Quit Support
10,351 members17,711 posts

When will I notice my breathing improving?

I'm being told over and over how my breathing will improve after quiting smoking but I feel mines got worse. I'm wheezing and coughing and always feel like I've got a frog in my throat. Some days I cough up brown phlegm other days it's clear. I'm still feeling positive about quitting, I'm in my 8th week but I do honestly feel worse!!

15 Replies

Hay mate. I'm in exactly the same boat. I'm on week 11 and what I'm finding is helping me is exercise.

Nothing major, I try and do 15 mins jogging on the spot twice a day and I now do a few laps around the block on my bike.

I take my exercise to just enough that im getting out of breath. At first that didn't take long but now I'm going longer and longer.

How long and how many did you smoke?

Well done on 8 weeks, I now what you mean. Is it worth it?

I'm giving up cause I was getting out of breath playing football with my son. I don't want another summer like that

Try and focus on the real reason your quitting.

You will get there dude :-)


Hi morriemoo thanks for the reply. I smoked 20 a day and for over 30 years!! I suppose I've just sort of answered my question lol How can I expect to feel ok this soon!! I'm interested in your exercise. I do a lot of walking but would love to be able to jog. I get puffed out very quickly. When you first started the jogging on the spot how long was it before you got puffed out?

1 like

Hey mate,

Prob about 5 mins I reckon. But I found it was all about what stage my chest was in clearing.

I found that some days my chest would tighten up and I would get out of breath quicker. When that happened it would normally follow some brown pelgm was on its way.

I aimed for 30 min exercise a day. But broken up into 2 or 3 sessions


Thanks morriemoo, I found some of your other posts yesterday talking about exactly what I'd asked. Loads of usef info on them. Well I know I'm daft but I never thought of splitting the exercise!! The walking at the moment is a struggle I'm having to stop and rest due to getting breathless, I've got to carry on with that for the dogs. I'm going to jog on the spot at home stopping when I get too breathless aiming like you for 30 mins a day.

Hopefully that will also help with shifting some of the weight I'm putting on. Thanks for the brill advice. X


Hey Iaines,

No worries, I'm glad your the information useful.

I'm also using the exercise to help my anxiety (I'm suffering with severe anxiety ever since I quit)

I just tried and build up my exercise slowly over time, which did take me a few weeks. But I can now bike up and down the hill outside mine in my top gear 6 or 7 times without getting to knackered.

I also do Step Ups on the garden step. I aim for a 107 (odd number I know, but this is exactly the same number of steps to my from the bottom floor of my office to the top)

Each time I do it, I find it a little easier.

Good luck, and please let me know if you feel better :-)

Also never been hard on yourself if you can't do it. Every bit of exercise and hour you don't smoke is a massive achievement. You will get there in the end.

For the first time in years my chest feels nearly clear. I'm now starting week 12.



You're doing greats do you are an inspiration to me! I will keep In touch and let you know how I'm going. X

1 like

Hello laines , firstly well done on reaching 8 weeks. As for coughing it varies from one person to another. As long as your still getting rid your lungs are doing their job properly. Like morrimoo says exercise is very good for helping clear your lungs. If you are still unsure it might be worth seeing your doctor to get checked out. :)

1 like

Aup Laines, a massive warm welcome to this lovely quit support site :) AND a big well done to you for getting to 8 whole weeks quit :) :) cos that is one Hell of an achievement I tell ya :) :)

Rite, down to the nitty gritty :o Like Jillygirl and Morrimoo have said !!

We are all different

Our bodies are all different

Our timing is all different

Our mind is all different

Our work is all different

I have said this before, the coughing and spitting up phlegm for ME, stopped about 3 weeks into my quit :) BUT !!

At work, I am always on the go :) NOT sat a desk !

And in play, I am active :) as in, I am always up to something :o Good, Bad, Ugly, :D :D but I am not a couch potato

Soooo it may be up to your life style perhaps :o

Have a think eh !!

Pete :)

1 like

Thanks for all the helpful advice everyone. I do exercise, I've got two Dobermans so I'm walking all the time. I'm finding this a struggle at the moment too. I'm really not on a downer lol I promise. I suppose I expected to feel all healthy now I don't smoke but I actually feel worse. I'm coughing more, I get out of breathe quicker I'm getting fatter and I've got a face full of spots I'm glad I joined this great group I often just browse the posts getting loads of useful tips

1 like

Laines congratulations on reaching week 8, as everyone has said we are all different but I also notice when I exercise I actually cough more and I am trying to drink more water instead of tea and coffee to break up the mucous and get rid of these toxins as quickly as possible, maybe you have a chest infection and it's actually nothing to do with the smoking side of things, worth checking out with GP, keep going you are doing so very well, I have just completed week 7 so,proud of myself never thought I would get this far after smoking over 40 years and this forum certainly helps


Hi Kaprin

Well done on getting as far as week 7. You like me have smoked for a long time. How was your breathing before you quit? Do you feel it is worse now? How do you feel in yourself? Sorry for all the questions lol I do realise I'm expecting improvements too soon but I feel I need some sign that good things are on the way to keep me motivated.


on reflection I now realise that my breathing was deteriorating prior to quitting but I quit as I had a heart attack 7 weeks ago and was rushed into hospital having 5 stents fitted. I had been considering giving up but hadn't actually done it. I go for a 30 minute walk every day at the moment until my cardiac rehab starts after Christmas and when I first set off am coughing terribly and very definitely out of breath for the whole walk but the more you do it the better it will get, you need to get your heart rate going to exercise your heart and my lungs ache but once you are back and rested this goes off which proves the exercise works in my eyes. My cardiologist said you can feel worse anything from 3 months to a year after quitting smoking but it is the best thing you can do for your health and it's not just about your lungs but also your heart. Keep your spirits up it's perfectly normal and will get better, the people on this site are so very helpful and inspiring you will be running in those fields with your dogs sooner than you think, well done


Thanks Kaprin you're right about the people on here, everyone is friendly and offers very good advice. Sorry to hear you had a heart attack. I can't wait to do the running in the fields, when it does happen I'll post a pic on here xx


Hi laines. I quit 19 months ago now. I never really had breathing problems before I quit but I did notice that my breathing wasn't quite what I thought it should be for a good year after I quit. I also took up running shortly after quitting and there's another site here called Couch to 5k which is a brilliant programme to start anyone running. Good luck with your quit and don't be a stranger - we're all here to help. Andi :)


Thanks Andi and well done for getting to 19 months. I will look at the site you mentioned I'd love to start running!! How do you feel now? I look forward to doing as well as you x


You may also like...