Cough Drop Day

Cough Drop Day is observed next on Monday, May 13th, 2024 (159 days from today).

How many days until Cough Drop Day?


Cough Drop is pills designed to provide active ingredients that suppress or reduce the cough reflex. They are made to look like hard candies. The ingredients are mixed together; they are cooked, cooled and packaged. First developed in the eighteenth century, cough suppressants have become an important part of the $2 billion cough and cold medicine market.

History of Cough Drop Day

Cough drops are small pills, usually medicine, that dissolve slowly in the mouth to suppress or temporarily stop coughing, as well as soothe sore tissues in the throat. Some of them are created to treat other symptoms relating to common cold or flu. They are sometimes called throat lozenges because they were originally shaped like lozenges or diamonds. They are also known as troches, cachous, and cough candies. Cough Drop Day is considered as a great chance to honor their contribution because they help us a lot when we are sick.

The ingredients in cough drops include both expectorants and cough suppressants. Cough suppressants also have many ingredients that are similar to hard candy such as sugar and corn syrup, as well as other additives such as vitamins. Some common ingredients include benzocaine, eucalyptus oil, menthol, menthol, peppermint, honey, dextromethorphan, vitamin C, zinc, echinacea, and camphor. Non-menthol cough drops often have an oral deodorant such as pectin or zinc gluconate glycine. The ingredients are mixed together, cooked, and cooled, following a process similar to how hard candy is made.

In ancient times, people had known using herbal teas and syrups to treat coughs. The beginner of cough suppressants was appeared from 1000 BC to the 20th Dynasty of Egypt, when candy was made with honey and flavored with herbs, spices, and citrus. In the fourth century, hard candies are similar to today that began to be produced, and their design predates modern cough suppressants. Hard candies were originally only for the rich, but as sugar became cheaper and more readily available in the eighteenth century, so were these hard candies.

Cough drops that are similar to today were introduced from the nineteenth century. What Smith Brothers Cough Drops is? It was the first cough suppressant, which was started producing in 1852. Sly Hawkins got into a restaurant of James Smith in Poughkeepsie, New York. Sly Hawkins had created the recipe for cough candy. Smith started making recipes and selling cough lollies in glass bowls. After James Smith died since 1866, his sons named William and Andrew took over his business. In 1872, they renamed the cough candies to Smith Brothers Cough Drops, put them in special packaging instead of bowls, and began a more aggressive marketing campaign. Later, the company had added more menthol to their cough drops since 1922. The company went on sale in 1963 and the cough suppressant was discontinued in 1972.

Other first brands included Luden's in 1879. In addition, Halls also was founded by two brothers in England in 1893. Halls firstly tried on jams and caramels; however, they just changed into selling small coughs, making them with menthol and eucalyptus until the 1930s. The first appearance of Halls cough drops were introduced to the United States in the 1950s. Nowadays, there are many famous brands of cough drops. For examples: Halls, Lockets, Luden's, Fisherman's Friend, Ricola, Sucrets, and Vicks. On Cough Drop Day, we celebrate all cough suppressants, regardless of their brand.

Why Cough Drop Day?

Anyone with sick always knows how it feels cough. It is a natural reflex aiming to protect our body from infections. It plays an important role in clearing the throat and other airways of secretions and irritating particles including dust, food, liquids, and mucus. Coughing occurs in three separate steps. It usually begins with a deep breath to draw air into the lungs. The vocal cords automatically close thus sealing the trachea. In addition, the air is compressed by tightening the exhalation muscles. The vocal cords are suddenly opened and the air trapped in the lungs is quickly expelled along with any foreign debris in the trachea.

Coughs associated with colds may or may not be effective. Cough with phlegm helps to clear the airways of the lungs. The dry cough is produced by a minor irritation with some limited benefit. Cough drop was born to make calm or suppress a cough.

These are the two ingredients in over-the-counter cough medicines including expectorants and cough suppressants. An expectorant is a type of medicine for aiding in the removal of phlegm from the respiratory tract. Blocking the sensory nerves is involved in triggering a cough. While many would expect them to be available, data on their functionality is not. Some doctors even question whether expectorants are effective. Antitussives, which are cough suppressants, work in different ways by affecting the lungs, muscles, or brain.

Using syrups and herbal teas to treat coughs has been used during the ancient times, which was suggested to the use of goat's milk. In the second century, Galen was the first person who had reported an effective cough suppressant. Cough suppressants were originally developed from candy. The first creation of hard candies was in the fourth century. Because sugar is so expensive, these products are often luxury items only available to the wealthy. Over the years, sugar trees have been grown in North America and around the world. Sugar refineries were established, and the price of sugar fell, making sugar available to everyone in the eighteenth century.

While some ingredients in cough suppressants have been known for centuries, cough suppressants was introduced until the 19th century. One of the first mass-produced cough suppressants was the Smith Brothers cough suppressant. According to the company, James Smith was running a restaurant when a traveler introduced him to a recipe for cough candy. He mixes a batch in his kitchen and can sell them quickly. Demand for his products grew and he began advertising in 1852. He enlisted the help of his two sons, who helped mix shipments and sell them on the streets of Poughkeepsie, New York. They inherited the business in 1866 upon the death of James Smith, and renamed the company Smith Brothers. During this time, cough drops were sold in large glass bowls. To deter imitators, they developed a unique package in 1872 that was factory-filled. In 1922, menthol cough drops were introduced. Over the years, many manufacturers have developed a lot of formulations of cough suppressant. Each has tried to improve the taste and effectiveness of their products.

How to Observe Cough Drop Day

Celebrate the new day with cough drops. No one cares if you don't have a cough! Try a variety of flavors, and there are some made with different ingredients like honey, mint, and eucalyptus. You can also take a try with a lot of different brands including Halls, Lockets, Luden's, Fisherman's Friend, Ricola, Sucrets, and Vicks.


Cough Drop Day has been observed annually on May 13th.


Friday, May 13th, 2022

Saturday, May 13th, 2023

Monday, May 13th, 2024

Tuesday, May 13th, 2025

Wednesday, May 13th, 2026

Also on Monday, May 13th, 2024

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