Is it normal to have coughing and irritation after you quit smoking?

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After a couple years of no smoking, no coughs, etc., I relapsed at Christmas and immediately began having a heavily irritated chest, like an infection. It felt like I was inhaling fibreglass. I finally quit a couple weeks ago, and the coughing is MUCH better, but I'm still irritated down there, so much so that even walking by a candle can start me coughing. Is this normal? I smoked for many years and hardly ever coughed.

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Sounds to me like your body is detoxifying -- clearing out all the crud that accumulated in your lungs when you smoked. It will take a while but soon your lungs will be healthy again.
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No I just meant that when I started smoking again, it was very irritating to me. The first few times were OK, but it rapidly got so that I was coughing WHILE smoking, that's how dumb I was. When the coughing got so bad I couldn't sleep, I quit. So yes all that has gone, but I feel like I have an infection in my chest. It's highly sensitive to smoke (even a small candle that was burning here on Easter bothered me). It's like it is all raw inside. Will see my doctor soon over it I'm sure but just have never felt so irritated in my chest. Thanks for all the input everyone will keep you advised.
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Inhaling symptoms sound different than a simple smokers irritation. Have you seen a doctor? This sounds like it may be something else
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Coughing is normal when you quit. You may cough for many months, particularly in the morning. I still cough in the morning, though I quit long ago. So many years of smoking I'm sure did a lot of damage. I also find that chemical smells irritate me more than they do other people. They can put me in a coughing fit. And breathing someone else's smoke tickles my lungs and gags me. I don't mind other people smoking around me except that it can choke me. My lungs are so sensitive.
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It can take a while for the lungs to clear and for the cilia- the tiny hair like organelle along the windpipe that functions to sweep mucus and "dirt" from the lungs -
to regenerate.

Still, it seems odd that you weren't coughing before but are now. It would probably be a good idea to see your doctor and get a chest x-ray.

Good for you for quitting! I re-started smoking after a ten year stop - 11 years ago when the stress of my son being in the hospital got to me. I've been trying to quit - again - ever since. It's a stupid, smelly, expensive, ugly vice - and unfortunately, a very tough one to beat. You are to be congratulated - now good do another good thing for yourself and see your doctor.
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