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Coughing after Quitting Cigarettes By http://2stopsmokingtips.com
Introduction• In his book, Everyman’s Guide to Perfect Health, S.N. Khosla describes smokers’ cough as dry, occurring in the early hours of the morning and disappearing after smoking cessation. This cough is said to be caused by excessive smoking and most (not all) smokers experience it.
What is Ex-Smokers’ Cough?• In this article, I’m not discussing smokers’ cough at all. Rather, I’m discussing the persistent cough smokers experience after dropping off cigarettes. With your kind permission, I’ll call it ex-smokers’ cough.• “If smokers cough because of their exposure to cigarette smoke, why do I cough after quitting smoking?” This, essentially, is the question this article will attempt to answer in the lines below.
Is it Possible for Smokers to Experience Persistent Cough after Nicotine Cessation?• Yes it is and Charles Frederick Schafer, a retired surgeon corroborates this in his book titled “Health and Humor”. According to him, “don’t be surprised if you continue to cough after you quit smoking. It’s even likely to get worse! And that’s because the smoke has an expectorant effect (loosens the gunk in the tracheobronchial tree so it can be coughed up more easily). But don’t worry. In about six months time, it will go away if you haven’t suffered permanent lung damage or lung cancer or become a recidivist.”
So, why do I cough after quitting cigarettes?• Smoking cigarettes no doubt exposes the body to huge health risks. One of the body organs on the receiving end when it comes to tobacco damage are the cilia, the hair-like projections that line up the airways from our nose to the lungs. Their job, basically, is to rid the lungs and the airways of toxins and impurities. They sweep these impurities out 24 hours, 7 days a week and 465 days a year. But smoking hampers their operations. It renders them ineffective. This is because the tar, nicotine and other dangerous elements from cigarette smoke cover up the cilia and prevent them from functioning normally.
So, why do I cough after quitting cigarettes?(2)• Smoking cigarettes no doubt exposes the body to huge health risks. One of the body organs on the receiving end when it comes to tobacco damage are the cilia, the hair-like projections that line up the airways from our nose to the lungs. Their job, basically, is to rid the lungs and the airways of toxins and impurities. They sweep these impurities out 24 hours, 7 days a week and 465 days a year. But smoking hampers their operations. It renders them ineffective. This is because the tar, nicotine and other dangerous elements from cigarette smoke cover up the cilia and prevent them from functioning normally.
So, why do I cough after quitting cigarettes?(3)• Immediately you quit smoking, the cilia begin a regenerative process. Joel Spitzer says Cilia regeneration and growth begins about 3 days after smoking cessation. The human body has an amazing ability to heal itself; same for the cilia. As the cilia start growing, they start functioning by cleaning out the lungs and the only way to get the impurities, toxins and mucous occasioned by several years of smoking is through coughing. It’s the body’s way of flushing out all the toxins and poisons that have accumulated in it as a result of smoking.
So, why do I cough after quitting cigarettes?(4)• It’s therefore normal to cough persistently and produce an increased amount of sputum or phlegm after giving up smoking but the good thing is, it is temporary and common to most smokers. It’s a natural process which shouldn’t elicit any form of worry but if it becomes too persistent, you might want to check with your physician to make sure you don’t have any respiratory or tract infection. See your doctor immediately if you see blood in your sputum or if you experience noisy breathing or shortness of breath.
Can this Persistent and Awful Cough Affect Smoking Cessation?• No. And a study titled “Cough following Initiation of Smoking Abstinence” agrees with this assertion. In a study which involved 176 subjects, Warner David and his colleagues concluded that an initial upsurge in cough is not likely to arise among relatively healthy smokers who cease smoking and that alterations in cough cannot stop most smokers from sustaining abstinence.
Coughing As a Nicotine Withdrawal Symptom• Nicotine withdrawal symptoms or signs are those feelings or experiences you have after smoking abstinence. They include anxiety, nausea, insomnia, helplessness, loneliness, etc. Coughing is definitely one of them and all the symptoms are temporary. They disappear with the passage of time and as the body experiences healing from many years of tobacco damage.
Soothing the cough that arises as a result of kicking the smoking habit• Because of the persistent and itchy nature of the cough, it needs to be controlled and you can achieve that by consuming plenty of fluids, including hot tea and honey to soothe the throat and keep the body hydrated, licking hard mints/candies and chewing gum that make the mouth produce more saliva to moisten the throat as well as steering clear of contact with air pollutants such as smoke, dust or others as they may worsen your cough.
Soothing the cough that arises as aresult of kicking the smoking habit(2)• Consume plenty of fruits and vegetables including lemon, cucumber and carrots. They’ll also help and greatly too.• Also throw in moderate exercise and you have a winning formula for coping with this awful cough.• If you feel you need a cough drop or expectorant, you can get over the counter at your local pharmacy or consult your doctor.
Conclusion• Whatever happens, just hang in there. You will be amazed at how much better you will feel in a matter of weeks. It’s well worth it. It’s worth the battle; you sure will get over it! But, if you feel stressed up or irritable, check out highly effective stress relief tips during smoking cessation.
References• “Health and Humor”; Charles Frederick Schafer, M.D.; 2008• “Everyman’s Guide to Perfect Health”; S.N. Khosla; 2006• “Cough following Initiation of Smoking Abstinence”; Warner D.O et al; Nicotine Tob Res. 2007 Nov; 9 (11):1207-12.• “How to Control Coughing When Quitting Smoking”; Kigerani Po; eHow Contributor
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