Quitting Smoking

I’ve smoked for about the past fifteen years or so. More than a pack a day back in college (some ten years ago) tapering down to a third of a pack a day for the last few years. Anyway, a week ago I had my last (God willing) cigarette.

When people go on about how wonderful it was to quit, they mention that they smelled better, food tasted better, the bluebirds sang happier, etc. They do not mention the fact that my lungs feel like they’ve been filled with thistles. I never had a smoker’s cough while I was actually smoking. Never hacked or wheezed in the morning. Now I’m hit with crippling fits of coughing that leave me exhausted. I can’t sleep at night because it feels like a large cat is sitting on my chest. I’ve never had asthma but I’m assuming it feels a lot like this when I’m lying in bed and can barely take shallow breaths.

From what I’m hearing, this is usual? I’ve had a couple people say that it has to do with my lungs “working” again and clearing out fifteen years of residue (although my coughing is dry and I’ve yet to cough up a giant ball of evil or anything). One co-worker said his uncle quit smoking and never quite shook off the cough he got after quitting. “Hell,” thinks I, “If I wanted to cough for the rest of my life, I could do that AND continue smoking.”

Anyone been through this and have any words of support or advice? I’m not actually planning on returning to the cigarettes but, sheesh, this is turning into a real pain in the ass.

This has happened to me, too. I also had to blow my nose a lot.

It’ll go away soon. Good luck, and keep on it. I’m thinking about maybe considering trying to quit. Again. :rolleyes:

As an aside, I am this close to changing my username to Giant Ball of Evil.

I smoked 1-2 packs a day for years and I quit three weeks ago.

I’ve been hacking and coughing just like you’ve described, but I’ve been considering that this is a good thing - I’m clearing my lungs of the tar and nasty brownish/blackish deadly stuff.

My suggestion? Run!
Every day.
If you can’t run or don’t like to run…walk very, very fast. Or swim.

It’s all about aerobic exercise. It will help clear your lungs faster, but best of all, you’ll feel better.


Yep. Not only that, but my allergies have been worse since I quit (over two years ago), and I get colds more frequently.

The colds and allergies won’t kill me, though. So it’s a worthwhile trade-off.

I’ve been feeling like my lungs “itch” or something. I don’t recall being this aware of my lungs ever. I’m about 15 days out now, and the obsession with how my lungs feel seems to be fading.

QuitNet http://www.quitnet.org has information and anecdotal discussion about some of the unexpected side effects of quitting smoking. For example, gas? Zits? Who’d have thought of that?

I’ve also read that people felt more uncomfortable in their breathing after quitting than while they were smoking. I felt more winded and “gaspy” when I quit, and it lasted a month or so.