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A new study finds that young adults who quit smoking have substantially fewer respiratory symptoms, especially coughing, after just two weeks.

The study included 327 college students between 18 and 24 years old. They took part in programs to motivate them to quit smoking. HealthDay reports that more than half of the students smoked five to 10 cigarettes daily, and had smoked for between one and five years.

Students who quit smoking for two weeks reported substantially less coughing and other respiratory symptoms, compared with students who continued to smoke.

The study appears in the journal Pediatric Allergy, Immunology, and Pulmonology.

“That the benefit of stopping smoking starts in days to weeks—not years or decades—is  important. Now health care providers can counsel young smokers that their breathing can feel better soon after they stop. This can help to motivate young adults to stop smoking before the severe damage is done,” said Harold Farber, MD, editor of the journal, said in a news release.

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