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Lung pain after quitting smoking
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Lung pain after quitting smoking

Hi I am a 44 yr old male and have smoked for 30 years. I was a heavy smoker at one point for a few years. I quit cold turkey 7 weeks ago and I am going through HELL.  I cant sleep, I have anxiety attacks, shortness of breath but the worst is the lung pain ( Discomfort I am feeling).  The internet is one scary place as everything seems to lead to something terrible. I have not had any cough as some people say they have yet I do feel flu like symptoms and lots of phlegm in my throat yet its white. I get really tired during the day yet cant sleep at night.
Did anyone else feel like this? I want to start smoking again just not to feel this miserable. I never complained of anything prior to this. I feel like I quit smoking to die early.
20 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi there. I'm a 43-year-old female who quit smoking in January after smoking a pack a day (or more) for over 20 years. I also quit cold turkey (but used the patch). The patch certainly took the edge off for me. I stopped using it five weeks into the eight-week program.

I also did not get a cough. But, like you, boy did I get lung pain. The weird thing for me was it didn't start immediately after I quit smoking, but a few weeks later. It felt like both my trachea and my lungs were on fire, like someone was literally holding a lit match to them. Or like someone had placed a blow torch into my mouth and fired it into my throat and lungs.

Then it got better and just disappeared entirely. That was about two months into quitting smoking. I just had my seven-month anniversary. I noticed the other day when I was walking on a very hot and humid day that I wasn't short of breath and that my trachea and lungs didn't feel like they were burning (they always hurt on humid days, even if I didn't smoke).

Are you noticing any improvements at all? For example, by the seven-week mark, I noticed that I could inhale more deeply, like my lung capacity had doubled. When I breathed through my nose the air "tasted" better. My sense of taste and smell improved.

I also was constantly tired, like you. I'm tempted to suggest using the patch for a few weeks, a lower dosage, just to take the edge off.

Rest assured, it does get better! Lots better! The first couple of months were awful for me too. Then one day I wasn't as tired. Then later the lung pain went away. Then a few weeks later I noticed I wasn't short of breath anymore. And so forth.

One thing that helped me was a quit smoking tracking Web site I found. You input how much you smoked and what it cost, and it tracks your savings. Right now I'm up to $2,258.56 saved. Seeing how much I was saving helped motivate me.

Seven weeks is huge. Well done! Don't give up. It does get better!
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you for that response. I do breathe a little better as I feel I can take a deep breath. I am heavily congested, so my sense of smell and taste have not improved. The burning feeling in the lungs i had in the second week, now it just turned into a dull pain but mostly in the morning after a nights sleep if you can call 3-4 hours sleep. I do notice that the more I go to the gym the better I feel so I hope this will stop soon. Again thank you for the response as this quitting smoking is killing me
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8976007_tn?1413334250
i am trying hard to smoke.  i am 47 and have been smoking since 5yrs old. yes that is right.  
i got on wellbutrin a week ago and it now makes me sick to my stomach and nauseated when i smoke. so i guess it is time to try the patch.

i complain of lung pain to my dr all the time and she insists that the lungs have no nerves so it is impossible to have lung pain.  i couldn't disagree more.
all your little hairs (cilia) are coming alive and that can cause issues.
also there ARE withdrawal symptoms when stopping smoking.  they include all the things you are saying that is going on with you.

this should pass soon,  i don't think i would use a patch at this point, but if you are really bothered by it try the lowest amount of patch or nicotine gum.

i really HATE smoking, but boy is it hard.  hardest thing i have ever had to stop.  
i envy you that you guy
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8976007_tn?1413334250
i am trying hard to NOT SMOKE
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Avatar_f_tn
That's really odd your doctor would say that. There were times that my trachea and lungs would hurt so badly I could not sit still or sleep, especially my trachea -- right between my breasts. It felt like someone had set them on fire.

Of course I panicked and thought "Should this be happening?". So I Googled it, and your answer is what I got -- when your lungs clear out all of the accumulated tar, the cilia start growing back. That's what is likely causing the pain.

Hang in there. It gets better.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hey it seems like there are stages to this nightmare. Its 3:30 am and the second night I cannot sleep. Seems like I am having trouble swallowing, the congestion is getting worse and know it seems like I cannot clear my throat.
I was told that I should have a cough but I do not and the mucus is clear. Shortness of breath.   Or the panic/anxiety is taking over.    
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242912_tn?1402547092
Hello and congrats on your decision to quit!  You won't regret it.  All you're feeling is normal, especially the congestion.  You were used to inhaling hundreds of times a day, now your lungs are sitting stagnant filled with mucus you're not able to bring up.  I didn't have a cough either, lots of people don't.  You want to keep that mucus moving though, otherwise you can get sick.  I used Musinex...which is a brand name for the over the counter expectorant Guaifenesin.  It worked great in thinning the mucus out.  I also practiced deep breathing exercises.  Deep breath in slowly, deep as you can to expand your lungs to the fullest, then out through your mouth slowly.  MAKE yourself cough also.  The point is, to keep your lungs moving.  

The anxiety and insomnia get better with time.  Try and be patient.  

Check out this site too...whyquit (*******).

I wish you the best.  Please hang tough  
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242912_tn?1402547092
And Vic, I meant to say if you begin to feel Worse, please get to your Dr.  Many people get sick after quitting smoking.  
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242912_tn?1402547092
That was whyquit d o t  c o m.  
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm not clear how it works, but I believe nicotine affects the serotonin in your brain, so when you quit your serotonin level decreases. This may be why you're having panic/anxiety.

I had pneumonia at 21. For a while when it was really bad the second I lay down I started drowning because of all the fluid in my lungs. I had to sleep sitting up. Maybe try sleeping on a bunch of pillows so your body's angled up a bit?

You're at the eight-week mark at this point. Most of my symptoms had gone at this point, although everyone is different. Perhaps it wouldn't hurt to schedule a doctor's appointment just to make sure everything's okay.
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Avatar_m_tn
Ty guys for the info
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Avatar_m_tn
I have stopped smoking after 25 years, on my 5th day now and i have burning pain as well i also can taste blood but its the tar i cough up. breathing is a lot better and i can taste food and drink better coffee taste so much better lol. And i can smell the air when go out living in the country and out the city you can really tell the difference. No NRT so i get snappy with people and find it hard to sleep. also eating a lot if you feel like eating loads try fruit much more healthy and less fattening. you may also find it useful to have something to play with in the hands this help take your mind of the cigarette.(stress ball).

PS message to all the new quitters good luck and keep it up. you will safe tons of cash and smell much better.
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Avatar_n_tn
I know you want to stop smoking.....so did I. So last summer I went to Texas and my sister introduced me to Vixen Vapors, and I never thought about picking up another cigarette again. Also I do not crave cigs.

I hope this will help you. Also they are very nice and they will answer all your questions.

Good Luck
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11062520_tn?1414990864
There might be a serious reason of the pain you're feeling right now. Instead of thinking of going back to your smoking habit, why not see a doctor first so you'll know exactly the cause of the pain. You've already started quitting and we all know the negative effect of it in your body, health and lifestyle so I would suggest you continue dealing of putting an end to it.
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11474209_tn?1418560397
Thank you for your response!  I feel much more encouraged because of it.  

I have also quit smoking 7 weeks ago, and I have shortness of breath, my lungs hurt, my nose is more congested and I have wheezing, even when lying in bed.  I don't get it.  I had heard that within 2 - 4 weeks, you're lungs would feel better... I quit smoking before and at week 4 - 5, I had much better lung capacity than I do now at week 7.  

I installed a quit smoking app on my phone and according to the app, I still have 88 days to go until my lungs feel better - that's about 12 weeks - so still another 3 months to go!  

Does that sound normal, that it would take about 20 weeks (4.5 months) for the lungs to clear up?
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11474209_tn?1418560397
By the way, having said that, I have no desire to smoke anymore.  My husband still smokes, I love him dearly, but I hate the smell, and I feel so happy that I am not chained to that habit any longer.  I am free - I wake up every morning and I am so grateful that I am free.  I figure that waiting another 3 months for my lungs to clear, if that is the case, then it's worth it in the end.  
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Avatar_f_tn
I am 59 and quit Nov. 30, 2014 (just over a month ago). Smoked about 32 years. I am feeling like I can take better breaths, but still have discomfort. No coughing anything up, but wish I could. Your comment that "people get sick after they quit" worries me. Can you please explain? Thank you. I need all the reassurance I can get. This is hard. But I am determined. :)
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Avatar_m_tn
Read Allen Carr's easy way to quit smoking, I know it sounds crazy but do it, no NRP, no drugs, straight cold turkey with no withdrawal or pangs, actually been quite enjoyable, lungs do burn as they heal up
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Avatar_m_tn
It burns when I fart
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Avatar_m_tn
I am a 64 year old man that has been smoking for 50 years.On Nov.3 2015 I started using an electronic cigarette. After 5 weeks using it as little as possible I have finally quit.I am experiencing coughing and lung pain. Tired all the time but cant sleep at night.It is now Jan.26 2016 and hoping things will turn around soon.Still holding in there.
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