Coughing After Quitting Smoking

WellnessKeen Staff Nov 22, 2018
Coughing is one of the most common health issues that a person is likely to experience when he quits smoking. Discussed here are various causes of the same, along with some effective measures to ease the problem.
Smoking withdrawal symptoms are roadblocks in an individual's pursuit to quit smoking, and excessive coughing is the biggest of them all. Coughing when smoking and coughing when you quit smoking are two different things. While the former is one of the hazardous effects of smoking, the latter is a withdrawal symptom associated with smoking cessation.
In fact, most of the people fail to stick to their resolve only due to their inability to cope with withdrawal symptoms like cough and headache, which cause utter discomfort and tempt them to go for that one last smoke, which is never the last one.

What Causes Cough after Smoking Cessation?

Our respiratory system contains cilia―hairlike projections which help in filtering all the impurities that we inhale when we breathe. Excessive smoking can cause severe damage to these hairlike projections over the period.
The recovery of these structures only starts when the person quits smoking, and the cough that he experiences in course of this, is attributed to the recovery of cilia. Faster the cilia grow, severe is the cough, which implies that you should be more concerned about not experiencing cough than experiencing it.
During the recovery process, the toxin buildup in the lungs and upper chest is cleared in order to facilitate normal breathing pattern. Along with coughing, the person may also spit up black mucus in course of recovery. The problem is quite common in people who go cold turkey after smoking for several years.
Even though coughing after you quit smoking is a good sign in terms of general health, you should consult a doctor if severe cough persists.

How to Deal With this Cough?

The duration for which this cough lasts will differ from person to person. In some individuals, the cilia recovery process is quite speedy and hence, the cough may last for no more than a week.
At the max, a person may experience cough along with other withdrawal symptoms for 3 - 4 weeks. If the symptoms persist even after a month, it is wise to consult a doctor and opt for proper diagnosis of the problem.
As we mentioned earlier, increased cough after the person quits smoking can cause utter discomfort. In such circumstances, he is left with no option but to resort to various measures to ease coughing and other side effects. Throat lozenges and cough syrup can help in easing these withdrawal symptoms.
It is very important to make sure that you treat cough associated with smoking cessation, as it is one of the driving factors when it comes to relapse.
Coughing and other such withdrawal symptoms can cause a lot of inconvenience to the individual and force him to relapse. These problems generally begin a day or two after he stops smoking and continue for 2 - 3 weeks.
The fact that many people relapse during the first two weeks shows that coughing is one of the most severe nicotine withdrawal symptoms of the lot, such that despite being aware of these immediate effects, quitting is not easy.
At the end of the day, your success depends on your determination and willpower. While coughing and other withdrawal symptoms will make it difficult for you to quit, being mentally strong will help you fight the odds and go all the way.