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Common Breathing Problems Smokers Face After Quitting Smoking

Breathing Problems After Quitting Smoking
Withdrawal symptoms after quitting smoking can take numerous forms. This WellnessKeen post describes some of the respiratory problems faced by smokers after quitting smoking.
Tanmay Tikekar
Last Updated: Mar 8, 2018
Nicotine sweden
Breathing problems that are experienced after an individual quits smoking are caused due to the self-cleaning procedure undertaken by the lungs after prolonged exposure to nicotine.
Getting over an addiction to smoking is a difficult process. It takes willpower and tremendous determination to kick the habit and dependence out of your life, and the withdrawal symptoms can be terrible. But given that your lungs manage about 20,000 vital breaths per day, withdrawal symptoms are definitely a price worth paying.
Nicotine molecular structure
Nicotine, which is found in tobacco, is a chemical addictive. It alters our body and forces it to expect a steady supply of nicotine. If the steady level is not maintained, the body suffers from withdrawal symptoms. The most serious withdrawal symptoms are psychological, including severe depression, irritability, anxiety, forgetfulness, and temper tantrums. Physical problems after quitting smoking can range from severe breathing problems and digestive disorders to a general feeling of uneasiness, sweating, and benign tingling in the hands.
Respiratory Problems After You Quit Smoking
Human respiratory system
Breathing problems caused by nicotine withdrawal usually lie in the range of a common cold. Unless it is irreversible damage such as lung cancer, the ill-effects of nicotine are naturally counteracted by the removal of nicotine depositions in the lungs.

The lungs are lined by minute hair-like projections, called cilia. These act like filters, keeping out potentially harmful material by whipping it out, causing coughs. Nicotine damages the cilia, and paralyzes or destroys the inner lining of the lungs. When you quit smoking, the cilia become functional once again, and start sweeping out the harmful depositions from the cigarette. This causes excessive coughing and sore throat.

This efflux of toxic depositions can also cause shortness of breath, and symptoms similar to COPD.

These breathing problems usually only last for a few weeks after quitting, and are at their peak around two weeks after quitting. But as the body starts to return to normal, the effects are remedied, and are very rarely felt after about 10 weeks. Considering that you had been polluting your body for years before quitting smoking, a few months is a sound investment, isn't it?
Ways to Reduce Intensity of Withdrawal Symptoms
Though these symptoms are inevitable, you can certainly alleviate them. Here's a few ways to reduce the intensity of nicotine withdrawal symptoms.
Stay Clean
This may seem like an obvious solution, but it is nevertheless the most important one. You have just allowed your body to start the vital healing process, now don't hinder it yourself. Cigarettes may seem like the easiest option, but concentrate on the greater good in the future rather than the discomfort in the present.
Breathe Clean
Man wearing air filter mask
For some time, stay away from environmental irritants. If you can afford to, take a vacation to some virgin region. If not, wear a simple mask for the duration of your recovery. Your respiratory system is extremely fragile right now - don't strain it even more.
Fitness classes
Put aside at least half an hour a day for aerobic exercise. Deep breathing helps in the recovery, and helps the lungs regain their full capacity and elasticity.
Unless you have damaged your lungs beyond repair, withdrawal symptoms recede in a relatively short time, and you can lead a healthy, satisfying life.