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What is a Smoker's Cough?

Tricia Christensen
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Smoker’s cough isn’t a medical term, but it does signify that some pretty significant things are occurring in your body when you smoke. It typically doesn’t affect new smokers but it will often bother people who smoke heavily, especially over a period of many years. A specific process causes smoker’s cough, and though the term relates to smoking, it can also occur in people who are routinely exposed to other throat, nasal and lung irritants over a period of several years.

Tiny fibers in the nose and the trachea called cilia operate by pushing irritants out of the body. When you smoke, you begin to damage these cilia, sometimes nearly killing them or making them completely nonfunctional. When you go through periods of not smoking, like when you’re sleeping at night, your damaged cilia can’t move the phlegm up to your throat where you can swallow it. Smoking does cause extra mucus to develop in order to get foreign toxins out of your lungs.

The result of smoker’s cough for most people is that they wake up in the morning with considerable phlegm in their throats. To clear this phlegm they may need to cough repeatedly. Advanced cases of smoker’s cough mean people can cough for a long time after waking to clear this phlegm.

Smoker’s cough indicates you have damaged cilia, which aside from smoking can create other health hazards. You are much more susceptible to respiratory illnesses because these important fibers aren’t doing what they can to remove germs from your system. Cilia are a great defense against airborne illnesses, especially when they function normally. You also may have a more difficult time recovering from colds, and be more prone to bronchial and respiratory infections because your cilia are not working.

You should also look at smoker’s cough as a means of suggesting that your body is less and less capable of handling the poisons you’re inhaling. It may be challenging to quit, but smoker’s cough indicates that your respiratory system is damaged. Other types of coughing, especially those that don’t resolve within an hour of waking, and if you cough up blood or yellow to green phlegm, may suggest presence of bacterial illness.

Mostly though, if you have smoker’s cough, you likely know you’ve been smoking for a long time. Possibly it’s time to consider that your body is sending you a clear message when you must cough and cough in the morning before you can start accomplishing any of your daily tasks. It’s not only unpleasant, but a signal that cigarette and tobacco smoking are simply not good for the body.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a The Health Board contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.
Discussion Comments
By anon996385 — On Aug 21, 2016

I think maybe it's the brand one chooses? I fell in love with my next door neighbor, single and a smoker. I never smoked but after a few months, with her encouragement, I smoked with her. She always has a cough whenever she laughs or when she wakes up. It sounds like a permanent case of bronchitis.

I eventually started buying my own, same brand (Marlboro) and hanging out together as much as we do, I ended up smoking as much as she does (sometimes over a pack). Now, years later, I have a very similar cough and, yes, whenever I laugh also. She actually thinks it's "cute" and sometimes mentions that my lungs and hers are the same. In fact, every time I even mention stopping she tells me how we're in this together, etc. I can't stop under the circumstances, but after only five years of smoking I'm starting to sound like she does and I'm thinking maybe it's because we both smoke the same brand.

By anon974185 — On Oct 15, 2014

I just turned 16. My whole life cigarettes disgusted me. I hated the smell and everything about them. My mom is a smoker. She's always smoked like a pack a day. I've been a pot smoker since I was 12 years old, which I know is ridiculous, but that's the truth. This summer my stoner buddies got into smoking cigarettes, they got me to hit it and now I'm buying packs. I only smoke about three cigarettes a day; that's all I really have time for. But a few weeks ago, I only smoked one a day, couldn't finish a whole one at one time.

The thing is, I can see exactly where this is going. Addicted. Smoking two packs a day, and coughing my lungs out. However, I like the taste of cigarettes now. I like how they calm my nerves, and are great when in addition to a marijuana high. I know that smoking will kill me, but I still want to do it. Is it normal to want to do something that will kill you? I don't think so, but I don't want to stop smoking either.

My grandfather is an ex-biker. (I never really knew him until recently, because he disapproved of my black father, and he and my mother hadn't talked for 20 years until earlier this year when his wife died). He was in a motorcycle club, and I hear endless stories about him and his friends walking in other MC's bars, picking up a stool, and knocking people out. He's been a chain smoker since he was probably 12 years old. Every time I'm at his house, he has at least one coughing fit. Out comes phlegm and god knows what else.

By anon959411 — On Jul 04, 2014

I started smoking menthol cigarettes at age 11. I'm a female now aged 44. By my mid 20s I was smoking give or take 20-30 a day but on weekends I smoked easily 50 a day.

I flirted with chain smoking on weekends by my early 30s and just felt so damn comfortable with a cigarette and now I'm addicted heavily to my menthols.

I do have a smoker's cough. Yeah, I hack a bit and get it out, but I can't stop smoking. I just can't. I'm too addicted,

By anon944209 — On Apr 06, 2014

Question to smokers here. My partner is a heavy smoker who used to cough really loudly near constantly, then it suddenly stopped and he rarely has to cough these days. What confuses me is that he never stopped smoking or even lightened up, so why has he suddenly stopped coughing? I'm concerned.

By anon346835 — On Sep 01, 2013

Nobody says that quitting is easy! I'm 51 and started smoking at 13. I loved smoking but my body said to me, "no more". I used the nicotine patch and then finally went patch free.

If I can do it, anyone can. There will be moments of pity, moments of anger and moments that you feel you will die. You will not die. The craving passes in but a minute or two.

My weight gain has been about 20 pounds. SO what? I have given myself permission to eat and do whatever it takes to get through this addiction. I will lose the weight after I have this well under control. Join me!

By anon345464 — On Aug 19, 2013

As a 33 year old woman who has been smoking pretty heavily most of the past twenty years, I can definitely say the smokers cough can be rough to deal with sometimes. I started smoking when I was about 11 years old, and was smoking more and more until by the time I was 15 or 16 I was smoking almost two packs a day.

Since then, I've never been able to smoke less than two packs a day ever since I was sixteen no matter how hard I try, I'm just too addicted. Most days I'll smoke two and a half packs a day, right around 50 cigarettes, but I have definitely had times where I'd smoke three packs a day or more for weeks or even months on end. Its just a hard habit to get under control.

I remember the first time I started experiencing what I thought was an early onset smokers cough when I was just sixteen years old. I coughed up phlegem with spots of blood on it, and found myself feeling tight in the chest and having a wracking cough that I had trouble clearing out of my chest. That was the summer I turned 16 and I had just gotten a driver's license and started being able to buy myself two packs a day, which I chain-smoked religiously. My boyfriend at the time was worried when he'd see me smoking and coughing so much, but I guess I just thought it was cool to laugh in the face of danger and possible lung cancer. What an idiot I was as a teenager.

My smoker's cough has been with me off and on ever since I was over sixteen. It seems like feel sick all the time. I get sinus infections that I cannot kick for months on end. I feel wheezy and short of breath constantly. I get winded walking up a single flight of stairs. My doctor told me I may have early onset emphysema already and that if I don't stop I will likely have full blown COPD within a few years, still well before I turn 40 years old. I know the cigarettes are killing me, but I just can't bring myself to quit. In fact, I can't even bring myself to bear the thought of smoking less than two packs a day. It's just such a part of who I am. I think I would literally cry if someone tried to take my cigarettes from me. It's sad really, but it's where I am at this point.

Maybe it would have been smarter for me to try to quit or at least cut back when I first had a sign of a little smoker's cough as a teenager. But it's way too late for that now. I'm 33 years old, and look like I could pass for 45 sometimes. I feel run down and out of shape, even though I keep a pretty slender figure. I used to joke that I chain-smoke cigarettes to stay thin, and that I'd rather die from smoking too many cigarettes than from eating too many fast food hamburgers. Little did I know I'm probably more right than I'd ever imagined.

By anon336126 — On May 26, 2013

My mom has been smoking for I don't know how long, but she started some time in late high school. She coughs throughout the day. She takes lots of Nyquil and I'm scared she might be overdosing. She thinks it's a cold that a co-worker (who is also a smoker) gave her.

I keep telling her she needs to go to the doctor, but she won't listen. I'm going to show her this page later and see if I can convince her to at least get checked out.

By anon328742 — On Apr 05, 2013

I've been smoking for a couple years and I am 15 years old. I have this cough and I need to get rid of it. Fast.

By anon327811 — On Mar 30, 2013

My stepdad's smokers cough is so sickening and irritating. And I don't want to get sick, but it's hard if you live in a family of heavy smokers. Whenever anyone smokes, I have to drop whatever I'm doing and go to my room. It's part of the reason why I want to move out when I get to college age.

By anon326062 — On Mar 19, 2013

I'm posting on behalf of a 53 year old woman who's smoked since she was 16, so nearly 40 years. Now her health has seriously deteriorated and I and other family members have noticed it.

In the past three or four years, she has slowly started losing her teeth and for about eight years has been having extremely bad coughing attacks during the night and morning she does cough up a lot of horrible phlegm and it's causing lots of stress on the family.

We all try and persuade her to see a doctor and get a thorough health check, but she won't and trying to persuade her to quit is also extremely hard due to the fact she smokes nearly 40 cigarettes a day. She is just making her health much worse.

I personally feel as if there isn't anything else me or my family members can do, but please if anyone can help me, I am forever grateful, as I'm sure there are people out there with the same problem as me.

By anon325092 — On Mar 14, 2013

I want to stop coughing but keep smoking. Is there a way to remove my cilia so I can keep smoking?

By anon301399 — On Nov 03, 2012

Don't listen to people saying its hard to quit.

I quit easily after I smoked 5 years and I listened to others saying its hard to quit. So I also used that excuse to not quit.

One day, I decided to quit and never smoke again. I must be superhuman. It is now 24 years later. Something is easy to leave when you no longer like it. Until then, if you keep smoking, you must love it. Happy marriage to your cigarettes, unhappy to your health.

By anon298730 — On Oct 22, 2012

I am saddened what I've read on this thread. No offense, but people who have smoked for a year or two have an irritating cough now and then really have no clue what true nicotine addiction is all about, and the desperate need to climb out of the pit of this particular addiction.

When someone has smoked for 20 or 30 years, THEN come back here and post some experience and maybe they will be valid. But now, no.

My heart is heavy. I came to this thread in one of my many searches to find good strategies for relief from tobacco addiction. Instead I find people who are freaking out because they have a cough here and there who have smoked for a very short time, or, worse, blithe people who say judgmentally, "just quit".

This kind of addiction is severe, life-altering, and requires more than an "oh just quit". I struggle with it every day, and I've been addicted for almost 30 years, so forgive me if I dismiss those of you who think it's a matter of "willpower".

None of us need "educating" as to the evils of smoking. We all know, full well. But addiction casts a firm grip. Lecturing is not needed. Compassion and understanding are needed, and supportive love of family and friends. Those who truly know and love us and will be there to get us past the need for that cigarette, and then the next, and the next, and the next. Stop preaching, and start being real, present and loving.

By anon293235 — On Sep 24, 2012

I personally find smoking very satisfying and enjoy very much the process. Having smoked for over 20 years, I can say that I love smoking. It is quiet and pleasant, especially after nice meal or while having a pint of a cold beer. I like to have my five-minute smoke away from work. I find that it calms my nerves and reduces stress levels especially when not everything runs smoothly enough. At the end of the day it is personal choice and every one makes one.

There is a price to pay for everything in this life and smokers understand that the most of all. I can understand the worry of the relatives and friends, but I hate other people's noses in my business. And to those coughing, go see a doctor for your sake and stop worrying, or it will kill you sooner than cigarettes.

By anon290749 — On Sep 11, 2012

I smoked for 15 years and chewed tobacco for two years from age 18 to 35. The drug nicotine is very powerful. I tried quitting dozens of times. Sometimes I felt I would never be able to quit. It scared me. I hated smoking but couldn't stop.

When my dad died from lung cancer it finally made me wake up. Now I have been a non smoker for several years and am so thankful I was able to quit. When I think back, it's all in the mind.

Cigarettes make you think they're your friend, that you like them. It's all a lie. Cigarettes lie to you. You make up so many excuses and hate people who don't smoke. Your only way out is to deny the cigarettes. It hurts. Oh, it hurts so much. But eventually it gets better. Then you can start to see the lie. You have to say to yourself never again.

There is no redeeming value in smoking. Remember that. You can do it.

By anon279528 — On Jul 13, 2012

I love that people think it's so easy. I'm quitting now after 13 years, and my lungs definitely paying for it now.

By anon276592 — On Jun 25, 2012

I have been smoking since I turned 18. I am now 19 and have increased my smoking habit since I have been at school. I do not have heavy and deep coughing, but my chest is tight and sometimes in pain.

By anon264047 — On Apr 26, 2012

When I went to college, my girlfriend there smoked so I decided to see what it was like since I couldn't believe she couldn't quit (she was 18 and had smoked since she was ten!) even though she kept trying to.

She actually encouraged me because "it's more comfortable going out with someone who smokes". Well, I liked it right away and her lighting up her cigarette with mine every time just kept it going to the point where she suggested that I just do it for one year and we'd quit together (as she'd smile, knowingly it turned out).

Anyway, after the year was up, I decided I'll stop when I finish college since smoking became almost like a partner with things I'd do, smoking together, reading, driving, talking on the phone, etc.

But I went to grad school and put it off (oh, and my college girlfriend didn't quit either, and we split after college).

Then I said "when I'm 30."

Anyway, I'm now past 30 and don't have any excuse. Needless to say, I realize what she meant and can't quit because of the headaches, restlessness, sleeplessness and more. I smoke more than 20 each day, cough, quit sport activities, gained weight -- in short, developed a smoker's body along with my smoker's lungs. The experiment worked and now I'm here, like all the other smokers.

If you're going to try it, just smoke one or two to get your curiosity squelched. Me? I'll probably never stop.

By anon256420 — On Mar 21, 2012

Yeah your lungs are important; they are what keeps you on this earth. Don't treat your your fragile lungs like an exhaust pipe. Think about what you are really doing when you inhale burning material; it's pretty logical.

By anon253897 — On Mar 11, 2012

I'm 19, and I have been smoking since I was 14. I just quit last week Monday. I have been coughing up so much crap. Earlier this week, I couldn't sleep from all the coughing. I can sleep now, but the cough is pretty persistent. I can't laugh, or inhale sharply, and it stinks.

By anon251851 — On Mar 02, 2012

I'm 37 and started smoking at 14 -- yep, over 20 years now. I look fine, with many surprised that I even smoke. I agree with the whole mitigating the effects with a diet high in antioxidants. However, the smoker's cough still creeps up anyway. It's also very inconvenient at work. The whole race out for a puff, deodorize, perfume, gum routine is growing tired. I wish to no longer be a slave to the cig.

I have become quite the master at covering up the smell. I have clothes that I smoke in and clothes that I don't because the smell permeates the fabric and remains even after washing with scented fabric wash. I've quit several times but can't bear to be around smokers and all my friends/family smoke, so I picked one up so as not to appear a hypocrite and 'bang' I was smoking again. I smoke 20 per day and even do it while exercising, singing and playing guitar. A freaking die hard - literally.

I've recently developed Graves disease, a thyroid problem and the doctor said that smoking will reduce my chance of going into remission. So I'm going to quit. It's going to be a mammoth effort! But if I'm successful I'll reclaim my life. I've got an electronic cig for backup if I feel like caving in. And I highly recommend never starting smoking in the first place, because prevention is better than what I'm about to endure.

By anon247737 — On Feb 14, 2012

So funny! I am a chain smoker and I cough a lot. "What's wrong?" they ask. That's like saying I walk across the street, don't look and get hit by a car. And they ask, "What's up?"

By anon247736 — On Feb 14, 2012

Smoking is so low class and dirty. Yuck. All that mucus and coughing makes me sick.

By anon245663 — On Feb 06, 2012

I have had a cough for three months but I had only smoked one month prior to the cough. I quit and the cough got better and then I started again and it seems to be coming back. How can I treat this? Please reply.

By anon223415 — On Oct 19, 2011

Yeah, you are certainly going to want to quit smoking to be successful at it. I'm 16 and have been smoking since I was 11 and now I've had a cough just recently for about a month or maybe two, and jerk smokers know that that crap is bad for you. I've been trying to quit and your goody goody crap doesn't help.

By anon211666 — On Sep 03, 2011

Just stop if you want to live. What a load of rubbish. Stop, start. Stop, start. It's all in the mind. It's a piece of cake to stop. Just don't buy them and go treat your babe to a night out.

Filling your body with poisons will eventually kill you. Think of your poor loved ones you are leaving behind.

My dad was given a choice: quit or face death. He chose the latter, and believe me, it hurts. I wish you all the best on trying to quit and I take my hat off to you. Of course I know it's not easy. All the best.

By sidewinder — On Aug 29, 2011

I have smoked since age 15 almost continuously (I'm 59 now). Of course, I have quit many times (?) and fully understand that it's a horrible habit. Only in the last few months have I developed a bad cough. Constant water and lozenges like butterscotch seem to help. However, in my career sometimes I have to speak somewhat publicly and the cough seems to be hitting me at these inopportune times. I cannot make it stop and have to stop and sometimes even excuse myself from the room.

I'm having very fitful sleep now too, coughing all night, even with water next to the bed. This is the worst it ever has been so now I'll seek medical assistance and try to give my best effort at quitting one last time. I know the coughing annoys others (and my wife in bed), but it now annoys me even more.

Boy, I sure hope antibiotics help and that I can quit this time. Regardless of my opinion, I hope to never come off as "born again" and will never lecture others. It's a free country.

By anon206252 — On Aug 15, 2011

To everyone who says, "just quit," it's a life choice. Smokers don't complain on other people with habits. If I leave you alone with your chewing tobacco or whatever you choose to do, then leave. It's no more than fair that you leave me alone with my smokes.

Fun fact: A non-smoker who complains about smoking and drives a car for 25 years, does more damage to his/her surroundings than a smoker does in the same time. Yet the smoker doesn't whine*

So to all you non-smoking people saying just quit, I say, give up your addiction for four months then post and I'll stop smoking for the same amount of time.

By amypollick — On Jul 14, 2011

@anon196302: Only a doctor can tell you whether you have permanent respiratory damage, but as someone who has suffered from it, it does sound like you have a raging case of bronchitis, and that's *only* going to get better with antibiotics, assuming it's bacterial, and not viral. In any case, you need to see a doctor.

I think you know you need to quit smoking, so I'm not even going there, except to say the American Cancer Society has great stop smoking support groups. My mom quit with the help of one, and she had been smoking 50 years. Good luck.

By anon196302 — On Jul 14, 2011

I only smoke at least 10 smokes max a day (I used to smoke more in the past and stronger smokes) and recently caught a cold. I had a fever now I have this bad cough and am constantly coughing up green mucus and it's hard to cough up the mucus. It really hurts my throat.

I'm also asthmatic and am trying to quit, but turn back to the smokes when I stress out. Have I damaged my respiratory system and will I have to quit before I cough anything worse up?

By anon185829 — On Jun 13, 2011

Yeah, we smokers know exactly how bad smoking is. to you judgmental non-smokers, we tend to know more about how hard it is to quit and just how bad it is for you.

I am an operation iraqi freedom, vet, and started smoking during my first tour. It relieved the stress after mortar and rocket attacks every day. I've tried to quit multiple times, but have been trying it on my own. my grandma was a smoker for 20 years now is not. she says you'll quit when you want to, but you have to want to quit.

By anon176327 — On May 15, 2011

My husband smokes 50 a day, coughs, chokes and can't breathe. He's 45 and can't stop. he is a lost cause now. It hurts me so much to watch him self destruct.

By anon160228 — On Mar 15, 2011

I've just turned 18 and well i didn't know what my cough was about but I've smoked for a good four to five years and after reading this i do indeed have smokers cough. oh the joy. anyway, I'm still smoking. the damage has been done. good times all round.

By anon157732 — On Mar 04, 2011

Okay, first off if you're going to post about quitting, don't waste people's time with your comment.

There's a time and place when someone realizes that they have to stop and no one but that person can tell them when they need to quit.

Secondly, for everyone asking about just starting to smoke and having a cough, no, it's not smokers cough; it's your lungs not being used to hot smoke hitting your lungs and trying to expel it. It will go away after your lungs are used to it.

Lastly, all of you talking about how easy it is to quit smoking, we don't care about how easy it was for you. We are not you; we are us and we are different from you, so quitting will be different for us. So don't waste our time with comments about your personal accomplishments that you assume we will find important and hoping to glorify your sense of accomplishment because it's not really that amazing; it's the same thing as throwing out old clothes.

And one more time: if you're going to just post stop smoking, don't, because all you're doing is making it harder on people who want to find answers to their questions by having to filter through the comments written by biased people. Because anyone who actually smoked and knows what it's really like to quit would never tell a smoker to quit. Well, no self respecting ex-smoker would anyway.

By anon149788 — On Feb 05, 2011

I don't smoke traditional cigarettes or cigars, but I do like to smoke an occasional bowl of shisha tobacco in my hookah.

While smoking is never good for you, I find it a "better" alternative to commonplace smoking. Shisha tobacco is unaltered, natural tobacco leaves simply marinated in a flavored molasses. It burns much cleaner, there are no additives to the tobacco (other than the honey which gives it a flavor), and once it is filtered through clean water, it has a much smaller amount of tar and very little nicotine.

So - for what it's worth - if I feel like a puff once in a while, that's my go-to. It's non addictive (i never crave the stuff, usually only busting out my hookah during parties or socials), it smells much better (no ashtray leftover smell), and I'm simply not compelled to smoke compulsively.

But again, smoking is not good for you. That's the bottom line. My boss was a smoker for 35 years and quit after an awful lung infection (cold turkey, no less) - after he quit he told me, "I can think of a 1,000 reasons not to smoke - but now I can't think of one *to* smoke."

By anon149694 — On Feb 05, 2011

my father in law is a very heavy smoker. i have known him for over ten years and he has always had a very bad, persistent cough which sometimes makes it difficult for him to carry out a conversation because he gets sudden fits of coughing.

this is making him very difficult to live with as he coughs terribly all through the night. not only does his coughing keep me awake but it wakes my two small children several times at night. this means the whole family is not not getting enough sleep and life is beginning to become unbearable and i am starting to resent him living with us.

I would like to help him as i am a nurse myself, and i know he has developed a smokers cough, which i know for a fact will lead to more serious respiratory conditions, especially as he does not eat healthily or look after himself as he should. Without sounding cruel or selfish, this will mean i will have to end up caring for him sooner rather later as my husband is his his only son and they have no other family.

I feel he has already stolen a lot from our lives as he has lived with us ever since i met my husband 10 years ago (we are a young family. we are both 30 years old), and it just seems to be never ending and so unfair and this is now affecting our relationship and family life.

Unfortunately, he is not the kind of person who accepts help as he is as stubborn as a mule. i have just realized how unhappy I've been for the past few years. i am beginning to think i might be depressed and don't know where i can get help. so if anyone can suggest something, i am all ears.

Anyway the whole point of my rant is that smoking doesen't just harm the smoker, but can potentially destroy the lives of those around them.

By anon148558 — On Feb 02, 2011

My sister smokes and now she's got a cough worse than my mom's boyfriend and it almost sounds like she's going to puke at times.

She says it's a cold but I don't think so. i know she smokes a lot but how many packs, I don't know. I switched from smoking to chewing tobacco a few years ago when i was 19 and I go through a can a week and i don't have a cough at all. smokers cough is really annoying, though. it can keep you from sleeping when someone you live with has it.

By anon148352 — On Feb 01, 2011

I went to this site for information on the cough that I've had for nearly 3 months now. I have been smoking for 11 years and I'm tired of feeling sick all of the time. Those of you who have tried to justify your smoking- read through all of these posts and you might see what I see.

If we all have all of these issues caused by smoking, why are we doing it? I think it's time to quit. No habit is worth a constant cough or worse.

By anon136405 — On Dec 22, 2010

it's not impossible to quit. i only smoked for six months, so some of you may say i have no room to talk, but my friend's dad smoked two packs a day for 10-plus years, and he quit on his first attempt to quit, and I'm trying to get my dad to do the same. can't give up the marijuana smoke though. lol

By anon132169 — On Dec 05, 2010

I saw my mother in law smoking and laughing saying she could give up anytime. But she never did till she had a tumour the size of golf ball cut out of her throat and watching the mucus that came out of the hole they left her with in her neck so she could breathe was enough for my sons to never ever touch a cigarette.

People don't think of those things happening -- they just worry a bout a cough. Once you start coughing, the damage could have been too late. Not nice when you can't talk ever again.

By anon129689 — On Nov 24, 2010

quitting is something all of you should do, without haste.

By anon124077 — On Nov 04, 2010

My husband has been smoking since he was 14 and is in complete denial as to the health hazards of smoking. He smokes about 40 a day and won't stop. He is now 63. He has a bad cough which seems to go on all day and he says it is just a cold but it can be so bad he almost chokes with it. I am at the end of my tether with him.

By anon118392 — On Oct 14, 2010

I have only smoked for a few months and I have this chronic cough and phlegm. I'm only 18.I wasn't ever a pack a day smoker but there hasn't been a day I haven't smoked in months. I need to tone down, I guess.

By anon107624 — On Aug 31, 2010

I used to smoke one to two packs a day. I had a bad smokers cough for years. I would also wake up every day feeling horrible and weak. I finally decided no more! I tried quitting a few times but always ended up going back. I recently just tried the e-cigarette and it's been over two months without smoking a real cigarette. I feel a lot healthier and my lungs have really improved a lot.

By anon104000 — On Aug 14, 2010

wow, just stop smoking. The cough is an obvious sign that you can no longer take it. Stop making up lies and excuses in your head. simply stop or keep going and die just like my dad.

By anon90841 — On Jun 18, 2010

I'm 20 and been smoking since i was 14 i started to get it about two months after i started smoking and still do. It's horrible in the morning and if anyone wants to start smoking, don't. it's not worth it because once you start you can't stop and when you do want to stop it's the hardest thing ever to do.

By anon90530 — On Jun 16, 2010

I smoked for 14 years, 25 a day, and I quit. That was a year ago and I haven't had a cigarette since. Sure, I really miss it sometimes, but you'd be surprised by how often you don't miss it.

I look at people who smoke now, and whereas I don't mind people smoking around me, I'm relieved now that I'm no longer chained up to that addiction. Smoking is not something you can enjoy on your own terms.

When you've been smoking for a few years, you don't notice things have changed. You don't notice that you actually feel sick a lot of the time, or that your breathing is heavy.

You don't realize that the carbon monoxide from cigarettes actually stays in your blood stream the whole time, not just while you're having a cigarette, so even when you're not having a smoke, oxygen is still not getting to your body. That does damage whether you eat heaps of vegetables or not, you can't offset the effects of smoking by a healthy diet.

The person who said they're 27 and suggested that method, take a look at yourself when you're 37, and that's when you'll notice the damage.

As soon as I quit smoking, I stopped coughing and I could breathe easily again.

And the most shocking thing of all: I didn't find it that hard to quit. Two years ago, I could never see myself quitting in a million years. I'd drive to the nearest store at four in the morning to buy a packet I was that desperate.

But in my mind I decided I wanted to quit and I was going to stick to it, and the reward, I found, is that it wasn't as difficult as I thought it was going to be.

So the moral of my preaching is don't keep smoking merely because you think it's too hard to quit. You should at least allow yourself a decent try.

By anon84027 — On May 13, 2010

I'm 19 now and i was smoking starting from 13 and like today i was just trying to sing and noticed that something felt stuck in my neck. i realized its phlegm and no matter how hard i try it won't get out. what should i do?

By anon80298 — On Apr 26, 2010

My husband has been smoking for 40 years now and last year he developed a cough. At one point he said that the cough was getting better but to this day I still hear him coughing. Now I know that smokers cough is phlegm in the throat. I need to know what can happen from that.

By anon79233 — On Apr 21, 2010

I'm 16 and just started smoking like five weeks ago, yet already have this cough. What does this mean, since in the above passage it says it doesn't usually affect new smokers?

By anon78692 — On Apr 19, 2010

I'm 27 and I've been smoking for 10 years a pack a day. Still, you would never tell I'm a smoker, because I have no smoker cough, no yellow teeth and perfect finger nails, also my throat and lungs work and look very healthy as told by my regular doctors. Why?

there is a huge difference between a smoker who eat fruits and vegetables and a smoker who eats junk food, like most smokers. It does make a difference. Bottom line, if you can't seem to quit and you continue to smoke, at least try to compensate the damage of the cigarettes for good stuff from the nature. Basic?

However I do want to stop smoking because I'm still vulnerable to cancer or other health problems, but I wanted to share this simple fact about me because sometimes doctors get surprised when I tell them I'm a 10 year smoker.

My brother is also a heavy smoker like me and he eats very healthy and no signs of cigarette damages. Keep this advice in mind because I know how hard it is to quit smoking.

By anon78577 — On Apr 19, 2010

My husband is 54 and has smoked since he was 13. He is in denial about the affects smoking has caused. He coughs and when I say smokers cough he says no, I have an itch in my throat. Or he uses an inhaler which his doctor prescribed.

But it all goes back to the 10 or more cigs a day. He is not allowed to smoke in my house or my car. But the elements don't stop him. Nothing will.

By anon77282 — On Apr 13, 2010

I started smoking when i was 15. It has been a few months and after i smoked a menthol cigarette my lungs have been coughing up phlegm for three months. I still do but less so now. Do I have chronic bronchitis?

By anon68671 — On Mar 03, 2010

I'm 19 and have been smoking since 14 years old, about half a pack a day through out the whole time although during periods of high stress i have hit as much as three packs a day for extended periods of times.

I have a cough, but I only get it when I don't smoke for awhile, such as if i am at work and haven't smoked for four hours or so I begin getting a phlegm cough, but once I have a smoke it goes away. what does this mean?

i was told by a friend who quit that it is actually your lungs healing and clearing out the phlegm, but was surprised it happens so quickly. he said after about a week and a half of him quitting he began coughing out greenish black stuff for several days.

By anon64209 — On Feb 05, 2010

I keep hearing my father coughing and spitting phlegm. he's a heavy smoker and has been so for several decades. it's immensely disgusting and annoying. it makes me twitch when I hear it.

By anon57874 — On Dec 28, 2009

I'm 21 and I've been smoking for the past six years now. I'm going through a heavy cough and a sore throat. I don't know what the problem is. i also chain smoke. i can barely breathe sometimes and i would get shortness of breath.

By anon56372 — On Dec 14, 2009

I'm 30 and don't smoke a great deal nowadays, maybe on weekends perhaps and that with only Silk Cut Ultra lows. maybe 20 a week at most.

I also go to the gym very frequently and do up to 200 calories of cardio (inter alia) at least twice a week.

I have what seems to be smoker's cough -- and it's getting very annoying.

By anon51019 — On Nov 02, 2009

You breathe. You cough. You eventually die like everyone else. Takes a few decades, maybe several, but the bottom line is everyone dies. If you want to stop smoking, by all means stop! I have smoked for 31 years, still enjoy it and don't have smoker's cough. So go figure! :)

By anon50559 — On Oct 29, 2009

i'm a smoker and i can't run. does it mean it's time for me to quit? i've smoked for two years.

By anon37575 — On Jul 20, 2009

You smoke. You cough. You eventually die. Takes a few years- to several but the bottom line is- *stop smoking*! I smoke and yes- I have the 'smokers cough'. My phlegm is very green at start then a clear. I cough after I smoke also. *Stop*. *Smoking*!

By zoz — On Jul 04, 2009

I'm 18 and have been smoking since I was 14 I get extremely heavy coughs and can sometimes taste blood but I spit out phelgem. Whats going on?

By anon24871 — On Jan 19, 2009

what if i cough through out the day? Is that even related to the smoker's cough, and damaged Cilia?

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a The Health Board contributor, Tricia...
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