This world-famous Five Day Plan to Stop Smoking by J. Wayne McFarland, M.D. includes valuable hints everyone can use. I came across it on a Seventh-day Adventist church website while researching something else and thought it might be helpful for some readers.
It got me curious and somehow I ended up getting sidetracked from the thing I was originally searching for and got to reading about the benefits of quitting and discovered some bad things happen when you quit that I never heard anybody mention before.
One person observed that for about two weeks after quitting, their blood pressure actually went up. His physician said it is because every system in our body is affected by the chemicals in tobacco. So once it is out of our systems the body has to do sort of a reboot which means all sorts of things from BP to liver functions to nerve endings will be off kilter as the body begins to re-regulate itself. Also, overcoming an addiction is stressful and people get stressed out which increases blood pressure.
Another thing some quitters reported was shortness of breath! Your lungs are repairing themselves and the little hairs inside your lungs are growing back. This makes your chest feel itchy and stressed and makes it feel like you are not breathing properly. You may actually wake up some mornings with a tobacco taste in your mouth; this is the tar moving up and out of your lungs! For some people this problem with shortness of breath was also accompanied by an inability to cough up the gunk that had accumulated in their lungs. This is not uncommon because mucus gets trapped in the lungs and ends up blocking small airways.
Apparently some smokers are addicted to deep breathing aside from nicotine. Inhaling smoke is basically a form of deep breathing like yoga. When we quit we tend to not do deep breathing anymore like we were previously as a smoker. Your chest finds this change strange and the muscles in your chest spasm giving you a 'tight' feeling.
Stress. Anxiety can be exacerbated by quitting then your chest muscles can get tense which makes you feel like you can't breath.
One fellow observed that when he smoked he was mildly asthmatic and smoking actually suppressed it. When the tar and chemical sludge breaks down in your chest it can leave irritated and sore parts in your bronchial tubes that haven't felt clean air for years. So temporarily your chest may be irritated more than normal.
Most people reported things cleared up in a couple of weeks and a few were tempted to to return to smoking just so they would feel better.