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Why Smoking and Bronchitis Spell Trouble

By Brian Welsch

Cough is one of the bronchitis symptoms.Bronchitis is a respiratory disease brought about by the irritation or inflammation of the lungs’ air passages or bronchial tubes. The tubes get infected whenever they are exposed to bacterial infections or cigarette smoke. These harmful foreign substances can cause the mucus to block the bronchial tubes so that the air passage is clogged up.

Though this disease can cause very similar symptoms to that of normal cough, bronchitis can start to turn fatal when left untreated. It can also be a hindrance to normal activities because a person who has it cannot stay doing activities for long due to short breaths. Usually, bronchitis lasts for more than 3 months and also often occurs with other respiratory diseases like emphysema. Some symptoms of bronchitis is having cough for more than a couple of months and experiencing shortness of breath even without doing tiring activities.

Smoking and bronchitis has been shown to have a connection. Some of the chemical components of cigarettes irritate the lining of the bronchial tubes, thus causing the inflammation of the air passage. Just some of the toxic substances in a cigarette stick are carbon monoxide, tar, nicotine, ambergris, hydrogen cyanide, and benzene. What makes smoking and bronchitis a deadly pair-up is that when a stick is lit, the substances toxicity is heightened. The inflammation of the tracheal and bronchial tubes is the respiratory system’s response to repair the damages caused by harmful components and toxins of a tobacco.


Once the tubes of the lungs are irritated, smokers usually suffer from what is called as “smoker’s cough”, which is characterized by incessant coughing and constant chest pains. Even people who only receive second-hand smoke can also develop bronchitis because any chronic exposure to tobacco smoke can already paralyze the normal ciliary activity of the bronchial tubes. Smokers who have bronchitis usually have phlegm tinged with yellow, green, and brown colors. The yellow and green signifies that there is infection on the lungs wherein the brown color shows the chemical residue on the lungs left from smoking.


Flu vaccineSince smoking and bronchitis has such a strong and important connection, one of the most effective cures for this disease is stopping the bad habit. Staying away from tobacco smoke can also help a lot because as they say, inhaling second-hand smoke is more dangerous compared to the actual act of smoking. There are also some medicines which can help which are usually inhaled or used as vapor treatment. Antibiotics can only be taken if there is already a lung infection but not when the person only has chronic bronchitis.

Getting a yearly flu and pneumococcal vaccination can also help strengthen an already damaged respiratory system. Having oxygen therapy can also be useful because chronic bronchitis blocks normal oxygen passage into the body. People who have oxygen therapy are most likely the ones who have severe cases of bronchitis which cannot be aided by any medicines anymore. Breathing exercises like pulmonary rehabilitation can also be used to shake away the troubles of bronchitis.

Read more information about the impact of smoking on health