2 doctors weighed in:

Why do smokers cough up sputum?

2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Steven Guyton
Surgery - Thoracic
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Smoke deposits

Tar and other materials in the smoke get deposited in the lungs.
Coughing it out is the only way the body can get rid of it. Otherwise it would build up to the point that one couldn't breathe over a few months. Over time, the normal cleaning mechanisms of the lungs and windpipe get overwhelmed and the effects of smoking multiply.

In brief: Smoke deposits

Tar and other materials in the smoke get deposited in the lungs.
Coughing it out is the only way the body can get rid of it. Otherwise it would build up to the point that one couldn't breathe over a few months. Over time, the normal cleaning mechanisms of the lungs and windpipe get overwhelmed and the effects of smoking multiply.
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Dr. Aaron Milstone
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