ZocdocAnswersCould quitting smoking have given me a cough?

Question

Could quitting smoking have given me a cough?

I'm 23 yrs. old and female and just quit smoking. I've smoked since I was a young teen. Now I have a bad cough since I haven't been smoking for two weeks. Why is this? I thought quitting would make me feel better.

Answer

Firstly, congratulations! Quitting smoking is the single most important thing you can do for your and your family's overall health. This is exceedingly difficult (as I am sure you are aware) and is something you should be very proud of. As for you questions -- it is uncommon for quitting smoking to cause of cough -- but is possible. If this is caused by quitting smoking -- this is very likely to be short term and will resolve itself. What happens is that smoking sends a lot of irritants and toxins into the lungs. After you quit smoking, the body tries to get rid of the accumulated irritants in the lungs and airways. The way that the body removes these from the airways is to cough it up. Therefore, this cough could be a sign of your body removing the irritants that have built up in your body from smoking. It is also possible that this cough is caused by something else. Asthma can cause a cough. Viral illnesses can cause a cough as can bacterial illness like a pneumonia. Also, it is common that people begin to notice a cough more after they quit smoking, even though its been there always. Please talk to your doctor for more information.

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