According to this study, 33% of smokers who stop smoking report headaches as one of the symptoms of quitting. This can be due to changing brain oxygen levels, tension and anxiety from quitting, or a disruption in sleeping patterns. Headaches in general can be a result of many things so it is difficult to pinpoint exactly what part of smoking cessation causes it however they certainly may be a part of it. If the headaches are unbearable or causing a great deal of trouble you can try the following:

Reduce caffeine intake

Remember that smokers need more caffeine to get the same effect. If you haven’t reduced the amount of caffeine you are getting, try to cut it down and it may help with the headaches.

Deep breathing and relaxing exercises

Deep breathing is one of the things you may want to try while quitting smoking regardless of your symptoms. It can help relax your body and also handle cravings when they come up. Deep breathing can regulate carbon dioxide and oxygen levels in your blood that may be thrown off when you stop smoking. It can also reduce muscular tension that can also lead to headaches.

Get more sleep

You might be getting too little sleep to compensate for fatigue or just plain not sleeping well. Exercise can help get more sleep but if you also change your sleeping habits it may help.


Stretching exercises can feel great and relax your mind and entire body. They can take your mind off some of the symptoms of quitting smoking in addition to relieving much of the physical stress you may be going through.