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Doctor insights on: Is It Normal To Cough Up Black Phlegm Even After You Quit Smoking

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Is it normal to cough up black phlegm even after you quit smoking?

Is it normal to cough up black phlegm even after you quit smoking?

Even more so: What your lungs are doing are cleaning themselves out. The black stuff is what was down there! Now, your little hair cells and airways have recovered from being smoked on constantly and are working, bringing up the accumulated mucus and assorted crap. It can go on for weeks, and rarely longer. Stick with it and congrats on a great choice! Don't falter, have a support system, stick with it. ...Read more

Dr. Heidi Fowler
851 Doctors shared insights

Quit Smoking (Definition)

Quitting smoking is the single most important decision smokers can make to improve their health. Preparing a quit-smoking plan and enlisting support from your doctor and your loved ones can greatly improve your chances of success. Your doctor can help you decide if over-the-counter or prescription medications can help. Pick a quit day a few weeks ahead and put it on your calendar. Plan how you're going deal with situations that make you want to smoke. Take advantage of support from family, friends, and co-workers, and consider joining a smoking cessation program so that you don't ...Read more


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Is it normal to cough up blackish phlegm after you quit smoking?

Is it normal to cough up blackish phlegm after you quit smoking?

Congratulations!: Quitting smoking was one of the most important things you can do for your health so I'm very excited for you. How long ago did you stop? If it was recently, your body may still be ridding itself of the many toxins and particles you were inhaling before. If it is lasting for more than a few weeks, please see your specialist in adult care- family medicine or internal medicine. ...Read more

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I cough up black phlegm, I quit smoking long ago. I used to sandblast for years using coal slag. Will this go away? Ever

I cough up black phlegm, I quit smoking long ago. I used to sandblast for years using coal slag. Will this go away? Ever

Pulmonary: Chances are it will especially since your are young. However if you have not had a chest xray recently it would be a good idea to get one. ...Read more

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Is it true that when you quit smoking you start to cough up a bunch of black phlegm?

Is it true that when you quit smoking you start to cough up a bunch of black phlegm?

See below: Smoking paralyzes the ability to mobilize lung secretions. This will resolve as one stops smoking and may present as increased lung secretions during the first few weeks after stopping. ...Read more

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Why does my upper chest or bronchs vibrate when exhaling hard? There's no phlegm/mucus/cough. Quit smoking pot recently but never smoked cigs. Normal?

Why does my upper chest or bronchs vibrate when exhaling hard? There's no phlegm/mucus/cough. Quit smoking pot recently but never smoked cigs. Normal?

Impossible to say: You need a physical examination of your chest, and may need additional tests, such as a chest x-ray, to really give an answer. Often, some obstruction in the upper airway, like a polyp or an aspirated foreign body, can cause such sounds, but usually there will be cough, sputum, mucus etc. You need to be examined if it is bothering or worrying you. ...Read more

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I woke up yesterday with a cough and so sore to cough today I have a /hoarseness voice and coughing up brown phlegm I also quit smoking 2 days ago?

I woke up yesterday with a cough and so sore to cough today I have a /hoarseness voice and coughing up brown phlegm I also quit smoking 2 days ago?

Smoking: Smoke can paralyze the cilia that beat gunk from the airways out of our body. When you stop smoking they can become active again and start to move gunk out. Please hydrate well. Congratulations on decision to stop smoking. ...Read more

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I quit smoking marijuana ive been a heavy user but now I stopped cold turkey and I cough out phlegm with brown specks and left lung hurts sometimes?

I quit smoking marijuana ive been a heavy user but now I stopped cold turkey and I cough out phlegm with brown specks and left lung hurts sometimes?

See a doctor: The symptoms might be caused by irritation of your airways or lung tissue, but might also represent an infection of the airways (bronchitis) or lungs (pneumonia). It is best to see a doctor as soon as possible. If you develop difficulty breathing in the meantime it would be best to go to the ER. Good luck! ...Read more

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Why is my cough phlemy?? I quit smoking months ago and still have this phlem?? What can help

Why is my cough phlemy?? I quit smoking months ago and still have this phlem?? What can help

The first thing I'd: Recommend is to insure that you are drinking at least 64 ounces of water per day. You need to insure that there is enough moisture. ...Read more

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I am coughing up clear phlegm with small light brown-ish specks. I have had some sort of virus for about 10 days now, quit smoking 5 days ago. Normal?

I am coughing up clear phlegm with small light brown-ish specks. I have had some sort of virus for about 10 days now, quit smoking 5 days ago. Normal?

Normal yes caution: This is typical in my clinical experience with those who kick the habit. You do want to be concerned in this situation if you develop high fever with frequent cough that produces thick greenish brownish sputum, sudden shaking chills. For your scenario, most risk is in going back to cigarettes. There are many better alternatives to deal with cravings and prevent going back down that road. ...Read more

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I quit smoking for about 3 months now but I still clear/cough and I have brownish and black its thick. Is this something I should worry about or is my lungs doing what they need to do and this is normal?

I quit smoking for about 3 months now but I still clear/cough and I have brownish and black its thick. Is this something I should worry about or is my lungs doing what they need to do and this is normal?

A bit odd, but: If there are no other symptoms, you could give it a bit longer - but those colors do sound strange. Even many active smokers don't have that. An exam would help you not worry unnecessarily and get you a lot of congratulations for quitting. Doctors love to hear that! ...Read more

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Is it normal after quit smoking pot to cough up black stuff?

Is it normal after quit smoking pot to cough up black stuff?

Depends: Are you a regular cigarette smoker? If your use of Marijuana was heavy, then your lungs may have some gunk to clean out. If this goes on for more than a week or so, you may need your family doc to evaluate your lungs. ...Read more

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I quit smoking a year ago and still cough up mucus with black flecks in it. Is this normal?

I quit smoking a year ago and still cough up mucus with black flecks in it. Is this normal?

Black Flecks & Mucus: Coughing up black flecks is not a normal condition. It reminds me of black lung disease that is typically found in coal miners. Florida does not have coal mines, so I would not expect this finding. I would see a physician, get a chest xray and if possible save a sample of the coughed up mucus to be checked out. ...Read more

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Just quit smoking, saw 2 doctors for chest pain, they checked with stethoscope and they said I was fine. Should I go again? Coughing black phlem

Just quit smoking, saw 2 doctors for chest pain, they checked with stethoscope and they said I was fine. Should I go again? Coughing black phlem

No need: It is common for ex-smokers to experience a tight and uncomfortable feeling in their chest. This just goes away with time. Quitting smoking is the single best thing you can do to improve your health and quality of life. Congratulation! ...Read more

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If I quit smoking, why am I not coughing up any more phlegm?

If I quit smoking, why am I not coughing up any more phlegm?

Phlegm: First: congratulation on quitting smoking! Now, a decrease in mucus production could be related to the overall improved environment in your lungs now that they don't have to cope with the stress of smoking. None the less, former smokers should pay close attention to their respiratory tracts and report any real changes to their primary doctor in addition to getting routine exams. Good luck! ...Read more

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If I quit smoking, why am I not coughing up any more phlegm?

Recovering: Smoking damages the cilia of the lung lining which clear out the mucous. If they are damaged then coughing clears the mucous. That you are not coughing indicates the cilia have recovered and the lungs are less irritated so that they make less mucous. Congratulations and keep up the good work! ...Read more

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My husband is 27, quit smoking a few months ago and has been sick with a cold for 2 months. Extreme coughing fits in the middle of night. White phlegm?

My husband is 27, quit smoking a few months ago and has been sick with a cold for 2 months. Extreme coughing fits in the middle of night. White phlegm?

Chronic Bronchitis: You are a caring wife.
I understand your concern about your husband due to coughing fits in the middle of night.
Discuss with your husband about all symptoms, intensity, duration and effect on functioning; see a Physician for possible diagnoses of Chronic Bronchitis, Postnasal drip, Asthma, or Gastroesophageal reflux disease.
Have all tests and X-rays to establish diagnosis; and have Treatment. ...Read more

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I quit smoking 4 weeks ago today. Just now starting to feel heaviness in my chest and what feels like phlegm in lungs. Is this normal after 4 weeks?

I quit smoking 4 weeks ago today. Just now starting to feel heaviness in my chest and what feels like phlegm in lungs. Is this normal after 4 weeks?

Yes! Your lung cilia: Is trying to return to normal and 'brush' all that debris out of your lungs into your throat to cough or swallow to get it out of there! It is going to take time to do depending on how serious a smoker you were, or how many packs per day for how many years that you smoked. So, do hydrate and drink liquids to reduce the viscosity of phlegm. Cool mist humidifier & a HEPA air filter may help too. ...Read more

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Recently quit smoking waking w noc asthma attacks-coughing up clear bubbly phlegm-otherwise young healthy active female. COPD? Cause for alarm?

Recently quit smoking waking w noc asthma attacks-coughing up clear bubbly phlegm-otherwise young healthy active female. COPD? Cause for alarm?

Unlikely: COPD takes years to develop so this is probably not that. This is probably combination of allergies and poorly controlled asthma. I suggest follow up with your doctor so that you get proper inhalers and perhaps pulmonary function tests to gauge severity of asthma. Congrats on stopping smoking! ...Read more

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Quit smoking 12/9/12, 23 pack years. Occasionally still bring up brown speckled phlegm. Most times it is clear. Chest xray normal. Mild emphysema. Normal?

Quit smoking 12/9/12, 23 pack years. Occasionally still bring up brown speckled phlegm. Most times it is clear. Chest xray normal. Mild emphysema. Normal?

Not really: It is surprising that you have emphysema with your limited smoking history. You might have a genetic predisposition to have lung problems, or you might actually have asthma. ...Read more

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I've quit smoking for 3 weeks now, ever since, I've gained 3kgs, coughing out thick green phlegm, mood swings, blocked nose. How to deal with these symptoms?

Be patient, consult: Nicotine withdrawal is an awful thing and takes few weeks to few months to subside. Talk to your pcp about green phlegm and blocked nose to rule out infection though. ...Read more

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Before 6 weeks I quit smoking and occasionally coughing black or brown phelgm. No chest pain. What it could be and how long cough last?

Before 6 weeks I quit smoking and occasionally coughing black or brown phelgm. No chest pain. What it could be and how long cough last?

Good sign: It is very common coughing after quitting smoking. Some people seem to cough more than usual. The cough is only temporary and might actually be a sign that your body is starting to heal and recover. Speed the process by using humidifier or vaporizer and drink plenty of fluids. Congratulations! ...Read more

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Dry or while transparent cough since past 6 weeks. Had started when I quit smoking around 7 weeks back. It is normal or something serious. How recover?

Dry or while transparent cough since past 6 weeks. Had started when I quit smoking around 7 weeks back. It is normal or something serious. How recover?

Probably normal: Although it's not common, some people seem to cough more than usual soon after stopping smoking. Tobacco smoking slows the normal movement of microscopic hairs that line your lungs. When you stop smoking, these hairs/cilia become active again. When active, they help clear mucus from your lungs. It should improve on own. Drink lots of water. See doc if persists >2 months. Good wishes:) ...Read more

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Just quit smoking 2 days ago and my chest has felt tight and I go though a coughing fit a couple time a day. Is with normal? Cough drops have seems to help the coughing

Just quit smoking 2 days ago and my chest has felt tight and I go though a coughing fit a couple time a day. Is with normal? Cough drops have seems to help the coughing

Yes: Smoking causes the hair cells that line the air passages to stop working, which keeps all the crud that smoking puts there, and all the mucus that the body makes to get rid of it, stuck in the lungs and air passages. When you stop smoking, the hair cells start to work, and all this stuff starts to come up. So cough is common, can last weks, and is a good sign - you are cleaning it out. Good luck. ...Read more

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Is it normal to have an increased cough if I recently quit smoking? I would think it should be the opposite. Also have chest irritation and sore throat

Is it normal to have an increased cough if I recently quit smoking? I would think it should be the opposite. Also have chest irritation and sore throat

Yes its normal: All the symptoms you're describing can happen after you stop smoking. You might also have gotten a viral infection. Best thing is to 'stay on the wagon' don't start smoking again, and see how you do after another few weeks. If it persists, or if you develop fever, go get checked out. ...Read more

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I quit smoking 10 days ago and still have a lot if phlegm and mucous, what can I do about it?

Patience: The effects of smoking will not go away right away. Cough and phlegm may persist for months and even years. But, don't get disappointed as long term, you are better off not smoking! ...Read more

Dr. Angelina Postoev
922 Doctors shared insights

Phlegm (Definition)

Phlegm is the thick, sticky mucus secreted by the surface of the respiratory tract during a cold or other respiratory infection. The respiratory tract includes the nose and sinuses, throat, voice box, bronchi, and lungs. Phlegm is mucus that may contain bacteria, viruses, respiratory surface cells, and inflammatory cells. Normal mucus is not phlegm, but a protective layer secreted ...Read more


Dr. Sue Ferranti
3,596 Doctors shared insights

Cough (Definition)

The cough reflex is a protective mechanism that uses muscles in your throat and chest to expel mucous and saliva that may contain pathogens that would otherwise possibly be inhaled via aerosol or to expel pathogens infecting the throat and respiratory system. Cough benefits the host by reducing load and benefits the pathogen which may then spread via aerosol. ...Read more