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Help after quit smoking(12 posts)

Help after quit smokingretbchboy
Aug 12, 2003 7:15 AM
I quit at the end of April (just turned 50). I had been a one pack a day smoker for 4 years. I took up MTB two weeks after which helped me in not starting up again.
My question is I am still having problems, a little over 3 months later, with catching my breath. How long does it take to clean that S**T out of my lungs???

re: Help after quit smokingSpoiledBikeDaddy
Aug 12, 2003 7:46 AM
First, CONGRATULATIONS!!! I quit in 1996, haven't looked back.

Second, it'll take some time (longer than 3 months) to clean all the crud out. More accurately, it'll take time for the cilia (tiny hair-like thingies lining your respiratory system which act as "filters") to grow back - they were burned away by the hot smoke years ago. The longer you smoked, the longer it'll take them to grow back and resume filtering crud out of the air for you

Good Luck,

Aug 12, 2003 7:54 AM
I quit 5 years ago, so I might be able to offer some insight. Keep in mind that although I play one on TV, I am not a physician.

I remained breathless and coughing during excercise for approximately 5-6 months. Like you, I immediately took to cycling. In addition to helping me abstain, I suspected that it would also expedite the healing process.

Be patient, and remember that we are lucky that our lungs can, unless seriously damaged, regenerate themselves. Again, congratulations and keep riding.
re: Help after quit smokingdez182
Aug 12, 2003 8:13 AM
I smoked for 6 years, so I know what you're going through. It took me close to 2 years before I felt I was completely healed, but it was worthy every minute.
Aug 12, 2003 8:25 AM
I'm up here in Asheville (mountains).
Great trails (Pisgah)
I'm thinking on the road biking now to help things along when I can't get to the trailhead.
I will DEFINITELY say riding has kept me away from ever smoking again. Especially the first month, I never want to go through that again.
The main thing though is turning 50 and doing nothing. What a waste. I guess I woke up thinking I'm not ready to give in to getting old yet!!

Thanks again!!!
long timeColnagoFE
Aug 12, 2003 8:27 AM
i was a pack a day smoker for 10 years. quit a while back after i had my first kid, but every blue moon i'll smoke one or two. the next day i feel sick as a dog and can't seem to catch my breath. makes me remember why i gave up those coffin nails.
re: Help after quit smokingJS Haiku Shop
Aug 12, 2003 9:45 AM
i've been smoke-free going on 6 years now, after a 10-year 1-2 pack per day habit. stopped drinking 2-4 liters of sodas per day when i quit smoking; started obsessively drinking water. i also bought a (<$300) mountain bike almost immediatly; i used cigarette money to buy it.

how long it will take your body to clear that garbage out of your lungs is difficult to say. i feel it has much to do with your dedication and how hard you're willing to work. there's surely a physical limitation, but you can maximize your own health and minimize the amount of time to free your body of the garbage, through hard work. i say this because i tooled around on the mtb for >12 months before getting "serious". it wasn't until 3 years later that i decided to drop 50 pounds and get "more serious" on the road.

honestly i can reflect upon 2 years ago and say that i finally felt my smoking habit--coupled with excessive eating and being mostly sedentary since early high school--was no longer holding me back.

i'm in my early 30s, though i'm not convinced that makes a difference.
not using patches or gum are you?timwat
Aug 12, 2003 10:08 AM
When I quit ( smokeless tobacco) I used the nicotine gum for a couple of months. My riding really didn't improve until I got off the gum. The nicotine constricts the arteries restricts blood flow. I read somewhere that after 1 year the lungs are usually fully recovered from damage due to smoking.
No nicotine at all!retbchboy
Aug 12, 2003 10:52 AM
When I quit I used patches for 2 days. Worthless!!!
The thing that did it as you all know is don't quit unless your serious about it.
Anything less and all you're doing is kidding yourself.

I do feel myself getting better every ride. Going father, faster and not getting as out of breath. It's just after 3 months I thought I would be father.
I'm thinking the road biking with the more steady cadence might help!
I'm convinced that cold turkey is the only wayColnagoFE
Aug 12, 2003 12:24 PM
There's a guy I work with that goes on the patch every couple of months but never seems to totally quit. I think I should buy stock in that company because it sure isn't helping him quit. It takes about a week for the physical cravings to go away and then probably a good year or more for the psychological cravings to go away. Light up once before a year is up and you'll likely be heading to the store for another pack. Lou Reed (former heroin addict/Velvet Underground fame) said that heroin was easier to quit than cigs. I think he still smokes.
Congrats!!! You're over the hump and its downhill from hereKristin
Aug 12, 2003 12:52 PM
I smoked a pack a day for 6 years (age 14-20) and I had a smokers cough for 6 months after I quit. Hang in there, it will get better. I think they say it takes a full year to recover.
length of time you smokedSao
Aug 12, 2003 1:04 PM
I think the number of years you smoked matters too. I smoked for a few years topping out at a pack a day and other than weight gain, I rarely craved them after I quit (three years ago). I asked others who had smoked longer than me how hard it was for them to quit and it seems like the ones who smoked the longest had the hardest time quitting.

Not scientific by any means, just a hunch.

It took me a few months to get my lungs back. I don't know what I was thinking even starting in the first place.