Stoptober- Day Four

October is Stoptober in the UK, the NHS’s stop smoking campaign. Which sees people encouraged to go smoke free for 28 days. Last year 160,000 people completed the challenge. This year has already seen 202,845 people sign up. To support everyone who is taking part in Stoptober and anyone else who may wish to quit smoking will be posting a Stoptober post every day of the challenge. 

 Day Four- Breathe Easy

It is day four of Stoptober, and it is the start of the weekend. If you are still in the languishing longing of withdrawal (see Stoptober Day Three post) this may not feel like anything to celebrate but it is! If you have made it this far, you should find it is now easier to breathe.

By day four of being smoke free your bronchial tubes begin to open up and your breathing improves.

What are your bronchial tubes?

Lung_and_diaphragmWhen you breathe air goes down your trachea (wind pipe) then comes to a fork in the road. These are the bronchial tubes. One tube goes into your right lung, and the other goes into your left lung. The bronchial tubes go into your lungs and keep branching off into smaller and smaller tubes until the sacs at the end called alveoli are reached.

Your bronchial tubes not only bring the air from your trachea to your alveoli, they also help clean your lungs. Bronchial tubes are covered with mucus, which sticks to dirt and germs that get into your lungs. Next, millions of tiny hairs called cilia act like tiny brooms to sweep out all the rubbish caught in the mucus. Each cilium sweeps back and forth about ten times every second!

What does smoking do to your bronchial tubes?

When you smoke your bronchial tubes become inflamed, thickened, and the amount of mucus covering the tubes increases.  This results in narrowing of air passages and leads to chronic bronchitis. Bronchitis is a very common illness in the UK, according to the NHS website it is one of the top five reasons people visit their GP. Smoking is the most common cause of chronic bronchitis.

As well as narrowing your bronchial tubes, and giving yourself bronchitis smoking also causes tar and other particles to settle in bronchial tubes. These cause lung cancer. Tar and smoke destroy the tiny cilla hairs that clean, protect, and remove foreign particles from lungs.

It’s the weekend- breathe deep.

With your newly open bronchial tubes get outdoors, breathe some fresh air, let it flow free and easy through your bronchial tubes deep into your lungs, and save the tiny little cilla hairs that sweep all day to keep you alive.


About the author

Selina Cuff

Selina Cuff is Editor at She is also a freelance journalist, researcher and producer. Selina has contributed to publications including The Sunday Times, Global Post and The Independent. As well as working on various films and documentaries. Keenly interested in health and wellbeing, Selina is an advocate of alternative and complimentary medicines. She is often to be found covered in acupuncture needles, cycling up hills, or feeding people with homemade cakes.