Why Do You Cough After Quitting Smoking?
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Did you know that coughing is not a common withdrawal symptom from quitting smoking? However, some ex-smokers develop one early in his or her smoking cessation for a short time.
So why does this happen? The reason why some smokers start to cough has to do with his or her cilia in the lungs. Over the years of smoking, the chemicals have damaged the tiny hair-like projections called cilia in the lungs.
Once you stop smoking, the cilia start functioning again and lead to coughing.
What Is The Purpose Of The Cilia?
It is a shielding barrier found between the outside world and the delicate tissue of the lungs when you have healthy lungs, the bronchial tubes lined with a thin layer of cilia and mucus.
The mucus moves back and forwards to clean out pollutants inhaled and trapped in the lungs to remove it from the body. Once the mucus reaches the throat, you will cough to spit/swallow it.
Both the cilia and mucus protect the lungs from a wide selection of respiratory diseases and infections.
How Is The Cilia Affected When You Smoke?
By now, you know that cigarettes consist of thousands of chemicals that damage the lungs. Furthermore, it leaves behind a yellow sticky coating called tar. You will find it on the teeth, clothing, furniture, fingers, and your lungs.
With the tar buildup in the lungs, it shuts down the cilia to prevent it from functioning well-causing inflammation in your airways. Therefore, you have excess mucus and combined with dust, dirt, and germs it remains in the lungs.
That is why smokers have a more significant risk of getting chest infections or diseases such as lung cancer or chronic bronchitis.
What Happens When You Quit Smoking?
After stopping the cilia starts functioning, enabling the lungs to remove all the trapped toxins. Therefore, it can lead to a cough that can last for a couple of months until the cilia’s thoroughly recovered. However, if you do find the cough is persistent we recommend you visit your doctor.
How Can You Treat the Cough
The important thing is that you do not want to reduce the cough as it helps to rid the body of the pollutants caused by tobacco. However, to help soothe the problem, you need to stay hydrated by drinking water, tea, or juice.
Try some tea with licorice root, as it is natural expectorants. Furthermore, you can try using a humidifier if you live in dry areas. The device helps to loosen mucus to get the harmful chemicals out of the body.
Another way is to take a tablespoon of honey three times a day.
We hope that the above information helps you to understand why you are coughing after quitting smoking. However, if the cough does not go away, you need to visit the doctor if the following happens:
• You are short-breathed and struggling to breathe.
• The breathing sounds noisy it can be inflammation.
• You find blood in your sputum while coughing up phlegm.
Furthermore, nicotine withdrawal comes with different discomforts but is only temporary. The signs are all part of the healing process taking place within the body.
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