Home > Reasons to Stop Smoking > Do Smokers Get Sick More Often?


Everybody catches a cold or the flu, that can't be avoided. But yes, smokers absolutely do, and there are a few reasons for that.

I always notice the smokers at work getting sick more times that I do. It's all year round, too, not just during the winter months. I always chuckle to myself saying, "Are you clueless? Why do you think you're sick?"

Smokers are unhealthy, for one. Smoking a pack of cigarettes a day can't be good for you, but everybody knows that. They're just too addicted to care. Inhaling all that smoke all day long doesn't sound like part of a well-balanced diet to me.

They don't necessarily eat 5-course meals everyday, either, because they're too busy finding time to smoke. Of course this isn't every single person, but as a generalization, it's true. They might even get sick in the summertime, when illnesses are at their lowest peak, yet they are still sick. You can get sick all year round, because viruses still float around, it's just that in the winter months, people are congregated closer together, so your chances become greater.

Have you ever been to the bar multiple days in a row, chainsmoking and drinking? Have you ever gotten ill because of that? I have. The healthiest people in town are not at the bars. I've gotten sick many times from hanging out in bars, when I knew I should've been at home. Then I am down on myself for going out, and so the cycle of negativity continues. If I would've just been smart and not gone out to begin with, instead of multiple days in a row, I'd be a happier person. My body obviously couldn't take it anymore.

Smoking lowers your immune system. When you inhale, it goes through your mouth and through your nose. All the smoke that is lingering in the air gets inhaled through your nose, whether you want to believe it or not.

There are hairs in your nose that prevent bad foreign substances from entering the lungs. Same with your throat. The lining of your trachea consists of hairs called cilia, and smoking paralyzes them. If the cilia are paralyzed, then foreign substances can easily enter the lungs, and that includes the toxic chemicals in tobacco smoke.

photo of a woman coughing in bed

It also decreases oxygen flow through your body. Just imagine all that smoke inside your lungs. Did you know that 90% of what you inhale does NOT get exhaled? That means that you exhale only 10% of each drag of a cigarette. That is scary! This is what causes a persistant cough, because your body is trying to expel the phlegm from the lungs.

They are more susceptible to viruses floating around their environment and in the air. People who don't smoke, have strong cilia and nose hairs, and are able to withstand foreign substances more easily. They could even go years without getting sick. Do you know people like that? Are you jealous of them?

I was sick all the time. I was sick a few times a year. Plus, when I did become ill, it was extreme. It was never the common cold or a 24 hour bug. I was always bedridden for a week, and calling in sick to work.

Smokers know they potentially could become sick a few times a year because of their nasty habit. Unfortunately, nicotine is too powerful to make that a viable option for people to quit. Therefore, they'll just accept the consequences and deal with it.

You would think that would be reason enough to quit, but nicotine always wins. Once you feel better, the cravings come back.

Nicotine tricks people. It certainly doesn't make you feel better than before. It makes you THINK you will feel better after smoking, but that is never the case. You'll always feel sluggish. Why? Because there is so much smoke left in your lungs that's not exhaled. It makes sense. If your lungs are clogged all the time with smoke and phlegm, then you're going to feel terrible, and this is when illness strikes.

Quit smoking and you'll reduce your chances of getting sick. In fact, even if you do become ill (like we all do), it may be less severe than if you were a smoker. It might just go away in a day. Wouldn't that be nice? You won't have to take off work. You'll be able to support your family more. You can get right back into your life. Sounds great, doesn't it? But you'll never find out until you experience the sensation of quitting. That's for certain.


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