What Happens To Your Body When You Quit Smoking Cigarettes

Nasal Congestion What happens to your body when you quit smoking cigarettes? What happens after you quit smoking was one of the biggest questions I had on the day I decided to quit smoking once and for all. I already knew the benefits quitting would bring, and I also knew there may be some unpleasant side effects to deal with when I finally quit smoking, which I’ll get to in a minute.

Out of curiosity, I browsed some online forums and message boards devoted to various ways to quit smoking and where people were discussing what to expect when quitting smoking and some of the aftereffects many experienced once they quit smoking. Quit smoking aids come a dime a dozen, so much so that a smoker can become quite frustrated trying to figure out what the best way to quit smoking is, but I wanted to know everything upfront to help me quit smoking successfully and hopefully ward off the pesky side effects.

I’ve barely noticed any real side effects after I quit smoking, but what I found somewhat surprising from the list of common withdrawal symptoms and reported aftereffects was the number of people who successfully quit smoking cigarettes talking about experiencing chronic, if not severe, sinus congestion after quitting smoking. Some said they continued experiencing severe sinus congestion and no sense of smell for several months, if not longer, which lead to a debate about remedies to help alleviate nasal congestion without drugs or prescription medications.

Nasal Congestion Remedies

Considering the fact that I’ve had sinus congestion problems since I was a kid, primarily due to seasonal allergies to pollen and mountain cedar etc, finding out that chronic sinus congestion is something that happens after you quit smoking was the exact opposite of what I expected to happen. Everything I had read before I stopped smoking mentioned things like post nasal drip, headaches, runny nose, coughing up phlegm or mucous and other unpleasant side effects that sound really gross.

Dealing with sinus congestion, sinus blockage or sinus infections wasn’t something I was counting on when I quit smoking, but oh well. Considering how unpleasant some of the other side effects are for people interested in quitting smoking have been, researching natural sinus congestion remedies and food allergies that can contribute to congestion of the sinuses is the least of my worries.

According to Wiki, nasal congestion treatments to help clear sinus congestion recommended by medical experts include drinking more than the usual amount of fluids like water, tea and fruit juice. Avoiding dehydration causing substances like coffee and sodas, because of the caffeine, is also recommended. Stop drinking coffee?! Argh!

Increasing moisture in the air with a humidifier or a hot, steamy bath or shower is said to help relieve the congestion and accompanying discomfort. Other suggestions include home remedies like eating spicy foods containing hot peppers (no thanks); drinking a couple of swigs of apple cider vinegar (not a chance of that happening); Vicks Vapor Rub; Chicken Soup loaded with black pepper (Achew!); cayenne pepper; drinking basil tea or “tomato tea” (a real possibility).

Tomato Tea Recipe:

1 cup tomato juice
1 tsp chopped fresh garlic
1/2 tsp of hot sauce
1 tsp lemon juice
a small pinch or two of celery salt for flavor.

Mix and heat ingredients and drink hot.

Using nasal sprays like Afrin is something I will not do because of the possibility of becoming addicted to Afrin, and I don’t want to constantly be using nasal decongestants like Claritin either, but the use of natural saline solution not only comes highly recommended but saline solution is cheap too.

Neti Pot The Neti Pot appears to be a very popular remedy for sinus congestion, especially since Dr. Oz showed how well the Neti Pot works on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Now, there’s an image you won’t be able to get out of your head for a while – a video demonstration of how to use the Neti Pot on national television, and Oprah says she can’t go anywhere without hers.

The Neti Pot may look strange (Yep, it does), but Dr. Oz says this treatment may be more effective than medication. “The [ear, nose and throat] doctors who are specialists in this area will often say this is a better treatment than a lot of the other drugs that we try to offer folks, because it mechanically cleans out the problem,” he says.

Have you recently quit smoking and experience chronic or severe sinus congestion? What methods to stop smoking did you find helpful? Have you tried the Neti Pot as a remedy and found it to be very helpful? What natural home remedies for sinus congestion have you discovered work well for you?

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6 Responses to “What Happens To Your Body When You Quit Smoking Cigarettes”

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  1. Art H says:

    Just want to add a point about not using nasal sprays…specifically Afrin: I burned out my olfactory glands from over use of Afrin. I don’t have a whole lot of smell left anymore, and I sure do miss the smell of flowers 🙁

  2. tracie says:

    I quit cold turkey over 3 weeks ago…but for the last 2 days i have been hidden in my house with what my doc says is a sinus infection 🙁 non of the treatments prescribed are working. I’m beginning to think I am having severe allergic reactions, overactive allergy smptoms maybe? Is this normal when you quit? My eyes are so puffy I can’t even go to work or drive for that matter!!

    • Lin says:

      Tracie, sinus related problems after quitting smoking are quite normal. Stick with it because your sinuses are working hard to clear out.

  3. Daniel says:

    I have recently quit smoking myself 3 months ago and for the last 4 weeks my sinuses have gone into overdrive. I mean I am going through nearly a box of 120 tissues per day. Out of the 4 weeks I have had to use tissues every single day and only about 7 of the days were alright after the morning nose runs. Half of the time has been non stop drips from the moment I wake up to the moment I go to sleep. Fortunately it has not bothered me when I go to sleep, it seems to stop and my sinuses stay dry until I wake up and then it continues. Sometimes it affects my bronchial tubes making it wheezy to breathe but once the lungs “dry” out I am back to normal except the sinuses. My nose has been red raw for the 4 weeks, but I can deal with it. I just thank God I don’t smoke anymore, and I pray that my body heals fully. I have noticed that it is aggravated by diet and dehydration. I also notice that hot showers clear up the symptoms very well as well as foods that are excellent expectorants and blood stimulants such as ginger, cinnamon, spices, etc. I also quit caffeine with my quitting smoking.

  4. amanda says:

    I quit cold turkey two weeks ago and cut out caffeine for thr first week too (only had it a few times since then). Just over the past few days I’ve noticed this terrible blockage seeming to go from sinus and starting into throat…yuck! Tonight I used the sinurinse bottle (similar to the netipot) and also made some hot water and put honey and lemon in it. I’ve had lots of hot showers too. Drinking the hot water after the sinurinse has seemed to help a bit. I’m debating taking some mucinex. I have been drinking tons of waters to try to help flush it too. I hope this doesn’t go on too much longer.


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