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No smoking day! What to expect when you quit cold turkey

By: Natasha Archary

This Wednesday, 09 March marks No Smoking Day. The day is observed on the second Wednesday in March to raise awareness about the harmful effects of tobacco and nicotine addiction.

Whether you have been smoking for a few weeks or years before you decide to quit, nicotine withdrawal symptoms are terrible. It may bring relief that it’s worse during the first week that you quit.

Nicotine addiction

Nicotine is an addictive substance in cigarettes and cigars. A drug that can affect many parts of your body, especially the brain. It’s more difficult to quit if you’ve been smoking for years and smoke “like a chimney” (more than a pack a day).

Over time your body and brain become dependent on nicotine, the head rush is intoxicating. Once that passes, after the first month or so, you can be sure you’re hooked on it.

With stricter laws around smoking in the country, many are making the decision to quit. It may be a wise choice but it’s not an easy one to make and going cold turkey means bracing yourself for a discomfort like no other.

Is quitting easy?

Honestly, no. It’s as difficult as a drug addict trying to get sober and the withdrawal symptoms are similar. You need to have supportive and understanding friends and family who encourage your decision during this transition.

This may motivate you to continue on your newfound nicotine free path and they may hold you accountable if you do give in. Once you’ve made a decision to quit, it’s important to set a date for when you begin to transition to smoke-free.

Going cold turkey is advised because you have the shortest chemical withdrawal reaction. Many prefer to wean themselves of to avoid the horrible withdrawal symptoms.

READ: The Myths And Facts About Vaping

Nicotine Withdrawal symptoms may differ but the most common are:

  • Tremors/Jitters

The uncontrollable shaky hands or feeling jittery will subside after the first week being nicotine-free.

  • Nicotine cravings

Smelling the smoke from a cigarette or catching a whiff off a colleague who’s just had a smoke are not the only triggers for the craving. Your body is trying to adjust to the swift change and the craving is a natural part of the quitting process. You’ll have to learn to manage this.

  • Shortness of breath

Ironically, once you quit smoking you will find it difficult to catch your breath.

  • Flu-like symptoms

These may include fever, headache, nausea, sinusitis, persistent cough and body aches. It’s basically your body’s response to an unfamiliar state.

  • Sleep irregularities

You may not be able to fall asleep for the first few days following your last cigarette. Insomnia is never fun but when all you’re thinking about is getting a smoke in, it’s a lot worse.

  • Mood swings

Many smokers attribute their zen-like state to cigarettes, claiming smoking calms them down. Removing their happy fumes may be enough to trigger terrible mood swings.

  • Cramps and constipation

It hurts oh how it hurts when your body is fighting for some normalcy. This too shall pass, just remember to drink lots of water and limit the alcohol consumption during the withdrawal stage.

Nicotine withdrawal is an intense experience but it’s a phase that won’t last forever. Don’t use the withdrawals as an excuse to start smoking again, find healthier ways to manage the symptoms.

In the end, the benefits of quitting outweigh any short-term discomfort you will go through. As with anything in life, take it a step at a time or in this case, one cigarette less at a time, starting on No Smoking Day.

Written by: Kayafm Digital


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Privacy Policy


POPIA ActTo promote the protection of personal information processed by public and private bodies; to introduce certain conditions so as to establish minimum requirements for the processing of personal information; to provide for the establishment of an Information Regulator to exercise certain powers and to perform certain duties and functions in terms of this Act and the Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2000; to provide for the issuing of codes of conduct; to provide for the rights of persons regarding unsolicited electronic communications and automated decision making; to regulate the flow of personal information across the borders of the Republic; and to provide for matters connected therewith.


  • section 14 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, provides that everyone has the right to privacy;
  • the right to privacy includes a right to protection against the unlawful collection, retention, dissemination and use of personal information;
  • the State must respect, protect, promote and fulfil the rights in the Bill of Rights;


  • consonant with the constitutional values of democracy and openness, the need for economic and social progress, within the framework of the information society, requires the removal of unnecessary impediments to the free flow of information, including personal information;


  • regulate, in harmony with international standards, the processing of personal information by public and private bodies in a manner that gives effect to the right to privacy subject to justifiable limitations that are aimed at protecting other rights and important interests,
  1. Definitions and Interpretation

1.1.“Personal Information” means information relating to an identifiable, living, natural person and where it is applicable, identifiable, existing juristic person, including all information as defined in the Protection of Personal Information Act 4 of 2013. 

1.2  Parliament assented to POPIA on 19 November 2013. The commencement date of section 1Part A of Chapter 5section 112 and section 113 was 11 April 2014. The commencement date of the other sections was 1 July 2020 (with the exception of section 110 and 114(4). The President of South Africa has proclaimed the POPI commencement date to be 1 July 2020.

1.3. “Processing” means the creation, generation, communication, storage, destruction of personal information as more fully defined in the Protection of Personal Information Act 4 of 2013.  

1.4. “You” or the “user” means any person who accesses and browses this website for any purpose. 

1.4. “Website” means the website of the KAYA 959 at URL or such other URL as KAYA 959 may choose from time to time.   

  1. Status and Amendments

2.1. KAYA 959 respects your privacy. This privacy policy statement sets out KAYA 959’s information gathering and dissemination practices in respect of the Website. 

2.2. This Privacy Policy governs the processing of personal information provided to KAYA 959 through your use of the Website. 

2.3. Please note that, due to legal and other developments, KAYA 959 may amend these terms and conditions from time to time.  

  1. Processing of Personal Information

3.1. By providing your personal information to KAYA 959 you acknowledge that it has been collected directly from you and consent to its processing by KAYA 959. 

3.2. Where you submit Personal Information (such as name, address, telephone number and email address) via the website (e.g. through completing any online form) the following principles are observed in the processing of that information: 

3.2.1. KAYA 959 will only collect personal information for a purpose consistent with the purpose for which it is required. The specific purpose for which information is 
collected will be apparent from the context in which it is requested. 

3.2.2. KAYA 959 will only process personal information in a manner that is adequate, relevant and not excessive in the context of the purpose for which it is processed. 

3.2.3. Personal information will only be processed for a purpose compatible with that for which it was collected, unless you have agreed to an alternative purpose in writing or KAYA 959 is permitted in terms of national legislation of general application dealing primarily with the protection of personal information. 

3.2.4. KAYA 959 will keep records of all personal Information collected and the specific purpose for which it was collected for a period of 1 (one) year from the date on which it was last used. 

3.2.5. KAYA 959 will not disclose any personal information relating to you to any third party unless your prior written agreement is obtained or KAYA 959 is required to do so by law. 

3.2.6. If personal information is released with your consent KAYA 959 will retain a record of the information released, the third party to which it was released, the reason for the release and the date of release, for a period of 1 (one) year from the date on which it was last used. 

3.2.7. KAYA 959 will destroy or delete any personal information that is no longer needed by KAYA 959 for the purpose it was initially collected, or subsequently processed. 

3.3. Note that, as permitted by the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act 25 of 2002, KAYA 959 may use personal information collected to compile profiles for statistical purposes. No information contained in the profiles or statistics will be able to be linked to any specific user.    

  1. Collection of anonymous data

4.1. KAYA 959 may use standard technology to collect information about the use of this website. This technology is not able to identify individual users but simply allows KAYA 959 to collect statistics. 

4.2. KAYA 959 may utilise temporary or session cookies to keep track of users’ browsing habits. A cookie is a small file that is placed on your hard drive in order to keep a record of your interaction with this website and facilitate user convenience. 

4.2.1. Cookies by themselves will not be used to identify users personally but may be used to compile identified statistics relating to use of services offered or to provide KAYA 959 with feedback on the performance of this website. 

4.2.2. The following classes of information may be collected in respect of users who have enabled cookies: The browser software used; IP address; Date and time of activities while visiting the website; URLs of internal pages visited; and referrers. 

4.3. If you do not wish cookies to be employed to customize your interaction with this website it is possible to alter the manner in which your browser handles cookies. Please note that, if this is done, certain services on this website may not be available. 

  1. Security

5.1. KAYA 959 takes reasonable measures to ensure the security and integrity of information submitted to or collected by this website, but cannot under any circumstances be held liable for any loss or other damage sustained by you as a result of unlawful access to or dissemination of any personal information by a third party. 

  1. Links to other websites

6.1. KAYA 959 has no control over and accepts no responsibility for the privacy practices of any third party websites to which hyperlinks may have been provided and KAYA 959 strongly recommends that you review the privacy policy of any website you visit before using it further. 

  1. Queries

7.1. If you have any queries about this privacy policy please contact us by emailing [email protected]