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Does chronic smoking cause chest tightness?

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Posted on Thu, 21 May 2015
Question: Good afternoon,
I am a 52 year old female, smoke regularly (I know, I'm working on it) and yesterday, all of a sudden, I began to feel a tightening in my throat area. It almost felt like a sore throat was coming on and what I was feeling was constant, it didn't come and go. However, when I sat down to watch t.v. an hour or two later and fully relaxed, not smoking, the pain moved to my chest. It's almost in my esophagus area. I don't have a cough, no pain in my arms, back or jaw. When I bend over, (forward) the pain becomes more intense. It's as if it tightens, when I lay down the pain may or may not subside until I get up again at which time it continues. Yes, it' constant. I'm kinda scared. No headaches, fever or anything like that. What do you think it could be? I'm other wise a healthy person.
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Answered by Dr. Riyanka Chail (5 hours later)
Brief Answer:
kindly visit a pulmonologist immediately

Detailed Answer:
Hello madam,
Thanks for writing in to us at hcm.

This is Dr.Riyanka and I am glad to be helping you with your query.

Chronic smoking as you know is injurious to health.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a type of obstructive lung disease (commonly seen in chronic smokers) is characterized by continous poor airflow due to blocked airways which typically worsens over time.In COPD there is increased inflammatory response in the lungs resulting in narrowing of the small airways and breakdown of lung tissue known as emphysema.

When chest tightness occurs it usually indicates an underlying lung condition like an infection in the lungs or narrowing of airways which can result in difficulty breathing.


COPD treatments usually include:
1. quitting smoking
2. inhaled bronchodilators and steroids
3. vaccinations to prevent secondary infections
4. rehabilitation


As of now i request you to visit a pulmonologist so that he can give you bronchodilators and steroids which will relieve your symptoms.
Also he/she may advise you Pulmonary Function tests to know the status of your lung function.

You may also be referred to a cardiologist to rule out any cardiovascular pathology caused due to chronic smoking.

Hope this answers your query. Don't worry .
Do write back if you have any further doubts.


Get well soon
Dr.Riyanka

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Shanthi.E
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Answered by
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Dr. Riyanka Chail

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2009

Answered : 805 Questions

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Does chronic smoking cause chest tightness?

Brief Answer: kindly visit a pulmonologist immediately Detailed Answer: Hello madam, Thanks for writing in to us at hcm. This is Dr.Riyanka and I am glad to be helping you with your query. Chronic smoking as you know is injurious to health. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a type of obstructive lung disease (commonly seen in chronic smokers) is characterized by continous poor airflow due to blocked airways which typically worsens over time.In COPD there is increased inflammatory response in the lungs resulting in narrowing of the small airways and breakdown of lung tissue known as emphysema. When chest tightness occurs it usually indicates an underlying lung condition like an infection in the lungs or narrowing of airways which can result in difficulty breathing. COPD treatments usually include: 1. quitting smoking 2. inhaled bronchodilators and steroids 3. vaccinations to prevent secondary infections 4. rehabilitation As of now i request you to visit a pulmonologist so that he can give you bronchodilators and steroids which will relieve your symptoms. Also he/she may advise you Pulmonary Function tests to know the status of your lung function. You may also be referred to a cardiologist to rule out any cardiovascular pathology caused due to chronic smoking. Hope this answers your query. Don't worry . Do write back if you have any further doubts. Get well soon Dr.Riyanka