Cough After Quitting Smoking – 4 Things You Should Know

by Dr Antonio Howell, MD

in quit smoking

The 3 Week Diet

Sometimes people would wonder why even after they have quit smoking, coughing still persists. Coughing is a normal process where your body is trying to expel foreign elements that got tangled-up in the lungs. And for people who recently quit smoking, coughing is actually a sign that the lungs is recovering. However, though coughing is a good sign after you have quit smoking, it can lead to sore throat and it can cause great inconvenience on your part.

Coughing and Your Cilia

Persistent-Cough-1297181You should know by now, that smoking does not only affect the way people look at you, but it as well destroy your body, especially your respiratory organs. You need to understand that when you smoke, the Cilia, or the hair-like structure found in your nose down to your lungs that is responsible for the filtering of foreign objects and impurities from reaching your lungs, are damaged. The moment you stopped smoking, your respiratory system starts repairing the damages caused by smoking. The coughing you experience after you quit smoking is the result of the Cilia growing back. This causes irritation to your throat which triggers the coughing. The harder you cough the faster the cilia grow.

Other than Coughing



You may also experience some symptoms aside from coughing. Coughing maybe accompanied by mucus and sore throat. The severity may depend on how long you have been smoking before you decided to quit.

  • The Mucus

Now, if you have smoked for at least a month before quitting, then more likely your cough will be accompanied by mucus. This is completely normal as your lungs are trying its best to expel irritants and toxins like the nicotine, tar, and other chemicals that have accumulated in your lungs. The mucus is normally brown or dark yellow in color. But if the mucus is accompanied by bleeding or blood, you need to consult your doctor.

DID YOU KNOW?
On average a person will have to endure two to three weeks of coughing after they quit smoking.

  • The Sore Throat

If you’re experiencing severe coughing expect sore throat to follow. To lessen the pain and inconvenience, you may want to avoid spicy foods or drinking hard alcohol as it can further irritate your throat. You can take throat lozenges or eat cold foods.

How long does the coughing last?

Normally, an average person will have to endure two to three weeks of coughing after they quit smoking. Generally, the duration of the coughing depends on how long it will take the Cilia to re-grow. However, if you will experience severe coughing lasting for a month or more you may need to consult your physician.

There is nothing you need to worry about.


The mucus and the coughing may warrant your worry. But this is among the situation where coughing is considered as a good sign. Well, you should be more worried if you did not cough after you have quit smoking. Coughing after you have quit smoking is a good sign that your lungs are actually recovering from the damage it sustained from the days or years that you were smoking.


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