TRUE OR FALSE. Is it normal to cough when quitting smoking?

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Is it normal to start coughing when you quit smoking? Should we be worried about it? What is this mechanism? The answers with a tobacco specialist from Toulouse a few days before the start of the “Month Sans Tabac” operation.

When a smoker quits smoking, he quickly hopes to see the benefits to his health. Because there are many of them: better blood oxygenation, better breathing, gradual return of taste and smell, etc. But it happens that the cough still persists, why?

“Indeed, it is possible to cough again when you stop smoking, but this is not systematic. This is explained: smoking inhibits the cough reflex because the eyelashes of the mucous membrane are abraded by the combustion of tobacco. These eyelashes repel intruders when impurities are inhaled, but in smokers this barrier is altered. smoking affects the cells of taste and smell and we find pleasure in breathing and eating again after quitting smoking,” explains Dr. Rose-Marie Rouquet, tobacco specialist at the University Hospital Center (CHU) in Toulouse.

“This cough after quitting smoking can last a few days, sometimes longer. If it lasts too long, it is better to consult because this cough can have other origins. When a smoker decides to quit, he is told that he may cough but that’s one of the good things”, adds the doctor.

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As the month of collective mobilization “Month Without Tobacco” is about to begin, Dr Rose-Marie Rouquet recalls “that it is always easier to quit smoking when accompanied by a health professional in order to benefit from treatment. adapted. You need a fair assessment of nicotine substitution needs, otherwise you risk underdosing and therefore failure. Nicotine substitutes in the form of patches for continuous diffusion, supplemented by oral forms, are a precious help”

Nicotine substitutes are reimbursed by National Health Insurance when they are prescribed by a health professional (doctors including occupational physicians, midwives, nurses, dentists, physiotherapists).

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