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Shortness of breath and phlegm

I've Quit smoking 12 days ago

After day 10, I started having shortness of breath, chest tightness and phlegm in my throat. My question, Is shortness of breath ok, or should I worry. Also, I cant spit the phlegm in my throat. Is swallowing it harmful?

I am 34, smoked for 10 years, 5 a day. I never had cough because of smoking and now even after I quit smoking.

7 Replies

Well done castor,  on your quit. I have never had a cough either nor shortness of breath before or now. Regards to the phlegm , my doc always said if you can get it out it's better, but I could never do that as it made me feel like being sick. But if you can spit it out in a hanky of course it's better  :)  From reading what our other members have said shortness of breathe is a common  symtom . If it lingers would perhaps see GP. 12 days is great and your in your toughest weeks, so hang in in there your doing great. :)


Hi and well done on your journey to quit every person suffers with different symptoms I think the cough and the fact that phlegm is coming us is probaly your lungs clearing if you are worried pop to your local GP and ask for advice GOOD LUCK 😀🤗


Hi castor and welcome to quit support😊

Congratulations on your quit, you're doing very well and should be proud of your achievement👍🏼

Unfortunately these are common side effects☹️ but the good news is they will pass. Have a look at the pinned posts as lots of good advice there. These are signs that your body is healing and it's a good idea to drink lots of water to flush out the toxins. If you are worried it's a good idea to get checked out by your Doc as this will put your mind at rest. Try inhaling steam with Vicks in it or olbas oil, might help loosen the chest. Good luck with your quit and if ya need anything, just shout🍀

We say NOPE not one puff ever🚭🚭🚭🚭😊


Hi ya Castor_T and a big warm welcome to our lovely quit support community and a massive welllllll done to you for reaching 12 days quit :) :) 

Like our other lovely members have said, these are very common symptoms of quitting smoking, in the early stages !! 

My advice is to really try to spit the phlegm out, cos you need to get rid of it, out of your body for good :) I know its not very nice, but it will help you :) Maybe try some vigorous exercise to help bring it out, cos I know, when I quit, I exercised on my rower and that made me cough up lots of phlegm and I felt soooo much better :) :) 

Good luck CT and please keep intouch with us :) Pete :) 

PS, could you please let me know of your quit date, then I can keep your Winners badge upto date :)  

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I'm 32, smoked for about 13 years around 7 to 10 a day on average. I'm at almost at 6 months quit. My shortness of breath has just now starting to improve. 

Basically, there's a few things going on. First, your lungs are beginning to heal and the cilia is coming back to life and working that phlegm out. This creates the shortness of breath sensation as it moves gunk around the airways. Second, your lungs are adjusting to you not taking in deep breathing multiple times a day because you're not smoking now. 

Shortness of breath is really common. It usually lasts for about a year for those of us who it effects. But, like I said at 6 months in doing much better finally .

Now, you should ask your doc just to make sure you're in order. I had a Spiro test done just to make sure I was in good shape moving forward. But. I'm also a worry wart. 

Read through some of my old posts, or madametobacco posts. We both experienced the shortness of breath pretty bad and were really concerned. 

Most likely, given your age and length of smoking, you're completely fine and your body is beginning to heal. Exercising will help move the gunk out to. Spot that carp out As much as possible, it helps the process. I have to get up a good run in the treadmill daily and hock it up. Sounds gross, but it speeds the process for me!

Congrats on the quit!

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Look at you almost 6 months quit and sounding as though you have worked that worrying out of your quit 👍😊

I'm delighted for you and that the breathing has improved😊 I still get odd days when it's really erratic 😟 But the exercises help 😊

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Haha. Doing somehat better. Now if I could only get rid of this anxiety crap!


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