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Ask the Experts


I successfully quit smoking (decades-long habit) a full year ago; I have recently begun experiencing dreadful tastes with every breath I draw. I can best describe these tastes as "wet ashtray". Mouthwashes of various types, extreme brushing of teeth/tongue/reachable areas of throat do not help, nor does eating strong-flavored foods.

My medical doctor has never heard of this and offers no suggestions. Any insight you can offer would be much appreciated.

Answered by: Lirio Covey

Your experience of unpleasant taste and mouth sensations one-year after stopping smoking is unlikely to be a consequence of smoking cessation.

Improvements in taste and breath are in fact predictable benefits of stopping smoking that are noticeable within a week or two of stopping smoking.

It would be best to consult your dentist or an EENT (eye,ear,nose,throat) physician regarding these symptoms.