When a person decides to quit smoking, some symptoms occur occasionally. Although coughing is not one of the most common symptoms, but some people experience coughing after quitting smoking. Why does it happen?
What causes the symptom
Why do people experience coughing after stopping the cigarette consumption? When a person smokes, the smoke paralyzes and damages thousands of tiny hair projections in the lungs called cilia. Meanwhile, when he/she stops smoking, the cilia start to work again. This condition encourages someone to cough. For your information, cilia is a protective barrier between the outside environment and the delicate tissue of the lungs. It will remove the pollutants inhaled and trapped in the mucous layer, and let it get out of the lungs. One of the pollutants is the cigarette smoke. Cigarette smoke is known to consist of thousands of chemicals that have damaging effects on the lungs. In addition, this smoke also leaves a yellow sticky layer called tar in teeth, fingers, clothing and lungs.
Inside the lungs, this accumulation of tar closes the cilia movement and causes inflammation of the airways and promotes excessive mucus production. This condition makes toxic particles stick in the lungs and put smokers at risk of infection, respiratory disease and lung cancer. When a person stops smoking, cilia gradually begin to function again and the lungs start trying to remove the trapped toxin and then get rid of it. It is estimated that this condition can cause coughing after quitting smoking that lasts for several months until cilia can fully function normally.
However, if you are concerned about the condition of your cough, then you are suggested to consult a doctor, especially if the cough is accompanied by the other symptoms like the shortness of breath, blood in the sputum, wheezing when breathing, etc. Quitting smoking means stopping the intake of nicotine that sometimes causes harm. But the most important thing to remember is that this uncomfortable feeling is only temporary, because your body is healing the damage caused by tobacco.
How to stop mucus
Removing mucus constantly after quitting smoking is not something you need to worry about, although it certainly is very disturbing and makes you feel uncomfortable. To deal with it, you can try some treatments to repel this nicotine mucus.
- Drink plenty of water.
Coughing after Quitting Smoking
2. Steam your face.
Inhaling steam from hot water directly into the airways and lungs, is also useful to remove the mucus effectively. Pour six glasses of hot water (almost boiling) into a bowl. Cover your head with a towel, and position your nose and mouth over the bowl and take a deep breath.
- Use balsam
Balsam that can give you a warm sensation can help relieve chest congestion with its menthol content (an active agent contained in peppermint). Menthol can relieve the feeling of shortness of breath. Although the benefits are psychological, these products can, indeed, help relieve the symptoms, but cannot deal with the cause of chest congestion.
- Avoid exposure to cigarettes or cigarette smoke
You should also wear a mask when working with sharp-smelling objects such as paints or stinging household cleaners, and also the smoke from a cigarette.
- Exercise regularly.
Your lung function and cardiovascular system should always be maintained. Your body starts the repair process right after the smoking habit is stopped. The more you exercise, especially after quitting, the greater your lung’s ability to regain lost capacity when you smoke.