Smoker's cough

Smoker's cough

Smoker's cough is a kind of cough seen especially in smokers. Any irritant present in the respiratory system may trigger cough, however, smoker's cough develops as a consequence of phlegm buildup in the trachea. Many long-term smokers end up beginning their day with bouts of severe coughing.


In the trachea, the walls are lined with cilia, small hairs that protrude from the tracheal epithelium. They move in a synchronous wavelike motion, thereby moving foreign bodies trapped in phlegm upwards towards the oropharynx, so they may be swallowed. Cigarette smoke destroys or paralyzes these cilia, so the only way that phlegm can be removed is via coughing.

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