Coughing and other respiratory symptoms improve within weeks of smoking cessation
If the proven long-term benefits of smoking cessation are not enough to motivate young adults to stop smoking, a new study shows that 18- to 24-year olds who stop smoking for at least two weeks report substantially fewer respiratory symptoms, especially coughing. The study findings are detailed in Pediatric Allergy, Immunology, and Pulmonology.
Karen Calabro, DrPH and Alexander Prokhorov, MD, PhD, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, compared self-reported respiratory symptoms among two groups of college students who participated in programs designed to motivate them to stop smoking. One group achieved smoking cessation for two weeks or longer and the other group failed to stop smoking. More than half of the students smoked 5-10 cigarettes a day and had smoked for 1-5 years.
"That the benefit of stopping smoking starts in days to weeksnot years or decadesis important. Now health care providers can counsel young smokers that their breathing can feel better soon after they stop. This can help to motivate young adults to stop smoking before the severe damage is done," says Harold Farber, MD, MSPH, Editor of Pediatric Allergy, Immunology, and Pulmonology and Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Section of Pulmonology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX.