Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery

Smoking and Chronic Bronchitis

Bronchitis is an irritation or inflammation of the airways in the lungs. It can cause coughing and chest ache and can cause a cold to exacerbate very quickly. Chronic bronchitis, a condition suffered by 7.6 million Americans, can also cause lung damage in the long term and giving up smoking is the first step in taking action.

avoid smoking

Quitting smoking is essential for beating chronic bronchitis, as 90% of cases occur in people who smoke. When you light up the body tries to protect itself from the onslaught of dangerous chemicals by producing more mucus to line the inside of the lungs. This measure is taken to ease the irritation caused by inhaling cigarette smoke.

When someone is a heavy or long term smoker so much mucus is produced that the cilia in the lungs (which should be working to expel mucus out of the lungs) are drowned by the amount of mucus that is produced. Coughing is the body’s way of trying to get rid of excess mucus.

Many smokers present with a smokers’ cough or morning cough, which is the body’s way of trying to safeguard itself against the toxins you are introducing into your body.

Electronic cigarettes were introduced to give smokers the benefits of smoking without the associated health hazards. For people who are suffering from bronchitis but cannot give up smoking because their hands need something to do can benefit from using an electronic cigarette.

They do not contain the same harmful ingredients as tobacco cigarettes and do not produce clouds of poisonous smoke for the people who are around you. For a number of people e-cigarettes have provided a successful avenue for quitting as they only contain water vapour.

People who do not want to give up nicotine can use nicotine cartridges but those who want to forego all of the toxins can opt to go nicotine-free and choose a fruity flavour.

When too much mucus accumulates bacteria can cause infection and inflammation, resulting in a bout of bronchitis. As the airways get a thicker lining they restrict the person’s ability to breath further. The only way to stop chronic bronchitis from being a constant health problem is to stop smoking.

The longer you carry on smoking for the lower your lungs’ chances of recovery are and the lower your chances for recovering from bronchitis. The longer you smoke, the greater your chances for chronic bronchitis, heart disease, emphysema and lung cancer.