Why Smoking Makes You Cough!

Want to know why smoking makes you cough? Well, coughing usually indicates there is something in the respiratory passages that shouldn’t be there, and in the case of a smoker that something is the harmful chemicals found in cigarette smoke. The body is simply trying to protect itself with the cough reflex, which is a vital part of our body’s complicated defence mechanism. But despite the body’s best efforts to cough these toxins out, some of the poisons in the smoke remain in the lungs. What this means is that over time the smoker’s health gets worse, never better, as a direct result of inhaling tobacco smoke.

My brother was no different to many regular smokers in that he’d cough a lot. In actual fact he was always coughing and cleaning his throat. If that’s not the body’s way of telling the smoker that enough is enough, then I don’t know what is! Of course, my brother would jest that his constant coughing is a healthy way to exercise the lungs. He’d often come out with a daft idiom that goes; It wasn’t the coughing that carried him off it’s the coffin they carried him off in! Alas, he was carried off in a coffin as a young man in his late 40’s thanks to an aggressive throat cancer.

Coughing His Way Out of a Job!

I currently work in a call center and it breaks my heart to hear my lovely work colleague sitting next to me cough, cough, cough, all day long. It worries me that he’ll go the same way as my brother did. So irritating is his coughing that he’s even been told that it’s annoying certain co-workers that man the nearby phones. He’s actually had his first official warning which states that if doesn’t do something about his persistent coughing, he may have to be dismissed from the job. He told me in private that he’s sooner lose his job than his cigarettes, so it looks as though his days at this company are numbered. Oh how powerful the grip king nicotine has on its smokers!

It Starts with that Morning Cough!

Not all smokers cough, and not all smokers cough as soon as they take up the habit. Some people smoke so few cigarettes in a day that they don’t build up the same levels and toxins and irritations as heavy smokers do. But not coughing doesn’t mean to say they’re free from smoker’s health risks, it simply means they may take a little longer to get sick than the heavy smoker. Most long term smokers develop what is commonly called the “smoker’s cough”. This usually starts by extended sessions of coughing after they wake up in the morning and progresses over time to an all day cough.

This early morning chesty cough is often followed by a gagging and spitting of brownish green phlegm. Once the smoker has relieved themselves of this irritation, many go on to light up that first cigarette of the day! This then induces yet more coughing, spitting, and gagging, after which time they have cleared their chest in preparation for the day ahead. A smoker doesn’t tend to complain about this bizarre ritual, but rather take it as an expectable drawback to their love of nicotine.

I learnt a lot about the dangers of smoking and passive smoking after my brother got ill, and one thing that alarmed me more than anything was that a smoker will only quit when he or she wants to, and not when they need to. Even after ill health directly linked to smoking, some smokers still continue to pursue their habit of a lifetime until there is no life left to pursue.

I’ve come to understand that only a smoker can fully understand and sympathise with a fellow smoker on the difficulties of smoking cessation. Advice given out by those who have never smoked will most likely fall on deaf ears. The smoker’s cough is the body giving advance warnings that the build up of toxins in the throat and lungs is becoming too much to bear. Sadly, so many smokers ignore the signs and advice given out from their own bodies and medical professionals that they take their stubborn denial to the grave with them. Still dying for a fag?


Source by Andy Maingam

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