It’s common for smoking to cause chest pain. While not immediately dangerous, it can contribute to overall heart and lung damage the longer you smoke.
Smoking is hard on your body and causes a wide range of health effects, including chest pain.
Chest pain from smoking can be linked to damage to your blood vessels and heart or to your respiratory system and lungs.
It’s always important to see a doctor if you chest pain so that they can help identify the underlying cause.
People who smoke can also experience chest pain along with symptoms that could indicate a heart attack, something that is always a medical emergency.
This includes the blood vessels that carry blood to your heart. As a result of this damage to the lungs and blood vessels, someone who smokes can experience chest pain.
Smoking makes breathing more difficult. It can cause chronic coughing and can worsen conditions such as asthma.
It’s also linked to conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). These breathing difficulties can also lead to chest pain.
How do I know if my chest pain is serious?
Chest pain can be a serious medical symptom. It’s a good idea to consult a doctor if you have chest pain, even if it comes and goes or is only occasional. They can help diagnose the underlying cause.
Chest pain can also sometimes signal a heart attack. A heart attack is a medical emergency that needs immediate treatment. It’s important to call 911, or emergency services if you experience chest pain along with:
Does chest pain from smoking go away?
Chest pain from smoking can come and go. But smoking can also cause chest pain that becomes chronic. This can happen when smoking leads to heart and respiratory conditions.
Quitting smoking before these conditions develop is often possible. As a rule, the sooner a person quits smoking the more their health will benefit.
Sometimes, people experience chest pain when they quit smoking. This can feel like a tightness or pressure in the chest. It typically lasts for a few weeks after quitting smoking.
It can happen for different reasons, including:
- a side effect of nicotine withdrawal
- your body adjusting to the lack of inflammation
- muscle tension from nicotine cravings
- soreness from coughing
- cilia growing back as your airways heal
This pain is temporary. It will resolve once your body adjusts to a lack of nicotine and tobacco. You can check out this article to learn what else to expect as you quit.
Quitting smoking: Resources for the journey
Quitting smoking is one of the most important decisions you can make for your health. Here are some helpful resources you can use if you want to quit.
When you’re ready for that step, you can check out:
- Smokefree.gov: Smokefree.gov is a federal site that offers guided support programs for anyone who is ready to quit smoking. There are general guides available as well as guides tailored to specific groups such as women, teens, veterans, and adults over 60.
- The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Agency (SAMHSA) Hotline: You can contact the free SAMSHA hotline 24/7 for help in English or Spanish. They can connect you to local treatment programs, counseling services, support groups, and more. You can reach SAMSHA by calling 1-800-622-HELP (4357) or by using their online locator.
- The National Texting Portal: You can get free support and tips from your phone using this free service provided by The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). You can get started at any time by texting QUITNOW to 333888.
- The quitSTART app: For another phone-based option, you can download the free quitSTART app. The app offers motivational tools such as tups, progress tracking, and more to help you manage cravings. You’ll find it in Apple and GooglePlay stores.
Smoking can damage your lungs, your airways, and your blood vessels. It can lead to heart and respiratory diseases and can result in chest pain.
Quitting smoking can help improve your health and reduce your likelihood of these conditions.
You might have increased chest pain when you first quit smoking and your body adjusts to the lack of nicotine and tobacco. This typically passes after a couple of weeks.