now I never do (haven’t smoked in 40 years).

Tobacco cravings were much worse if I had any alcohol in me. If you’re a big drinker, that could be part of the cause of the strong cravings.

You have my sympathies, OB. Coming up for 28 years this summer - I had “quit” a couple of times before that (and restarted), but then I think I got really serious about stopping, and it seemed pretty easy to quit and stay quit. Entirely tobacco free since then. Maybe I was just lucky.

If you’ve stuck it out for 10 years then you’re obviously serious enough. All I can do is wish you the best.


I used to chew; tobacco, then the nictine gum. I quit in 1997.

I also gave up alcohol and opioids and other mood altering drugs in 1990.

I have more cravings for nicotine than I do for alcohol or opioids.

They have greatly diminished as the decades have rolled by, however. So that’s nice.

I’ve also provided medical and detox care for hundreds of addicts and alcoholics. Fairly consistently they tend to report the cravings for nicotine persist longer than the cravings for their other substances.

I’ve heard since I was a kid that nicotine is a harder addiction to kick than opiates, and not just because you can buy cigarettes, etc. almost anywhere.

Smoked for ten, quit for fifteen, no cravings now. But annoyingly, I do remember what a wonderful drug nicotine is. Pleasant endorphin buzz, artificially boosts acetylcholine and glutamate, making your brain work better and faster instead of the reverse, and only the prospect of an expensive and unpleasant early death to offset the upside of being a better, happier, and slightly smellier person.

I had no problems after about six months. My brother, on the other hand, who was a 4 pack-a-day smoker, complained about urges for 25 years.

23 years and 65 days since quitting. Cravings went away gradually, I don’t recall any after about a decade. Key is, of course, to really quit. Even a couple of drags restart the clock. The dreams that you fell of the wagon and started smoking again, and the massive sense of disappointment and regret the first 10 minutes after waking from such a dream, those will visit for decades.

Almost three years for me and stress for sure is the trigger. I still use nicotine gum.

I think this is very much a YMMV type of scenario, so it’s very hard to say. Everybody is different. I got lucky and didn’t really experience any withdrawal or cravings after stopping. My wife is similar. She was more of a social smoker than me (I was up to almost 2 packs a day), but I haven’t seen her light up in a decade nor jones for a cigarette. Other people I’ve known still itch for it ten, twenty years on. Definitely YMMV.

Quit over 15 years ago. Can’t remember any real cravings after the first 6 months or so. Every three or four months I’ll get a mild longing, but it’s so mild that it takes almost no will power to ignore it.

I quit 6 years ago but damn I am still addicted to nicotine lozenges :frowning:

Six years for me. I don’t think about it anymore.

I quit the lozenges about 3 months ago, I’ve put on a little weight since then and maybe used food a little to fight off the cravings, but I started going back to the gym.

I haven’t let myself start back on any nicotine products at all but the cravings are there. They do appear to be lessening every day that goes by though.

That first week or two was hell, but I just couldn’t let the stuff control my life any longer.

Yes. I quit smoking about 15 years ago and I still wanted a cigarette at the 10 year mark and at the 13 year mark, but just recently I got a whiff of a cigarette and for the first time my reaction was “gross.” So hang in there, it eventually does go away.

With all the variation could there be a genetic component, like the number of receptors in your brain or something?