Smoker’s Cough: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Smoker's cough is a serisou problem with chain smokers. While this may look normal, it can lead to lung cancer if ignored for long! Read all the details about smoker's cough in this article.

Chanchal Sengar
Written by: Chanchal SengarUpdated at: Aug 06, 2019 16:08 IST
Smoker’s Cough: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

To begin with, smoking is injurious to health. Smoking, especially chain-smoking lays the foundation of a lot of lung-related health problems that may lead to lung cancer if not treated on time. Coughing, Asthma, Chronic Bronchitis are the initial problems that a heavy smoker would suffer. In this article, we will talk about Smoker’s Cough which is one of the most common issues with chain smokers. 

Smoker’s cough is caused as your body is expelling the chemicals that entered your lungs due to smoking cigarettes. Smoker’s cough is different from normal coughing. While normal coughing would subside in a few days' time, smoker’s cough doesn’t settle down until and unless you quit smoking! If a cough lasts for more than three weeks, it is probably smoker’s cough (only in the case of smokers).

Quick Facts About Smoker’s Cough

  • Only smoking cigarettes can cause smoker’s cough. If you inhale nicotine or tobacco by any other means, it may also trigger smoker’s cough.
  • It is not necessary that every smoker would get smoker’s cough. This varies from person to person.
  • Smoker’s cough can lead to bronchitis, asthma and lung cancer.
  • The best way to get rid of smoker’s cough is by quitting nicotine.

Symptoms of Smoker’s cough

In the initial stage, smoker’s cough is just like a regular cough problem. It would be dry. But as it advances, the cough starts producing phlegm which would be:

  • Colorless
  • White
  • Yellow-green
  • Blood-tinged

The initial symptoms of smoker’s cough are:

  • Chest pain
  • Wheezing
  • Sore throat
  • Problem while breathing
  • Shortness of breath


Also read: Smoking and Schizophrenia Linked with Brain Nicotine Signals

Ignoring the initial symptoms of smoker’s cough can complicate things. Though you cannot escape coughing if you smoke, you can definitely ease the problem through certain preventive measures so that it doesn't reach to the stage of lung cancer. Smoker’s cough is most problematic in the morning and gets better as the day goes. 

Other types of cough Vs. Smoker's cough

There are a few things that distinguish smoker’s cough from other types of cough. Wheezing, production of phlegm, crackling sound while breathing occur only with smoker’s cough. 

While regular coughing can occur due to a lot of reasons, it will subside in a day or two and won’t cause any serious health disease. Smoker’s cough, on the other hand, is caused specifically due to smoking, nicotine and tobacco consumption. Hence, smokers are advised to get regular medical checkups done.

Smoker’s Cough: Treatments and Home Remedies

While the only way to get permanent relief from smoker’s cough is by quitting smoking, you can ease the symptoms with the help of some treatments.

Also read: Foods That Flush Out Nicotine After Smoking

Here are a few quick tips to ease coughing:

  • Keep yourself hydrated
  • Gargle using warm water for instant relaxation
  • Drink warm water with honey
  • Suck lozenges
  • Do breathing exercises daily
  • Use steam if you’re not getting relief from coughing
  • Try a humidifier
  • Try to adopt a healthy and active lifestyle

Read more on Other Diseases