Smoker’s Cough: Everything You Should Know

Javeria Usmani


October 20, 2021
CoughPro is not a medical product. It is a wellness app intended only for users to obtain a better understanding of their cough. It is not intended to diagnose, monitor, or treat any illness.

We at Hyfe, Inc., are a company devoted to working on tools to better understand the importance of cough. It is Hyfe’s intention in the future to seek regulatory approval for medical products that analyze cough in order that they may be used to diagnose, monitor, and facilitate better treatment of respiratory illnesses.

Smoker's Cough
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Do you or anyone you know suffer from smoker's cough?

Know the answers to all the queries stuck in your mind.

Around 480,000 cigarette smokers die each year in the United States, as per the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

As the name indicates, a smoker's cough affects people who smoke. While indulging in this nefarious habit, the smoker will inhale tobacco, cadmium, arsenic, and different harmful chemicals while smoking. Firstly, these highly toxic chemicals destroy the respiratory system, especially the lungs. Secondly, they lead to other immunity disorders. 

You may experience a persistent cough when these substances start to wreak destruction to the airways and lungs. This condition refers to a smoker's cough. 

If you would like to know more, you can read one of our blogs: Smoker's Cough: Symptoms and Causes.

A research-oriented article states cough reflex sensitivity due to smoking. You may want to visit: Effect of Smoking on Cough Reflex Sensitivity in Humans.

Fact: Not all smokers suffer from smoker's Cough.

Symptoms Of Smoker’s Cough

Signs and symptoms vary in every individual. Moreover, one can never predict rarely occurring indications. 

You may experience a dry cough in the initial stage which can turn into a wet cough later. 

  • Persistent Cough
  • Nagging
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Colorless/White mucus
  • Sometimes Phlegm may be green or yellow as well
  • Wheezing sound
  • Sore throat
  • Hoarseness

All these symptoms may worsen with time. But the progression can differ if you quit smoking. Moreover, it becomes challenging to compare a smoker's cough with other types of coughs or chronic conditions.

Causes Of Smoker’s Cough

Smoke contains a tremendous variety of chemicals that can lead to lung cancer, COPD, and other respiratory diseases. Hence, these substances also contribute to cause this specific illness.

Tobacco smoke contains toxins that settle and cause inflammation of the lungs, including the airways. Additionally, these harmful substances have an insidious impact: they provoke the loss of minute hair-like projections cilia. The primary purpose of those cilia is to remove the toxins. Therefore, a feedback cycle operates that enhances the harmful effect of the toxic substances from tobacco smoke.

Another reason behind an increase in cough frequency is the post-nasal drip. It is a condition in which mucus constantly drips into the throat.

A research paper shows Chronic Productive Cough is Associated with Death in Smokers with Early COPD.

Diagnosis Of Smoker’s Cough

Identification of a smoker's cough can be challenging. That is to say, symptoms of this disease are pretty relatable to those of lung cancer cough. For this reason, diagnostic testing for lung cancer can figure out the actual illness.

This quality paper says. Cough and Phlegm Are Important Predictors of Health Status in Smokers Without COPD.

However, most doctors follow professional clinical guidelines to identify the cough. (Classification of Cough as a Symptom in Adults and Management Algorithms: CHEST Guideline and Expert Panel Report.)

Treatment Of Smoker’s Cough

The only best way to treat this type of cough is to: 

  • Permanently stop smoking 
  • In addition, usage of saline gargles, cough syrups or drops, and lozenges will soothe the respiratory tract
  • The doctor may suggest standard medicine such as analgesics, bronchodilators, and corticosteroids 
  • Include supplements in your daily life 
  • Drink an ample amount of water
  • Exercise is a must to loosen the mucus

Read about the Effect of salbutamol on the smoking-related cough.

Home Remedies

  • Take honey regularly
  • Inhale mint
  • Green tea and ginger tea can provide immense relief
  • Intake of a diet rich in vitamin C
  • Try to elevate your head whenever you sleep
  • Take deep breaths early in the morning


Several complications may occur due to this disorder because of the destruction of cilia. However, this depends on the severity of the disease as well.

There is an increased risk of:

  • COPD
  • Bronchitis
  • Emphysema
  • Lung Cancer
  • Pneumonia
  • Incontinence

Due to the amount of stress on the muscles, broken ribs might occur as well.

Take-Home Notes

Be a wise person and quit smoking if you are a smoker. This deadly addiction does not only lead to the destruction of health but wealth as well. 

Think twice about your loved ones before you start smoking. They suffer more than you.

Stats showing:

• Adult smokers in the United States 1965-2019.

• Prevalence of COPD among former smokers by state U.S. 2017.

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