How does smoking cause chronic bronchitis? And how long does it take?

Smoke is toxic. Both the heat of the smoke and the chemicals within it irritate the linings of the respiratory tract. It takes 10 years or more to produce chronic bronchitis in most smokers.
There . There are hundreds of chemicals in smoke that irritate and inflame cells in the airway. This leads to spasm of airway muscles and an influx of inflammatory cells that lead to chronic cough. In addition there is an increase in the number of mucus producing cells that causes increased phlegm production. If you have a cough on most days of most months then that defines chronic bronchitis. This develops at various rates and times of cumulative smoking, not all people have the same susceptibility to the effects of cig smoking. 10 pack years (1 pack a day x 10 years) is an average amount however.

Related Questions

How long could it take to develop chronic bronchitis from smoking?

As little as... ...A few days to a week, in a sensitive person. We pediatricians see it all the time in children exposed to secondhand smoke. Read more...
Depends... This depends on how many packs a day you smoke as well as number of years smoked. The best thing you can do to avoid this disease is to quit smoking! Read more...