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smokers and coughing

Nurses   (1,368 Views 14 Comments)
by brownbook brownbook (Member) Member Nurse

1 Follower; 44,861 Profile Views; 3,146 Posts

Why do people who smoke say they can't get over their cold....don't they have a clue that smoking and a chronic cough often go hand in hand?

Honestly I understand smoking addiction and understand someone who  smokes and can't, or doesn't really feel the need to, quit.  Smokers don't  bother me at all.

But I do roll my eyes when they are coughing and say something like, "I just can't get over this darn cold!"

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Sour Lemon has 9 years experience.

2 Followers; 4,160 Posts; 29,755 Profile Views

Could it be a defensive thing, in some cases? That's my best guess.

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Night__Owl has 3 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ICU and Dialysis.

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When I smoked, I didn't have a chronic cough (didn't smoke enough years to get one, thankfully.) But I DID have a markedly longer recovery period after getting a cold. Hard to clear it out when you're constantly deadening your cilia with nicotine and smoke. 

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Daisy4RN has 20 years experience and specializes in Travel, Home Health, Med-Surg.

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I have known some smokers to just always say they have a cold because I guess they are either embarrassed or just don't know why they are coughing. Some I have told, "it is because you smoke", and they just blow it off, denial I guess.

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VivaLasViejas has 20 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych.

8 Followers; 142 Articles; 9,665 Posts; 248,541 Profile Views

I smoked like a chimney for 10 years, and I spent a good deal of that time recovering s-l-o-w-l-y from one bout of bronchitis/pneumonia or another. One ER doc told me I wouldn't live to see 40 if I kept it up (I was in my late 20s at the time, so 40 was an abstract concept that didn't really apply to me). I quit for good when I was pregnant with my youngest...and THEN I developed asthma. No fair! It took me years to get that under control, and I often wondered why I'd bothered to quit smoking if my lungs weren't going to cooperate. 

I read somewhere about a doctor who said that anyone over the age of 40 who has a history of smoking, has COPD. While I think that's kind of harsh, there's still evidence of my smoking days because I still get 'the cough' from time to time. My asthma likes to flare up during the winter and spring thanks to mold spores and pollen. But I treat my lungs like gold, avoiding secondhand smoke and cold air, and treating the wheezing and coughing with my rescue inhaler. I wish I'd never smoked.

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Well, for years I thought I got a cold every Christmas. Then...ding ding ding!

Live Christmas tree. 

Funny how I quit getting colds every Christmas once we bought an artificial tree.   🙂

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1,464 Posts; 10,560 Profile Views

I guess I'm different.  I don't want people to think I'm contagious when I cough.  I always tell them its because I smoke. 

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OldDude specializes in Pediatrics.

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My Sweet Petunia is a home health PT and loves it. A long time ago she talked me into trying home health one time and I didn't last but a few months...I hated it and ran as fast as I could back to kidlet nursing. Anyway...I don't even remember why I was see this old dude but he would constantly cough and...smoke a cigarette...take a hit off his albuterol inhaler...smoke a cigarette...take a hit off his albuterol inhaler...repeat; an amazing thing to watch.

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ShadowNurse has 3 years experience and specializes in Pediatrics.

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The smokers I've known become so adapted to the whole process that they don't even notice the effect on their lives and bodies. The nagging cough, the permanent smell on their hands and clothes, the lack of taste in food. I remember my dad quit smoking when I was a teenager and I always thought he smelled wrong afterward. His natural scent was no longer mixed with his Marlboros and after smelling that since I was born I could never adjust. Luckily I didn't pick up his addiction.

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KatieMI has 6 years experience as a BSN, MSN, RN and specializes in ICU, LTACH, Internal Medicine.

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"What my smoking can have in common with that cough?"

"Nobody ever told me that salt is bad for my heart - NOBODY!!"

"Do pickles REALLY have a lot of salt? Oh... but it says  here "sodium", not salt... are you sure these two are somehow related?"

"I eat only french fries, they have no sugar"

"You tell me I cannot have coffee with caffeine, only decaf. Is it ok to drink normal coffee with some burbon - it feels relaxing!"

"Do you know how much protein is in bacon? That little?? Oh, I'll have to have plenty of it then".

"I cannot have STD. I washed myself right after I came home"

"Daily activities of my wife are sitting in her favorite armchair and watching TV. She also has her meals and recites a prayer daily"

"They told me I can have everything I can see through. I can see through a doughnut hole, so I figured that some of them would be OK with coffee"

I can write a book of those...

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