What Happens When You Stop Smoking?

Quitting Smoking Can Cause Exhaustion and Minor Chest Discomfort … Ever wonder why?

Is it “normal” to feel tired and exhausted when quitting smoking? Why does my chest feel “funny” or have a dull ache? Have you been wondering what’s going on, when you are quitting smoking?

When we smoke, the little fibers (cilia) in our our lungs that are there to protect us get “paralyzed” and reduced in number.

When quitting, healing begins at the cellular level. Many of the functions and processes that were stopped or hindered when smoking are “waking up” and starting to function again … You FEEL that :-)

When smoking

  • The cells that produce mucus in your lungs and airways grow in size and number. As a result, the amount of mucus increases. The mucus is also thicker.
  • The cleaning system in your lungs does not work well. The lungs have broom-like hairs, called cilia (SILL-ee-uh). The cilia clean your lungs. A few seconds after you start smoking a cigarette, the cilia slow down. Smoking one cigarette can slow the action of your cilia for several hours. Smoking also reduces the number of cilia, so there are fewer cilia to clean your lungs.
  • Your lungs and airways have more mucus, and the mucus is not cleaned out well. So the mucus stays in your airways, clogs them, and makes you cough. This extra mucus can easily get infected. (This is why some people may get “extra” colds, bronchitis, etc. when they smoke.)
  • Your lungs and airways get irritated and inflamed. They become narrow and reduce the air flow. Even one or two cigarettes cause irritation and coughing.

All of this is exacerbated over time.

When you quit, those cilia and other functions start to come back. This creates “work” and “energy” in the lungs. That’s why you may feel pain, discomfort or heaviness in the chest and lungs, when quitting.  It’s also why you are tired.

It can last a little while … BUT you are HEALING.

So, if you are feeling exhausted, drained or just plain tired AND your schedule allows for it, nap or take an extra hour to sleep in. It’s great for your body, for your stress levels and for your success, as you cannot cave into cravings and smoke, if you are asleep ;-)

When quitting

  • Easier breathing within 72 hours
  • Marked decrease in cough, mucus, shortness of breath, and wheezing within 1 month
  • Less irritated and inflamed airways
  • Cilia growth in 1 to 9 months
  • Lungs more able to handle mucus, self-clean, and fight infection

8 Step Action Plan to Quit Smoking …

.. even if you’ve tried everything and failed miserably in the past!