I quit smoking over a year ago, before that, i used to smoke up to a maximum of 9 cigarettes a day. However, up until now, I did not cough up tar, only clear sticky mucus comes out.

I want to know when will I expel tar from my lungs, if so then how?


2 Answers 2


It is a misconception that you will start to cough up tar after smoking cessation. I can imagine why you would think that - after all, cigarettes contain tar and that has to have gone into your lungs, so it has to come out, right?
What happens is that you breathe in fine particles with smoking, part of which your body gets rid of in the period after you had that cigarette. Another part settles in your lungs, but it's not going to get out. I'm guessing you're visualizing it as a collection of tar/dust in your lungs which you're going to cough out eventually if you keep coughing up enough. It simply isn't. You get mucus because of irritation/inflammation of the lungs due to smoking.

What you are going to find is that your lung function gets better with time after smoking cessation. The amount of mucus you cough up will likely also get less. This review gives some interesting background information about what smoking cessation does to your lungs and body.


You expel pollutants by coughing and your body cleans lungs every time it has something to clean. Month is not a long period. They are still not clean. Your lungs need to not only clean themselves but also repair damage caused by smoking.


From my personal experience during few days I had strong cough but after that it subsided and for next two months I would cough from time to time (always once in the morning) and expel clear, hard mucus. By the way, please check if lungs repairing is really the cause of your cough.

It might be that you are ill.

  • Hi, Abdisalam, welcome to Health! Here, references are strongly encouraged in answers to back up points made therein. Unsourced material may be downvoted or deleted - and is certainly frowned upon. Can you add citations to support what you've written here? Thanks!
    – HDE 226868
    Commented Jan 15, 2016 at 23:02
  • The OP is asking very specifically about when the tar is expelled from the lungs. I don't see how your post answers that, I'm afraid.
    – YviDe
    Commented Jan 16, 2016 at 9:00

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