If you are still wondering ‘can stop smoking cause shortness of breath’ then, you have come to the right place.
Quitting smoking is undoubtedly the most suitable way of leading a healthy and stress free life.
When you quit smoking (may it be regular cigarettes or marijuana or any other addictive substance), you are doing yourself and others a ‘BIG’ favor. You reduce risks on your health and keep others around you healthy by reducing passive smoke.
Nonetheless, like all good things in life, quitting smoking too comes with its share of side effects. Shortness of breath is one such adverse side effect affixed to stopping cigarette smoking.
We shall be discussing this very topic in the upcoming article.
Can Stop Smoking Cause Shortness of Breath Article Contents:
1) Can Quitting Smoking Weed cause Shortness of Breath?
- What are the Ill Effects of Weed Consumption on the Human Body?
2) Does Stopping Smoking Shortness of Breath?
- Why do Smokers Suffer from Breathing Issues?
3) Is Shortness of Breath Common after Quitting Smoking to All Smokers?
4) How Long does it Take for Shortness of Breath to go Away After Quitting Smoking?
5) How to Plan Quitting Smoking to Regain Your Normal Breathing Pattern?
Can Quitting Smoking Weed cause Shortness of Breath?
When you smoke weed, you tend to get addicted to this substance. Regardless of whether you smoke grass, weed, marijuana or pot, the aftereffects of this addictive substance is terrible indeed.
This usually happens when you over-indulge in smoking weed. If you make use of marijuana in the form of medication then, all is well. The moment you start to smoke weed for pleasure, problems start to arise.
Marijuana can be consumed in various forms. You can smoke it, eat and even drink this addictive substance. Nowadays, people have started to vape marijuana. All of these (forms of marijuana consumption) have their fair share of side effects attached.
What are the Ill Effects of Weed Consumption on the Human Body?
I would not necessarily claim, state or even suggest that marijuana is not good for your health. In fact, it is often used to treat various ailments (some of which are chronic in nature).
I shall not spend time discussing these as it digresses from the topic.
Nonetheless, when you begin to make rampant use of weed then, it tends to turn against you. This is when weed becomes an addiction. The psychoactive compound present in weed is what makes it an addiction.
It is popularly termed as THC (Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol).
Here are some of the most common side effects of smoking weed:
>>> It tends to jeopardize your respiratory system.
>>> When you smoke weed, you begin to notice that your mind and body is in its grips. In short, you become addicted to it.
>>> You tend to feel thrilled after smoking weed as it releases dopamine into your system. This ‘high’ is short-lived and you need to smoke another cigarette (45 mins tops).
>>> In case you are smoking pot then, your mind is not active for several hours post its consumption. So, you cannot function normally (especially while trying to drive a vehicle).
>>> Your mind is not in your control. Weed addiction tends to cause mental health issues. Some of these include hallucinations, panic attacks, depression, mood swings etc.
>>> You tend to become a reckless risk taker and your motor skills are impaired. You are unable to take rational and practical decisions.
>>> Your cognitive skills suffer. You are unable to learn or absorb anything new easily.
>>> As your motor skills are compromised, you cannot operate heavy machinery. In fact, you cannot even drive a vehicle.
>>> Inflammation in the lung area is common to those that smoke weed.
>>> Your normal breathing pattern is disrupted and you tend to cough a lot.
>>> It is common to expel phlegm regularly – as your mucus membranes are damaged.
>>> Your heart rate is going to simply jump sky-high. 120 beats per minute after smoking weed is possible. This lasts just 4 to 5 minutes though (post its consumption).
>>> If a pregnant woman smoked weed then, her baby may be born underweight.
>>> Lastly, you start eating as though you have the appetite of two individuals.
Does Stopping Smoking Lead to Shortness of Breath?
I have discussed the adverse effects of smoking weed in the above paragraph. One such side effect that I did mention (although in a way too ‘brief’ manner) was issues with normal breathing. I shall elaborate more on this topic:
Why do Smokers Suffer from Breathing Issues?
>>> There are thousands of toxic chemicals in a cigarette. So, all these are being inhaled when you smoke. These shall naturally make your body toxic (quite obvious).
>>> The bronchi of a smoker tend to get inflamed when you smoke. This in turn may lead to chronic bronchitis.
>>> The passive smoke emitting from weed and regular cigarettes tends to damage the alveoli. This is when you start to face difficulty in breathing normally.
>>> When your airways are damaged by the toxic smoke, it tends to produce phlegm. This is way more than normal. It also causes discomfort to the smoker.
>>> Your respiratory system is damaged owing to the harsh chemicals present in cigarette smoke. In certain cases, these carcinogens may cause cancers of various kinds.
Is Shortness of Breath Common after Quitting Smoking to All Smokers?
Shortness of breath in people who smoke is very common indeed. Most smokers who smoke weed or regular cigarettes tend to have trouble breathing normally.
Almost 500,000 men and women who smoke cigarette tend to die annually in the United States alone. A vast majority of them have indeed complained from irregular breathing patterns.
Believe it or not but almost 91% cases of lung cancer are smokers.
So, smoking for pleasure needs to be analyzed from the health perspective of a smoker and NOT euphoria. Only then would smokers realize the grave dangers that they are placing their health into.
Ironically, shortness of breath is often felt most when you quit smoking. Even smokers smoking cigarettes do so but they are so used to irregular and difficult breathing patterns that they take it as a normal part of their life.
Shortness of breath in smokers happens owing to the inflammation in the proximal airways. The toxic chemicals produced via smoking cigarettes also causes blockages in the airways. It also leads to constipation.
So, breathing normally is not possible for those who smoke regularly. Wheezing, morning cough, morning sputum and dyspnoea are therefore quite common in smokers.
How Long does it Take for Shortness of Breath to Go Away after Quitting Smoking?
With close to 5000 toxic chemicals present in each cigarette, the smoke that enters your lung is damaging indeed. The damage is done not only to the smoker but also to those that are close to smokers (passive smokers).
As your airways are already damaged (owing to the cigarette smoke) repairing them does take time. Quitting cigarettes is easier said than done. Nonetheless, if you do manage to quit smoking, your breathing should return to normal within 20 to 30 days (for light smokers).
The cilia in your lungs are overtly damaged owing to cigarette smoke. Nonetheless, when you stop smoking, it starts to get activated again. So, slowly but steadily, your normal breathing is restored.
Do remember that when your lungs heal, you tend to expel the toxins from your lungs via phlegm. It can take up to a year for your breathlessness to become normal again.
The duration is entirely dependent on your tenure as a smoker. The longer you have smoked, the longer would be the healing time (and vice versa).
Inflammation of the airways shall also reduce before finally disappearing. When this does happen, you can breathe normally again. All this can take anywhere in between 30 days to 365 days (depending on the severity of infection in your lungs and airways).
How to Plan Quitting Smoking to Regain Your Normal Breathing Pattern?
Benefits of quitting smoking are immense. Your physical as well as mental health shall witness dramatic improvement once you stop smoking cigarettes.
Nonetheless, it is easier said than done. Quitting smoking for regular smokers is ‘next to impossible’. But if you have the will to stop smoking cigarettes then, nothing can stop you from doing so.
Here are a few ways to make the entire process streamlined:
Get Your Mind on Your Side:
The first step is to convince yourself that you need to quit smoking. Once your mind is with you, the rest of the task becomes a breezy ordeal.
The second step is to choose a time, day and date that is best suited to quit smoking. It should ideally be a holiday. You need to choose a day when you are relatively free.
Ideally, chose a holiday season to kick-start this ordeal.
You would need all the free time at hand to get cigarettes past you forever. Withdrawal symptoms are not easy to handle. So, you need ample free time to get your mind and body back to normal.
Get a Support System:
You cannot hope to cope with the withdrawal symptoms alone. When you smoke cigarettes regularly then, the chemicals present within them make you an addict. So, I strongly feel that the craving initiated within your body is intense.
If you are alone when you quit smoking then, it is highly likely that you shall not go far. It is possible that you shall begin smoking again on the very same day you had decided to call it quits.
Hence, have a trusted friend or family members around you. They shall not only support you but would also stop you from smoking again.
Such support staff is vital to ensure that you are well looked after during this phase. In the absence of human support, quitting smoking is a ‘near impossible task’.
Sleep on Time and Wake up Early:
When you quit smoking, your sleep cycle is bound to get disturbed. So, play more attention towards hitting the sack on time. Ensure that your room is dark and devoid of any disturbance. Ding so shall enable you to sleep at night.
You also need to wake up early in the morning. Avoid getting up late at noon. Early rising allows your body to naturally prepare itself to actively face the withdrawal symptoms.
Plan Your Meals & Pick Your Diet Wisely:
Believe it or not but without a healthy diet, you cannot quit smoking permanently. When you stop smoking, your body is fighting back to recover its lost health. This is why it needs highly nutritious food from your end.
So, you need to plan your meals and stick with their timings. Three major meals in a day are ideally suited. Include lots of greens, fruits, dry fruits and lean meat into your diet.
Avoid coffee, alcohol and aerated drinks. Moreover, drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of warm water daily. Doing so shall improve your digestion. Water shall also flush out harmful toxins from within your body.
Get Medical Assistance if Required:
In case you cannot cope with the withdrawal symptoms then, seek the assistance of a support group. If you have money to spare then, take the help of a doctor.
Make sure that the concerned medical representative is trained in handling de-addiction cases. Doctors may give you medications to ease the withdrawal symptoms.
Some of these may include antidepressants, nicotine inhalers, sprays for clearing your nasal passage, gum, patches etc. This in turn shall help you become smoke-free in a shorter time frame.
The query, ‘can stop smoking cause shortness of breath’ has ‘yes’ as an answer. Nonetheless, it does vary from one person to another. Some smokers (a handful to be precise) are lucky enough to escape this side effect.
Most however do tend to face some or the other trouble with their respiratory system. So, getting the necessary support and safety measures are vital to pull through. It is a tough and trying time but it does not last long.
In case you are a heavy smoker (1 or more packs of cigarettes daily) then, it may take 9 to 12 months to restore your normal breathing pattern. In case you are a light (occasional) smoker then, a month or two is enough to get your breathing back on track.
If you do face laborious breathing and are finding it tough to cope with it then, do visit your nearest medical center. It is in your best interest to be ‘safe’ than ‘sorry’.