Hi all,

Follow up to my last/first post, i am now 5 weeks without cigs and still feel like hell. Still SOB most of the time. I mentioned it to my specialist last Friday (Thai) and all he said was COPD. But as i tried to explain to him i had no problem breathing whilst smoking. The SOB started about 2 days after i quit smoking. Those of you who are early stage1, maybe you can tell me how you feel?

I have a strange sensation several times a day which feels like someone is pressing gently against my larynx cutting off my air supply. Initially i would panic, now i know i need to get my breathing under control and normally do so although at least once a day i will start dry heaving at this point. Anyone else the same?

I know i have to stop smoking and never would have thought i would get to 5 weeks but i feel so ill, it is affecting my work.

58 Replies

  • This is so disappointing for you Swerv. They tell you stopping smoking will help, then the reverse happens.

    This seems to happen to some people. You might be better off stopping slowly as cold turkey is not doing you any good. Alternatively, there are electronic cigarettes which seem to help a lot of people.

    Cutting your consumption of tobacco would appear to be an easier way. The stress you are going through now is not helping you at all.

    Best wishes

    AS x

  • Hi, i do have the e cigs but don't use them much. I know my problem is from packing the cigs in as i had no problem breathing before, this started about 2 days after i had stopped.


  • Hey Azure

    Hows George? Could have sworn I saw a brunett in your spot earlier! Am I seeing things?

    😊😀 xx

  • Hello Ruby, George is his usual mischievous self. The brunette photo was taken 25 years ago, I will post a photo of George soon.

    Love ASx

  • Hi, I am sorry that you are feeling so bad. I was wondering if you were on any inhalers, there are various different ones.

    Have you ring the BLF helpline if you live in the UK, for advice

  • Hi Knitter

    The SOB is from packing up the cigs so i don't know if inhalers will help. I know this is causing it as my SOB started 2 days after i packed up.I am in Thailand.

  • Hi Swerv, Sorry to hear you are suffering from stopping smoking this could be caused by something else. Which hospital do you use? cheers Dave from the LoS.

  • Hi Dave

    You are here in Thailand?

    I am using Bangkok hospital in Phuket.

    This SOB only started 2 days after i had packed up smoking, done a lot of research on the internet and this happens to a small percentage of people. Can take up to a year to clear.

    What i am trying to understand is what should i be feeling like as an early Stage 1. Should i have SOB? Is it possible the smoking was stopping the SOB somehow?

    It's frustrating as i am struggling to work, in fact a walk around Tesco is a struggle.


  • Hi Merv, Yes I have lived here for many years. I was a 3 pack (B&H) per day smoker. I quit, cold turkey, 11 yrs ago as I remember it was quite a while before I found that I could breath easier. When I got my breathing "stabilised" I then went to see a pulmonary Dr. I am stage IV emphysema. Did they carry out a full pulmonary test? or ant tests? You need to get the correct test done then you will know for sure what the problems are. I see that the following hospital has 2 pulmonary Dr.s I would go for a second opinion especially after the "diagnosis" you got from Bangkok Hospital Phuket. Phuket International Hospital

    44 Chalermprakiat Ror 9 Road, Phuket 83000

    Phone : +66 76 249-400, +66 76 361 818

    Fax : +66 76 210 936

    Email :

    By the way it took me 3 attempts to find my present pulmo Dr. who is in BKK and is very good. Cheers Dave from the LoS.

  • Hi Dave

    Bangkok and Phuket international are now the same company. The Bangkok group bought out the Phuket International Hospital last year.

    I think i am ok with the Dr. I have got as he is very positive it is stage 1 with a spirometer reading of 72. I've not done any other tests.

    It's getting to me because i need to work which involves a lot of walking...i sell land. But i am out of breath just walking to my car. I have been putting off going to Tesco for the last couple of days as i can't face walking around the aisles.

    I have received a few replies from people who have had the same problem, one was clear after 3 months another one was a year.

    Just wondering if there is anything in Boots that doesn't need a prescription that would help.

    BTW been here 18 years.

  • Hi Merv, Please take my advice and do not take any over the counter meds until you have got a reliable diagnosis for what is causing your SOB. You could pick the wrong meds and finish up in the ICU. Cheers. Dave.

  • Hi, I had the same issue when I stopped back in 2011. For a few months I was short of breath, never experienced it while I smoked, my lung specialist said there is a chemical in fags which open the airways, when you stop smoking you don't get the chemical. Mine only lasted a few months then I got better. The body needs time to adjust being with fags, stick with it, it will be a challenge but if you have COPD you must stop.

  • Hi, i hope it does get better coz this is wearing me out.

  • Swerv, congratulations for being smoke free for five weeks. It's not easy but you've done it. Well Done! Don't pick up a cigarette again, you may not be able to quit if you start again or else it will be worse if you try. You body is complaining that something radical has changed. It will improve because your just at stage One.

    You need more info and assistance from your doctor who is not of any help at all at the moment. There are a number of various inhalers that would probably assist you. Ask the doctor about it. Him just saying COPD doesn't cut it. He needs to do something for you.

    All the best to you and Well Done again.

  • Hi, i take Seretide twice daily.

    I am 99% certain that this SOB is from stop smoking, i have done a lot of research and a % of people do suffer from stop smoking.

    What i am trying to find out is what should i be feeling like being early stage1. Should i have SOB? Is it possible that smoking stopped me being SOB?

    This SOB only started 2 days after i quit my last fag.


  • Hi again, I have never used seretide but I tried Serevent and that gave me bronchospasm. Could your doctor try you on a different medication to see if that helps.

    Best wishes

  • Hi SOB, I had to pack up smoking because of my COPD and had packed up twice in the past but went back as the craving was bad.

    I don't know if this helps but a friend of mine who had packed up smoking and was in his 10th year told me that the way he handled it was he realized that the craving never goes so once I accepted that I finally succeeded and now off the fags for the past 4 years and yes I still fancy a puff.

  • When I stopped smoking I felt worse for a while coughing more and lots more phlegm... It eventually gets better I used the nicorrette lozenges to help with the withdrawal from niccotine its a slower gentler withdrrawel than cold turkey....I know its difficult but please stick with it I wen for my cold review yesterday and my peak flow has actually is a slow process no miracles unfortunately but you will get there Good Luck

  • Hi thanks for replying. I am dealing with the cravings, although i never would have thought i would get to 5 weeks. What i am trying to deal with is being SOB after the second day of quit smoking. Is it possible the fags were stopping me being SOB? Unlikely.

    It is affecting my work which is why i am asking what i should be feeling being early stage1. Should i have any SOB?

    5 weeks and i am not coughing anything up.


  • Hi Swerv,

    I was not breathless at stage one but when I stopped smoking also got SOB. After stopping I went to the next stage in the first year. My COPD nurse told me it takes time. Your lungs must be working overtime to get rid of the toxins. I think you have done really well to have stopped this long so do keep it up I know you would regret it if you started again. Stopping for some seems to make it worse, I'm living proof of that but no matter how hard things are I don't want to start smoking again. I live in hope that over the next year or two my breathing will improve a little or at least my COPD will not get worse.

    I think you should go and see your Doctor and tell him/her what is happening to you. I think you are also under alot of stress because of the SOB and are worried about your job. This of course will not help your breathing. I didn't cough anything up either until I got an infection then spent 2 weeks coughing up gunge all the time this was 6 months after I had stopped so there is still time for that to happen. Of course you have got to work just like the rest of us so do make that appointment you never know the Doctor might be able to help or give you something for the stress. Let us know how things go when you have seen the Doctor.


  • Thanks Val


  • been a year since i gave up smoking, and about 3 months after i gave up i started getting sob, my doc said i have copd, my new doc says i have asthma, so i dont know what ive got. my son gave up, hes 38, and hes sob too, other wise we are healthy, we just dont feel like it.

  • Hi

    Asthma is COPD

  • yes I know, my first doctor said mild emphysema , my new doctor says its asthma, i never had short of breath when i was smoking im 55

  • I tried packing but cud not breath cud get out off my chest do I started again now I am ok again .well have the hell of a time my hubby went last week for a byopsy on his lungs came though that ok but as they moved him he had a massive heart attack and now he's in iciicu in a coma he came around a little but they say he may massive brain damage they if no change in a few days I might have face that he cud die heartbroken they take out of u r hands now as if he has lung cancer they can't give him treatment as it would kill.him anyway he was have byopsy to see if he had lung cancer but he had beat cancer twice first his Tonge then his throat I am in bits going see. Him every day I have keep his spirited up as my voice is the only one he response to plc would u all say a prayer for him this is why I not been on here I really don't want to be here without him lv bobbydoda x

  • So sorry 4 u. Our thoughts & prayers r with u. Xx

  • Thanks


  • Thinking of you and your husband bobbydoda . All the best. P

  • Hi Swerv

    Don't be fooled into thinking that the cigs helped you breathe. They have chemicals in them that force your airways open - the same chemicals that eat away at your lungs. I gave up in January 2014 after 40 years and I have mild COPD that was diagnosed after quitting (I went to the doctors feeling just like you). I ended up taking 3 weeks off work, feeling dizzy with low blood pressure, bleeding gums and other nasty sensations (including loads of wind).

    Don't be too concerned about the sensation in your throat. I had exactly the Same thing for months after quitting. I think it is the cilia growing back. Cilia are the tiny hairs in the throat and lungs that evacuate/clean out your lungs of bad stuff. The feeling of pressure is pretty scary but, if it's the same as I had, it does go away...eventually.

    You might want to know that my FEV1 was 85% just after quitting and after a retest 6 months later it went to 94%. I am sure this was down to quitting and daily 20 minute brisk walks. I feel much much better now. You can do this....good luck


  • Hi Ann

    Thanks for the reply. Yes, this feeling of pressure on the throat is a bit scary and in fact early days i did panic a bit. Now i know i just have to get the breathing back under control. When i have these attacks, sometimes, 1-3 times a day i then start to dry heave which is pretty horrendous. Just back from Tesco and i could feel a dry heave coming on, just made it to the bathroom. This dry heaving is linked to COPD but i can't find out much about what causes it?


  • Hi Merv

    I don't know for sure but my guess is that the new cilia are irritating you r throat just like if you were sticking fingers down your throat to be sick or when you swallow a hair?? Or is that just me that has done that? 😀

  • Yes, I well remember packing in the ciggies and being amazed that I was then bugged by an awful tickly cough which seemed as tho it wouldn't let go of me . Keep at it , my cough eventually left me in peace and I am so glad I stopped smoking for so many reasons . Keep the faith and hopefully your cough will be on its way soon .


  • Hi swerve you say your are using Seretide, I am surprised that you are also not using Ventolin to open up your airways to help you breathe.

    Well done with the cigs.

    polly xx

  • Thanks polly, i am supposed to see my doc in 2 months time but if this SOB does not get better soon i will make an appointment to see him.


  • Hi Swerve

    I agree with Azure. I think cold turkey is too big a shock to your body. You need to taper off gradually. I'm no expert. But it just makes sense. I wish they would do a survey on how many people feel better and how many feel worse. And what stage they were at when they quit.

    Keep us posted on how you progress.

    Rubyxx 😊

  • Will do Ruby


  • Hi sorry to hear your not to good I also stopped smoking at the end of last year thats 5 months ago & I must say that I dont miss them but my breathing seems to be worse got no energy. My oxygen level is not great as I was poorly a little while ago so now I cant do much at all as I get out of breath so quickly. I do hope you feel better very soon best of luck & thinking of you.

  • Hi, sorry you are suffering so much, can I offer you a few pointers ( others may have already!) SOB is not necessarily the issue with COPD, rather more important is how long does it take you to recover from SOB? Remember all the the best athletes are SOB after exerting themselves! But they quickly recover.

    So points to best health with COPD are:

    1. Stop smoking

    2. Learn all you can about the syndrome (BLF)

    3. Take all medication as prescribed

    4. Find an exercise programme which you can manage at the lowest level and build up. See YouTube

    5. Be kind to yourself

    6 Use this forum.

    7. Know good self care is not rocket science.

    I was diagnosed 12 years ago, with severe COPD, now classes as medium, I exercise, ( walk 30 mins every day, take a yoga class and play badminton ) rest when need to, take my meds religiously. If I can do it then most others can do it!

    Good luck and keep well :-)

  • Thanks Polly, i appreciate the advice.


  • Did you get better or worse after quitting smoking?

    ☺😊 xx

  • Hi Polly, i did not have SOB before being diagnosed, it started the second day after i quit smoking.


  • Hi, I was so ill with a major asthma attack/exacerbation I had to stop smoking, although I was undiagnosed at that time. So there was no other way forward than to get better or die! ( hahaaa) I had been a bit breathless before stopping smoking tho. Absolutely no regrets about stopping smoking :-)

  • If that feeling in your throat wasn't there prior to Seretide, I'd suggest that the person above who said it may be the Seretide thats causing the throat problem could be right, the steroid element can do this, as can the powder. If it doesn't suit you it could also cause the spasm also referred to and cause sob.

    Exactly what meds were prescribed?

    If you weren't SOB before diagnosis, what made you go to the Dr?

  • Ah yes, genius. The throat feeling could be thrush.

    Eat a lot of live, organic yogurt. I sort of gargle with it when I get it - from Seretide use.

    Good practice is to rinse/gargle after every use. It's vital to avoid thrush in the throat. I even gargle before use to dilute the Seretide on my throat im that desperate to prevent it and avoid the docs.

    Nystatin is the med to cure it, prescription only in the UK - If it's thrush, worth a try, no?

  • Hi Peege, thrush from Seretide? How will i recognize the symptoms?

    Was told by another member that the feeling of pressure on my throat is probably the cilia growing back?

  • Well, it's only a suggestion based on my experience just as everyone else here as we are not medics.

    My throat was very sore for ages, it felt sort of raw over quite a large area.

    Doc took a look & dx thrush, prescribed Nystatin to drop into throat (it tastes foul).

    I took advice from folks here on the rinsing & gargling and work at keeping thrush at bay.

    Thrush is common when using some inhalers (this from my respiratory nurse).

  • Hi soulsaver, i have used Seretide in the past when i have had flu as it would quickly turn to bronchitis/asthma but no side effects.

    My meds are only Seretide and something to slow down the mucus running down the back of my throat.

    I went to the doc coz beginning of the year i started with a smokers cough i.e. i would cough when i smoked. Then i would cough after i smoked then suddenly it was a persistent cough.

  • Hi Swerv,I stopped smoking about three years ago now and am just really feeling the benefits,been smoking for forty odd years ,so it takes a long time.Cigs have pain killers and all sorts in them just to keep you hooked.I suggest you learn some good breathing exercises,plenty on YouTube.You should probably be using Salbutamol

    Reliever inhaler,ask your doctor.

  • I don't have as much advice to offer as some others but I did read that the act of drawing in when smoking opens the airways anyway so stopping smoking means that action no longer takes place. I have a friend who is 80 years old and suffers some breathlessness and is a smoker. She has decided not to quit smoking for the very reason that her breathlessness will probably get worse. Not the wisest decision in my opinion but it's her choice.

    I wonder why you were put on Seretide as your first inhaler? Did your doctor think you needed a steroid inhaler rather than one to just open your airway? I was first put on Ventolin (the blue one, not the brown steroid one) to open the airway. I had a lot of trouble finding a reliever inhaler which did not cause me side effects and eventually settled on Spiriva - a once a day long acting bronchodilator.

    I recently experienced worsening of symptoms and my GP said it was inflammation of the airways and added in Seretide. Her suggested treatment regime was (1) Ventolin to open the airways (which I'm not taking because of the side effects), (2) Spiriva, followed by (3) Seretide. The Seretide is also causing side effects and it's now been reduced.

  • Hi, what side effects are you getting from seretide?

  • The main one was an irritation in the throat. Like when you've got a dry tickly cough and there's nothing to bring up but you cough, cough, cough anyway.

    I have COPD but I do not get mucous unless I have an infection (I've had haemophilus a couple of times plus I have pseudomonas in my lungs which has flared up a couple of times) so ordinarily I don't have a cough.

    The day I started Seretide 250, twice a day, was the day the cough started. Not a tickle in the throat, more like a scratch that irritated. It would start about 20 minutes after I went to bed and continued for between 30 minutes and an hour. Nothing I did helped, I even propped myself up on 4 pillows and tried to sleep that way but still cough, cough, cough. After 3 weeks of this I left off the evening dose of Seretide and within 24 hours the cough disappeared and has not come back.

    When I mentioned it to my Dr she said I had perfectly described Post Nasal Drip. When I told her the cough came on as soon as I started the Seretide and went as soon as I stopped it I received no comment! (I don't really rate my Dr much.)

    She has reduced my dose to Seretide 100, once a day in the morning. No cough (but no improvement in my symptoms either!).

    In addition I experienced chest discomfort, like an indigestion type pain, which is one of the side effects I originally had when I started on inhalers before finding I was better on Spiriva. (Originally when this happened the Dr wanted me to go on Omeprazole but I couldn't because of risk of osteoporosis. I started prebiotics instead to improve gut health and that helped a great deal.) I've just taken another course of pro and pre biotics and the discomfort has gone as previously but that could also be due to the lower dose of Seretide. I'm now awaiting delivery of some different probiotics and if all goes well I think I will continue with them.

    I also experienced - although I don't know if this was a side effect - an ache in my lungs at the back, sometimes feeling it low down, sometimes mid-way. When I mentioned this to the Dr she said it could be arthritis - like I said, I don't rate her much! The ache in my lungs has now all but gone, maybe again because of the lower dose of Seretide.

  • I also was ok before I gave up. I gave up as I was diagnosed with angina and blamed the fags so gave up there and then. A few weeks later I found I was gasping for breathe. I was then diagnosed with very severe emphysema. If it had been mild or moderate I could have probably understood but straight into Stage 4 seems to say something in the fags does something to cover the problem.

  • I think so too as i had no breathing problems before i gave up. Sitting here now 0630 and gulping like a goldfish.

  • swerve if you were getting bronchitis and asthma before you gave up smoking that would indicate that there were some breathing problems. Is that why you decided to give up smoking?

    Please don't have another cigarette to gradually wean off smoking. You may not be able to give up again and every cigarette you smoke causes damage.

  • Hi,

    I would get bronchitis/asthma twice a year due to the change of seasons here. Started to have a fruit smoothie in the morning and no cold or flu for 3 years.

    Gave up smoking after being diagnosed COPD about 7 weeks ago, been off the cigs for 37 days now but still feeling rough. No breathing problems before.

  • I read somewhere that along with all the other additives that the cigarette companies put in cigs they add bronchodilators which open the airways. This would explain people suffering SOB after giving up smoking.

  • How very ironic !

    I' ve switched from big tobacco to big pharma for my bronchochodilators.😍

  • Hi, naturally i don't want to start smoking again but at the same time i don't like feeling as i do.

    Interested to see what you have.

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