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Smoking cessation for two weeks enough to cure a cough

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
Stopping smoking for just two weeks reversed cough in young adults

Stopping smoking for just two weeks can improve cough and other respiratory symptoms, shows a new investigation. The study is important for counseling young adults on the benefits of smoking cessation.

Researchers Karen Calabro, DrPH and Alexander Prokhorov, MD, PhD from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, demonstrated that 18- to 24-year olds who stop smoking for at least two weeks had fewer respiratory symptoms, especially related to coughing.

The finding they say, should motivate young adults.

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 said, “That the benefit of stopping smoking starts in days to weeks—not years or decades—is 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.”

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For the study, the researchers compared two groups of college student with self-reported respiratory symptoms who smoked 5-10 cigarettes a day for 1 to 5 years.

One group stopped smoking for at least two weeks, but the second group failed to stop.

Smoking cessation for just two weeks reported their respiratory symptoms improved five days per week, especially coughing. The results highlight the importance of stopping smoking before respiratory symptoms become irreversible.

Karen S. Calabro and Alexander V. Prokhorov and. Pediatric Allergy, Immunology, and Pulmonology. December 2011, 24(4): 215-219. doi:10.1089/ped.2011.0097

Image credit: Morguefile