The chemicals in cigarette smoke can damage the microscopic hairs in your airways which are responsible for helping keep your lungs clean. When they’re damaged, they can’t clean your airways, and that’s why you're coughing up phlegm.
If you have a persistent cough, this could be an early sign of a long-term lung disease like chronic bronchitis or emphysema.
Quitting smoking is the single most important thing you can do to slow the progression of these types of lung diseases, or prevent them entirely.
If you have a wheeze that isn’t going away, don’t ignore it.
Wheezing could be the first observable sign of emphysema or chronic bronchitis.
With emphysema, the poisons in tobacco smoke damage the lungs by narrowing the tiny airways, making it harder to get air in and out.
With chronic bronchitis, small particles in tobacco smoke irritate your airways and create a build-up of mucus. This causes you to cough and wheeze.
These diseases get worse over time and can stop you doing the things you love most.
The best action you can take to keep your lungs healthy is to quit smoking.
People who smoke are at a higher risk of gum disease, losing teeth, tooth decay and experiencing complications after dental procedures.
These issues are serious and harder to treat the longer you smoke. Quitting sooner can help reduce the impact of smoking on your oral health.
When you smoke, the impact on your body adds up and can lead to the development of many serious conditions. The good news is, as soon as you quit, your body starts to repair itself.
Smoking is a major contributor to developing cardiovascular disease.
When you smoke, it clogs your arteries and makes them stiffer, so it is harder for blood to travel around your body.
Smokers have double the risk of stroke, five-times the risk of peripheral artierial disease and almost triple the risk of a fatal heart attack compared to people who have never smoked.
When you smoke, you increase your risk of developing 16 different types of cancer.
Quitting smoking is one of the most important things you can do to your risk of cancer. There are immediate health benefits to quitting. Even if you already have cancer, quitting will reduce side effects from cancer treatments and improve survival outcomes.
Tobacco smoking exposes your lungs and respiratory system to toxic chemicals that can lead to serious conditions such as chronic bronchitis, emphysema, influenza, and pneumonia.
These chemicals can also lower your ability to fight infections in your body, making your recovery much more difficult.
Any number of cigarettes smoked increases your risk. Quitting is the best way to minimise your chance of developing respiratory issues, and to stop them from getting worse.
Nicotine is the ingredient in tobacco which makes it so addictive and is why you want to keep smoking. By taking this quiz, you can find out how dependant on nicotine you are, and the tips and strategies you can use to start your quitting journey.
It sounds like you may have a high addiction to nicotine. But don’t worry, you can quit!
A great place to start for you is chatting to your doctor or pharmacist about stop smoking medications such as nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products. These help to reduce your symptoms of nicotine withdrawal so you can take back control.
It’s also important to know your triggers to smoke and learn ways to beat them. With some simple lifestyle changes, you can break your old habits and increase your chances of quitting for good. There are many different ways to get support, explore your options today.
Based on your answers, it seems likely you have an addiction to nicotine and might benefit from some extra help to fight withdrawal symptoms. If this sounds like you, chat to your doctor or pharmacist about stop smoking medications such as nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products. These can help to get you through any tough days at the beginning.
You will also need skills to beat the triggers you face day-to-day, like hanging out with certain friends or smoking for stress relief.
There are many different ways to get support, find out what’s right for you.
It sounds like you have some level of addiction to nicotine. Start your quit attempt by learning about your triggers and ways to beat them. You can also make yourself a free, personalised Quit Plan to help keep yourself on track.
If you experience withdrawal symptoms when trying to quit, chat to your doctor or pharmacist about stop smoking medications such as nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products. These can help to get you through any tough days at the beginning.
You probably have a low addiction to nicotine, or might not be addicted to nicotine at all. The good news is, you are unlikely to experience some of the common withdrawal symptoms, like headaches and coughing.
But addiction has two other parts which can still make it feel tough to quit, and these are your habits and emotions. For example, if you usually smoke when you’re stressed, you might feel more irritable or anxious when quitting. Luckily these feelings only last a short time, and you can prepare for your triggers to make it easier to stay smoke-free for good. Try our step-by-step quit planner to set yourself up for success.
Quitting smoking is hard, but with the right support and motivation you can achieve your goal.
"I’ve got two kids and I go to the park and I can’t, I can’t breathe, I can’t run after them or I’m that mum at the park having a smoke and like, trying to hide and I’d rather spend the money on the kids than spend the money on smokes…
My oldest daughter, so, she made a video the last time I stopped, just before I stopped and it says ‘Mummy please don’t smoke or you’ll die.’ So I used to watch that every time I had cravings."
"If I carried on smoking I was killing myself, I know I was, I could feel it in my lungs. My daughter said to me, ‘Mummy, if you keep smoking you’re going to die, who’s going to look after me?’ And I was just like geez I’m not going to send that intergenerational trauma through my family because I didn’t have the courage or the will to stop smoking for my children, but for me too, first."
"Recently, I had the flu and I was really struggling to breathe, especially at night. So, I went to the doctors, obviously, to get some antibiotics. He mentioned to me to maybe get a lung function test. I struggled to even empty my lungs, and it just sounded so wheezy…What I could have is early signs of emphysema."
The Quitline is a confidential telephone advice and information service for people who want to quit smoking.
The My QuitBuddy App tracks your quitting progress, such as days smoke-free, cigarettes avoided, health gained and dollars saved.
Some people think quitting is about willpower, but to quit successfully means being prepared, and understanding your smoking triggers.