Coughing is an action your body takes in order to get rid of substances that are irritating the air passages, which carry the air a person breathes in from the nose and mouth to the lungs.
A cough occurs when cells along the air passages get irritated and trigger a chain of events. Consequently, air in the lungs is forced out under high pressure. A person can choose to cough (a voluntary process), or the body may cough on its own (an involuntary process).

What causes Coughing?

  • Allergy and asthma
  • Sinusitis with postnasal drip
  • Laryngitis. Aside from coughing, laryngitis may be accompanied by voice alteration, hoarseness, throat constriction and difficulty breathing.
  • Pneumonia, acute bronchitis and other lung infections such as tuberculosis, pertussis
  • Chronic obstructive lung disease, chronic bronchitis and emphysema, in which the main culprit is smoking
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease is characterized by the return of fluid and contents from the stomach back into the esophagus. This occurs due to failure of the
    Smoking causes Coughing.ent

    Smoking causes Coughing

    lower esophageal sphincter, thus, causing dry cough, heartburn, bad smelling breath and difficulty swallowing.

  • Heart failure, congestive type
  • Lung cancer 
  • Pulmonary embolism 
  • Cystic fibrosis.

Consult a doctor if: 

  • You are coughing up blood.
  • Coughing is associated with intense wheezing.
  • You have difficulty in breathing.
  • Coughing is associated with a fever and sputum production.
  • It fails to improve after other symptoms go away or lessen.
  • Cough changes in character.
  • It is associated with chest pain.
  • There is accompanying weight loss.

 For a quick recovery: 

  • Stop smoking.
  • Drink lots of water and fluids.
  • Treatment to reduce acid reflux in GERD
  • Lots of rest


  • Sharma S, Hashmi MF, Alhajjaj MS. Cough. In: StatPearls.Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan.
  • Lee AL, Burge AT, Holland AE. Airway clearance techniques for bronchiectasis. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015 Nov 23;2015(11):CD008351.
  • Mazzone SB. Sensory regulation of the cough reflex. Pulm Pharmacol Ther. 2004;17(6):361-8.