U.S. doctors online nowAsk doctors free
A 21-year-old member asked:

If i stop smoking will that help heal my copd?

6 doctor answers18 doctors weighed in
Dr. Andrew Carroll
Dr. Andrew Carrollanswered
Family Medicine 25 years experience
Yes: Some elements of your COPD will get much better after quitting smoking. Depending on your age and how long you smoked, some of the changes in your lungs will be irreversible. However, the ability to clear secretions and keep harmful bacterial and dust out of your lungs will improve immensely, making your lungs function much better.
Dr. Dean Giannone
Internal Medicine 25 years experience
No: COPD is a chronic and destructive process, so quitting smoking will typically not allow the lungs to heal. You can potentially limit further damage by quitting, and you might breathe better after quitting, but it's unlikely the lungs will heal from such destruction in the long run.
Dr. Paige Gutheil
Family Medicine 19 years experience
Yes: When one quits smoking, the body can start the healing process. Symptoms often decrease and lung functions increases. The lungs may not totally regain all the function that they have lost, depending on how severe the copd, but the body has amazing healing power!
Dr. Theodore Cole
Specializes in Family Medicine
Yes: Removing any irritants and toxins can take some of the load off of the lungs and enable the body to heal more effectively. Try to avoid as many airborne toxins, fumes, and smoke as much as possible.
Dr. Yoram Padeh
Allergy and Immunology 22 years experience
Yes: COPD is caused by the accumulated damage created by exposure of the lungs to the toxins in cigarette smoke. If smoking is stopped, no new damage occurs and some old damage can heal. However, just like with the skin, sometimes scarring is left behind which can leave permanent changes. Damage that is not yet "scarred" can often heal. The sooner the smoking stops, the better.
Dr. Sue Ferranti
Internal Medicine 29 years experience
Perhaps...: COPD is not curable but, by stopping your smoking, the airway inflammation will decrease thus decreasing your symptoms and allowing your lungs to heal to a certain extent. They will not heal to normal but symptoms will decrease. Your risks of certain cancers, like lung cancer, will also decrease. Your doctor can help with smoking cessation.

90,000 U.S. doctors in 147 specialties are here to answer your questions or offer you advice, prescriptions, and more. Get help now:

Ask doctors free
Educational text
Free
Talk to a doctor
24/7 visits - just $39!
50% off with $15/month membership

90,000 U.S. doctors in 147 specialties are here to answer your questions or offer you advice, prescriptions, and more. Get help now:

Ask doctors free
Educational text
Free
Talk to a doctor
24/7 visits - just $39!
50% off with $15/month membership
Last updated Nov 5, 2019

Disclaimer:

Content on HealthTap (including answers) should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and interactions on HealthTap do not create a doctor-patient relationship. Never disregard or delay professional medical advice in person because of anything on HealthTap. Call your doctor or 911 if you think you may have a medical emergency.