Quit Support
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Brown Phelm

Morning everyone,sorry haven't commented for a few days, the cancer treatment is aking me feel quite ill but I just want to ask a question if I may. Last three days, just in the mornings, I have been coughing up brown phlem. I have been coughing up clear phelm which was blood stained for a few weeks but have had chest x ray and this is fine. Has anyone had this whilst trying to stop smoking. I have reduced from 15 a day to 1 - 2. Many thanks for your advice. Sue cc

9 Replies

Thank you think I am just so low that I am looking into things that I would normally accept. Although I have not commented on the site I have kept reading the comments and blogs. I do like the cat that bought a smile to my face. Hoping to cut the last couple of cigs out next week, but if not will wait until after the treatement finishes and then "Go For It"


Aup Simba, nice to see you again :) and thats just great to hear that you have cut back that much :) a big well done to you :) :)

Emjay, one of our lovely quit support advisers, posted this a bit ago, it might help you understand what is happening to your body :)

Coughing / phlegm when stopping smoking?

Posted by EmJay ROY CASTLE

7 Jan 2013


Wondering why you have that awful dry cough? Or why you are coughing up all that horrible 'stuff'?

Here's a reason why it may be;

Smoking paralyses the tiny hairs, or cilia, which line your windpipe and helps to clear dirt and mucus out of your lungs. When you stop smoking, the cilia start to work properly again and so you may experience more coughing and phlegm. If you can imagine all those hairs laying flat for so long and now that you've stopped they kind of say "right lads, let's get back to work again" and as they start to move it causes a dry tickle... This is a positive sign of recovery, showing that your body is getting rid of the tar and toxins which smoking has left in your lungs.

These symptoms may last a while but can be soothed by drinking plenty of water or using sugar-free boiled sweets to help keep your throat moist.

Remembering that you are only coughing up what is not supposed to be there in the first place

However, if your coughing persists and you become worried, please make an appointment to see your GP. :)

Also found this breathing exercise, that Emjay posted :)

Breathing Exercise (2) How to cough up what's not supposed to be there...

Posted by EmJay ROY CASTLE

26 Dec 2012



When you first stop smoking, you may feel that you have more phlegm and mucus on your chest. This may cause you to feel a bit rattly and as though you need to 'cough something up'... Doesn't sound very nice, I know but this is a good sign.

At the end of the day, you are only coughing up what is not supposed to be there!

1. Stand up with your legs your shoulder width apart.

2. Put your hands on your hips.

3. Take a long, deep breath in through your nose - Very slowly.

4. When you feel like you have taken your fill of air in, take another little bit more.

5. Keeping your hands on your hips, slowly bend over forward. As you do, blow your breath out slowly through your mouth. Making a blowing noise as you do.

6. When you have pushed out that final bit of breath, stand up and give a gentle cough.

Repeat this 3 times.

Because you are not used to all this good clean oxygen, you may feel slightly dizzy - This is just an oxygen rush. However, if you are not used to it, then please have a comfy chair at the ready.

If this cough lasts more than a couple of weeks, it may be worth visiting your GP.

Speak soon :) Pete :)


Thanks for that Pete, just the post from you and Mad have made me feel better, you think that you are the only one it happens to and thought it isn't nice it is comforting to know that other people have had the same experiences. Hope when my treatment has ended to be able to say "I am a non-smoker", doesn't bother me as much that my hubby is still smoking, just have one when I feel I now need one whereas before it was habit and very often had a cig because someone else was. PS how do you get the little smiley faces on the posts?


:) Great not only a great support site but learn something new every day, if it has worked!! Sue


Yes, and feel more part of the community now that I can do this! :D Sue


Hopefully not but not tempting fate by saying never as been there before on numerous occasions. :) Will not stop putting smily faces on everything now :)


Hi ya Sue :) you look a lot more cheerful now gal :D if your just thinking or just quit, or relapse, come and shout about it gal, cos somebody on this site will hear you :)

Ooooh and by the way, it does help if your a bit erm mad :o :| :D :D

If you hover your mouse pointer over the smilies, then like Mad said, it will show you how it's made ;) :P :( :X 8-) a few more for you there :D :D speak soon :)


Sorry to hear the treatment is making you feel ill, but it can only help in the long run.

The phlem is a normal reaction when you stop smoking it`s a bit like cleaning out the rubbish in your dustbin.

As Pete has said in his post its out with the bad and in with the good.

Hope things get better for you quickly.



Simba, everything has already been said above :-)

You are doing amazingly well to have cut out so many cigarettes already, especially with everything that you have gong on for you at the minute.

I hope you feel better each day and that the treatment doesn't continue to affect you in this way.

You can beat this :-)


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